Papuan Gulf Net Float-Pitt Rivers Museum-Oceanic Art
In our present moment in history, it is hard to overemphasize the importance of provenance in tribal art. And it is hard to beat the early provenance of Lieutenant General Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt-Rivers for this Papuan Gulf net float. Pitt-Rivers purchased it from William Downing Webster on 28 November 1896. The piece is Illustrated in Pitt-Rivers acquisition journal volume 4, page 1360 and was Displayed in Farnham Museum, Room 7, case 62. It is also ex. Jolika Collection of Marcia and John Friede, Rye, New York. The only other fishing floats from the Papuan Gulf that I have encountered are two in the South Australian Museum in Adelaide collected by Theodore Bevan in the late 1880s. I published this piece in my San Francisco 2015 catalog. It dates to the Mid/late 19th century and is 42⅞” (109 cm) in height. The price is $10,000.