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Mid-20th C. Papua New Guinea Wood Betel Nut Mortar

Oceania, Papua New Guinea, Ramu River region, ca. mid-20th century CE. A hand-carved wooden mortar for grinding betel nuts. The bowl of the mortar is supported by two abstract reptilian figures as well as by the heads of two stylized standing anthropomorphic figures. Each figure is posed on an integral ovoid base, and their features are characteristic of many Papua New Guinean artistic representations. Size: 3.125" W x 5.4" H (7.9 cm x 13.7 cm).

Condition: Minor nicks to base, figures, and mortar dish, otherwise intact and very good. Light earthen deposits and great brown patina throughout. One small hole within dish.

Provenance: private Southern California, USA collection, acquired in the 1970s to mid-1980s

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