Bougainville Stone Axe Currency-Solomon Islands-Oceanic Art
Here is an elegant and rare form of traditional currency from Bougainville Island, North Solomon Islands. Consisting of a gracefully shaped stone axe, flared on each end with faint remains of red and black pigments lashed to a cane and vine handle. The Auckland War Memorial Museum has a very similar one collected by the Methodist missionary, Arthur Henry Voyce in Bougainville in 1934. It is hard to see but would have been very striking—the blade painted black on the end with the thin cane straps and the longer back half painted red. Notice the fantastic aged and glossy patina of the twisted vine handle. The piece dates to the 19th century, is 18” (45.7 cm) tall and sells for $4800. Questions?