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Place: New Caledonia
Category: War

wood, New Caledonia, l. 75–78.5 cm, Inv. Oz 1097

Humphrey No. 295 (296) (?): ‘295. a War Club made of wood from the Marquesas. (296. Another, knotted, and almost in its natural Shape, from ditto.’)

The previous statements relating to the clubs Oz 1095 and Oz 1096 also apply up to a point to this club, with a head shaped like a mushroom. However, the entry in the Humphrey catalogue under No. 296 ‘knotted and almost in its natural Shape’ is definitely inapplicable. Instead, this piece has been very carefully worked, rounded, and polished. It nevertheless resembles the other two with its varnish-like patina. The abovementioned text for No. 295 in the Humphrey catalogue refers most likely to this club.

The second difference from the two clubs described above is that although there is also no remaining Humphrey label on this club, there is still the trace of a label with the typical rhomboid Humphrey form underneath the remains of several, now flaked-off labels. It may thus be assumed hypothetically, though at least with more certainty, that this club corresponds to the Humphrey No. 295 and must be included in the Cook Collection. However, the provenance should be changed to ‘New Caledonia’ as explained for the clubs Oz 1095 and Oz 1096. In form, this piece resembles the club reproduced by Sarasin (1929: PI. 52, Fig. 8) which is not, however, one of the objects collected in New Caledonia on Cook’s voyages. Volker Harms


Sarasin, Fritz, Ethnologie der Neu-Caledonier und Loyalty-Insulaner, Munich, 1929.

Related artefacts

Club, Inv. Oz 1095
Club, Inv. Oz 1096
Club, Inv. Oz 1097


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