- Museum number
Double headed figure (ti'i) carved of cordia wood.
- Production date
Height: 57.50 centimetres
Width: 44 centimetres
Depth: 20 centimetres
- Curator's comments
See B.A.L.Cranstone, 'A Unique Tahitian Figure', British Museum Quarterly, Volume XXVII, nos. 1-2 (1963), pp. 45-47
See J. Newell, 'Witnessing change in the Pacific: Souvenirs of the Dauntless Cruise, 1822' in Prue Ahrens & Chris Dixon, Coast to Coast: Case Histories of Modern Pacific Crossings', 2010, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne
Matavai Bay, Tahiti
See B.M.Q. XXVII, Nos 1-2 (1963)
Wood identified as cordia by Dr Paula Rudall, Head of Micromorphology, Jodrell Laboratory, Kew Gardens, during her analysis of woods used in Hawaiian and other Polynesian figures. Publication forthcoming.
Comment from Tara Hiquily, curator, Musée de Tahiti et ses Îles, during a visit to the British Museum store, 19 June 2008: 'Wood is surprising: texture not fine like most woods. Very nice piece, style is good. Probably made from the fork of a tree. Only one eye is carved with a pupil – left head, right eye. Perhaps the boat was leaving!'
Published in T. Barrow, 'The Art of Tahiti', London, Thames and Hudson, 1979, p.46.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2020-2021 20 Feb-5 Apr, Leiden, Museum Volkenkunde, A sea of islands: highlights from Oceania
2019 12 Mar-7 Jul, Paris, Musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac, Oceania
2018 18 Sep-9 Dec, London, Royal Academy of Arts, Oceania
2014-2015 12 Oct-4 Jan, St Louis Art Museum, Atua: Sacred art from Polynesia
2014 23 May-3 Aug, Canberra, National Gallery of Australia, Atua: Sacred art from Polynesia
2009 11 Dec-2010 10 May, Madrid, Canal de Isabel II, Treasures of the World's Cultures
2009 1 May-20 Sep, Victoria, Royal BC Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
2006-2007 28 Sept-7 Jan, London, BM, Power and Taboo
1991 9 Mar-7 May, Osaka, National Museum of Art, Treasures of the British Museum, cat. no.231
1991 5 Jan-20 Feb, Yamaguchi, Prefectural Museum of Art, Treasures of the British Museum, cat. no.231
1990 20 Oct-9 Dec, Tokyo, Setagaya Art Museum, Treasures of the British Museum, cat. no.231
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Cranstone identifies this as having been collected in the Society Islands by Captain Sampson Jervois, R.N when serving as a First Lieutenant on HMS Dauntless on the East Indies Station from 1818 to 1823. 'It seems almost certain that the figure .. was obtained between 3 January and 21 January 1822 in Tahiti, and probably between 10 January and 19 January in Matavai Bay...'
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number