Ceremonial War Club Tonga Archipelago Polynesia

Return to Previous Page

Product Description

Ceremonial War Club, Tonga Archipelago Polynesia

Wood, Height: 86cm, 19th century
Ex-Private European Collection

The Tonga islands consist of three groups that lay east of Fiji. Settled by Austronesian peoples more than 3000 years ago, their society was based on a strict hierarchy ruled by supreme chieftains. When visited by Captain Cook in the 1850s, they were known as the Friendly Islands because of their peaceful behaviour. That would change shortly afterwards when internecine warfare broke out between themselves and their neighbours Fiji and Samoa. Fierce warriors they would sail great seaworthy war canoes over vast distances to attack their enemies. As such it comes as no surprise that ceremonial weapons especially the war club, which was the most important instrument of destruction played an important role in rituals. Symbols of rank and power, the best examples were finely carved with a variety of geometric motifs. This example dates from the late 19th century. It was formerly in American and European collections.

Barrow, Terence; Art and Life in Polynesia; Rutland; 1973
Meyer, Anthony; Oceanic Art; Cologne; 1995
Schmitz, Carl; Oceanic Art: Myth,, Man and Image in the South Seas, New York, n.d.\

Price on request.

Product Enquiry

Product Enquiry

Related Products

Etruscan Genucilia Patera (footed shallow bowl/plate) circa 360 BC

An Etruscan terracotta Patera from circa 370 to 350 B.C. Small plates of this type are characteristic of local production influenced by Greek mainland styles. The Genucilia Group comprises a group of plates produced in...

Greek Squat Lekythos C. 350 BC

Greek Red Figure squat Lekythos produced in the Greek influenced Camparia, Italy region about 350 BC.  Lekythoi usually contained oil  with a narrow neck and a small single handle allowing accurate pouring  of small amounts. This...

antique Hawaiian hand carved calabashes bowl

Rare antique Hawaiian hand carved calabashes bowl, over a 200 years old and carefully shaped. When it was made, the surface was polished with sand and coconut oil to give it a high gloss finish....

Pearl Shell Opera Glasses c.1800’s

Antique Pearl Shell Opera Glasses, England c.1800’s Opera glasses, also known as theater binoculars or Galilean binoculars, are compact, low-power optical magnification devices, usually used at performance events, whose name is derived from traditional use...

Original Signature of “Duke” Kahanamoku

Rare signature of Duke Kahanamoku (1890–1968), he was a Hawaiian-American competition swimmer who was also known as an actor, lawman, early beach volleyball player and businessman credited with spreading the sport of surfing. Kahanamoku was...

Bambara Mask, West Africa

“Original Bambara Mask from West Africa” The Bambara are a Mandé people living in west Africa, primarily in Mali but also in Guinea, Burkina Faso and Senegal. They are considered to be amongst the largest...

Ancient Egyptian Ushabti Figure

Light turquoise blue glazed faience Ushabti figure dating to the 22nd dynasty.  Has black painted hieroglyphics with the name of a priest of KHONSU written on it. He wears on his back a black painted...

Greek Ancient Apulian Plate, 330 / 320 B.C.

Striking red-figure Apulian plate adorned with an exquisitely painted profile head of a “Lady of Fashion”, her hair dressed in an intricate kekryphalos, donning a diadem traditionally referred to as a radiate stephane and a...

antique wooden carved calabashes bowl, from Hawaii

Rare antique Hawaiian hand carved calabashes bowl, over a 200 years old and carefully shaped. When it was made, the surface was polished with sand and coconut oil to give it a high gloss finish. Measures:...

Rare African Dogon Mask

Rare African Dogon Mask, over a 100 years old. The mask is used during ceremonies to commemorate the origin of death. According to the myths, death came into the world as a result of man’s...
Back to top