Pierre Nachbaur

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AMULET OF STANDING ANCESTOR FIGURE

Belu, Indonesian Timor / 19th century / Water buffalo horn /
14,5 cm

Collected in Timor, in 1918, by Dutch artist-ethnographer-author W. O. J. Nieuwenkamp, this protective amulet is an extremely refined figure is a rare example of pure early Austronesian art. This is most evident seen in its heart shaped face, animal — like toothy mouth, small ears and topknot. Of unclear sex, the figure stands with its hands held before its heart. The body is covered with various geometric patterns and on its legs lizards representing tattoos, which were still common at the time of Nieuwenkamp’s visit to Timor during a tour of the islands of the Lesser Sundas and Southeast Maluku in 1917–1918. Zwerftocht door Timor (Wanderings through Timor), a book about this trip was published in 1925. This figure was published in a catalog Sammlung, W.O.J. Nieuwenkamp (Nieuwenkamp Collection) in 1924, page 153.

Provenance: W. O. J. Nieuwenkamp