Fijian Chief’s Split Whale Tooth Ivory Necklace ‘Wāseisei’

A Western Polynesia Fijian Chief’s Split Whale Tooth Ivory Necklace ‘Wāseisei’ Composed of 25 Carefully Shaped Points Bound with Fine Plaited Coconut Fibre Sinnet Cord
Early 19th Century
Size: 15.5cm long – 6 ins long (max) / 9.5cm long – 3¾ ins long (min)
These fantastical necklaces carved from sperm whale teeth were a refinement of the 1810-50 period. The introduction of metal tools together with a regular supply of sperm whale teeth from the visiting European whaling ships meant that these ‘Wāseisei’ necklaces soon replaced the earlier type ‘Sisi’ which was composed of whole pilot whale teeth. Although the idea for them originated in Fiji they were made by specialised Tongan and Samoan craftsmen ‘Tunfunga Fono Lei’. Made as chiefly regalia and important strategic gifts, they were much prized throughout the Islands for their beauty.
NOTE:
Now sold, another example is now in stock, please contact for details

Fijian Chief’s Split Whale Tooth Ivory Necklace ‘Wāseisei’

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SOLD

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+44 (0)7836 684133
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ENQUIRIES

+44 (0) 207 689 7500

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

enquiries@finch-and-co.co.uk