Collection 1904


An interesting group of Melanesian artefacts. Includes an extensive Ethnographic report on the indigenous people of what was then British Papua New Guinea, dated 1904.

After exhaustive research I have not been able to pin down the author, despite the tantalising evidence which includes a monogram dated 1904 and a letter from the well known missionary Ambrose Fletcher concerning the people of Papua to a mysterious Mr Hancock. A strong contender is the ‘Cooke Daniels expedition’ of 1903 and 1904. The dates fit and they collected hundreds of objects that were distributed amongst museums in the UK. It was also recorded that they wrote reports that were sent to the Royal Anthropological Society. One of the photographs may depict the author and collector along with his fellow travellers. Indeed, some of the photographs held by the British Museum of the ‘Cooke and Daniels expedition’ show individuals that strongly resemble those in the group photo in this collection.

This is an early date for the region, and it is unusual to find Papuan items with this early collection date, especially delicate items such as the vest and necklaces.

This is for sale as group or individual items, please feel free to contact me for a price or more information.