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Early 20th C. Papua New Guinea Jade Adze

Oceania, Northern Papua New Guinea, ca. early 20th century CE. A large and lovely adze blade, hand-carved from a mottled emerald-green nephrite with light inclusions and meticulously smoothed to a lustrous sheen. The blade has a conical attachment point - which doubles as a handle when not secured to a wooden pole - and a rounded body which flares gently outwards towards a curved edge. Adze blades like this example were typically fastened to a lengthy wooden pole with reeds or leather straps, and were primarily used to shape and smooth large pieces of wood. Adze blades were usually made of metal or basic greenstone, so this nephrite example is quite rare! Custom museum-quality display stand included. Size: 3" W x 12.25" H (7.6 cm x 31.1 cm); 14" H (35.6 cm) on included custom stand.

For an example of how stone blades were attached to wooden adze handles, please see the Metropolitan Museum of Art, accession number 1979.206.1526: https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/313715

Condition: Repaired from multiple large pieces with small losses and light adhesive residue along break lines. Surface wear and abrasions commensurate with age and use, small chips to sides and both faces, with some minor discoloration. Light earthen deposits throughout. Old inventory sticker on verso.

Provenance: private Newport Beach, California, USA collection

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