Massim Lime Spatula-Seymour Lazar Collection-New Guinea Art-Oceanic Art
I have mentioned before that as much as I appreciate the craftsmanship and delicacy of the intricate scrollwork and curvilinear designs of most Massim carved objects, what I really love is finding really old examples that illustrate the darker core of the art. Where the more brutal Papuan influence overrides the intricate finery of the Austronesian. This lime spatula is a case in point. The female figure is rigid, with teeth clenched, eyes wide open as if in a trance. It is a state of intense concentration and power—no decorative embellishments wanted or needed. The spatula is carved from the dense ebony wood. It comes from the estate of the flamboyant entertainment lawyer Seymour Lazar and is ex. Christie’s South Kensington, 12 December 1989, lot 117. The spatula is 10” (25.4 cm) in height and sells for $4800.