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Stained Kina Shell Necklace
Southern Highlands, New Guinea
early 20th century

width: 20cm, height: 16cm

This pectoral ornament or necklace comprises a crescent form kina shell segment with applied red pigment, pierced at either end and suspended from a wide
plaited fibre band decorated with two cowrie shells.

Such shells were used for ornamentation but also as a form of currency and were traded many times over.

The necklace is large and decorative. There is a small nick to the outer edge of the shell, but any such fritting seems consistent with age and use.

Provenance: acquired on the UK art market, and possibly has been in the UK since colonial times.

Inventory no.: 1474

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