- Museum number
Painted carved lintel (with human face at centre), part of house made of wood.
- Production date
- 1870s (?)
Height: 19.50 centimetres
Length: 68 centimetres
- Curator's comments
British Museum registration slip:
Flat piece of wood, the centre is carved into a representation of a human face with projecting tongue, the ends form a kind of scroll work. It is painted red.
2"2 1/2 long. 8in greatest width.
Compare Polack's New Zealanders Vol. 1. p.213
[Right column] 1639 No.8'
The reference mentioned is:
Polack, Joel Samuel, 1840. Manners and customs of the New Zealanders, with notes corroborative of their habits, usages, etc., and remarks to intending emigrants, Vol. 1. London: Madden. Page 213 shows a doorway lintel of a similar shape, captioned 'Carved doorway for the Council-house of a village' (a complete doorway is shown). The lintel has a central face with bared teeth, with a simple carved scroll either side, and no openwork.
Polack (1807-1882) went to New Zealand in 1831, and spent time in the Hokianga-Kaipara area, the Bay of Islands, Auckland, Poverty Bay, and East Cape. He returned to England for the period 1837 - 1842, and left New Zealand permanently for North America in 1850. (See Chisholm, Jocelyn. 'Polack, Joel Samuel 1807 - 1882'. Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, updated 22 June 2007.)
Starzecka, Neich and Pendergrast 2010
128 Plate 34
1639. Width 68 cm.
Wooden lintel: openwork spirals, rest solid. Central wheku face with small, plain spiral each side, pakura on forehead, rauponga on lips. At each end: large manaia face with bulbous eye, its jaw taking appearance of takarangi spiral with pakura; rauponga with chevroned form on face.
Provenance: United Service Institution Museum?
Register: ‘U.S.M.? C.P. No. 8.’
Comments: Ngati Whatua, 1870s (RN); Ngati Whatua style; possibly from the only Ngati Whatua house of the era, Aotearoa, which stood at Shelly Beach, South Kaipara Head – about 1870 the carvings were removed at the request of a missionary and sold (DRS).
References: Simmons 1997: 43, colour p. 7; Simmons 2001: 123.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
CDMS number: Oc186?C1.1639 (old CDMS no.)
Previous owner/ex-collection number: 8 (United Service Museum number)