Fijian Necklace Composed of Sixteen Small Whole Sperm Whale Teeth

A Fine Fijian Necklace Composed of Sixteen Small Whole Sperm Whale Teeth
‘Vuasagale’
Shaped and polished
Early 19th Century
Size: 8cm long – 3¾ ins long (longest tooth)
The teeth of the sperm whale were greatly valued and were used in various ways on Fiji, polished and unpolished, large and small. The purely ceremonial form known as ‘tabua’ were larger and were painstakingly polished and sometimes anointed with coconut oil and turmeric to darken them. The smaller teeth were prized for making necklaces, such as this example and functioned as highly regarded ornamental objects for high ranking Fijian nobles, but were without the deeply symbolic and ritualised spiritual overtones of the presentation ‘tabua’, and so were not ‘taboo’.

Fijian Necklace Composed of Sixteen Small Whole Sperm Whale Teeth

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ENQUIRIES

+44 (0) 207 689 7500

+44 (0)7836 684133
+44 (0)7768 236921

enquiries@finch-and-co.co.uk