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Arts of the Pacific Islands

MEDIUM Pearl shell
  • Place Made: Solomon Islands
  • DIMENSIONS 1/2 × 3 1/16 × 4 5/16 in. (1.2 × 7.7 × 11 cm)
    INSCRIPTIONS Four labels on the back: "Ortiz, 29/6/70, #64"; "Beasley Collection, Solomon Group 4178, 1-7-36"; "303", "81.5"
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CREDIT LINE Purchased with funds given by an anonymous donor
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Pendant carved from a single piece of slightly concave pearl shell. At the top are two opposing frigate birds which surmount an openwork design composed of four-pointed star surrounded by four cut-outs shaped vaguely like leaves. At the bottom of the pendant is a fish in profile. There is a hole for suspension at the top in the center where the tails of the frigate birds meet. The vertical edges of the piece are serrated but the serrations are not cut through to the back side of the shell. The front surface is a pale pearl shell with a yellow tinge at the top which darkens to violet tones at the bottom. The back of the piece is a mottled copper color which darkens to nearly black along the sides and at the bottom. The overall surface of the back is uneven.
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