A private collection of Melanesian jewellery and objects

The photo below shows a selection of various objects from Melanesia that have been acquired by a private Dutch collector over the past 25 years. The collection is diverse and comes from different cultures in Papua New Guinea, especially the Highlands and Massim area, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

The objects in this collection amaze with the brilliant use of various natural materials from the immediate environment, such as feathers, plant fibres, seeds, earth pigments, coconut shells, animal teeth or obtained through trade such as beads and shells.

The decorations with shiny shells reflect the sunlight and contribute to the power and prestige of certain individuals or communities. Ornaments, such as animals, were applied to signify the totem of the clan and the full accoutrements of a man’s adornment served to persuade the (ancestral) spirits to participate in celebrations and rites of passage.

In Melanesia, the use of white shell in combination with tortoise shell or coconut for pendants as ‘hood-hood’ is ubiquitous. A counterpart in utensils, it is made of dark wood, where notches are filled with lime.

All objects from this collection can be found under provenance: Private Dutch collection, passion for PN Guinea jewellery and artefacts