GRAPHIC NEW GUINEA GREEN RIVER WAR SHIELD
Period/Date: Early 20th century
Materials: Dense Hardwood, from the buttress root of the "kofekan" tree as called by the natives, natural pigments
Description: This shield is very old and thus has some condition issues, but has one of the best graphic designs I've seen. Given the cragginess of the surface and the irregular tool marks, it appears to be stone-carved. Miraculously, much of its bold graphic design suffered little damage! The reason it survived at all is because it was carved from a dense hardwood that was cured and fire-hardened for rigidity and stability. So even after the termites traveled up through it, the integrity is unfazed and is the reason I'm selling it. That said, I didn't place it between two sawhorses and jump up and down on it :-)
I find that segmented arrow-like nose on the top to be a real interesting feature and it conjures up images of marine animals to me. It has definitely been used in battle and I counted five arrow holes, mostly focused on the upper right side but there could be more underneath the layered lime pigments? It is a really stunning piece in person but I'll finish by talking more about condition... Overall there is 15-20 percent loss concentrated to the shield's top, bottom and back side. The back has a orange-brown color which is from some old applied varnish, which some still remains. There is an brass identifying tag on it stamped 00135. Some epoxy filler was added to several areas along the "side rims" to strengthen places of wood which were the thinnest and in endanger of breaking. If the shield was in better condition I would be asking much more for it but I assure you that it is not going to disintegrate on you!
Dimensions: Height: 59.75" (152 cm), Width 23.75" (60.5 cm)
The shield has about 20% loss from an old insect infestation. Although this may look concerning, I assure you the wood is hard like "iron" and there is little risk or breakage.