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Talipun Mask - Primitive Money with Turbo Marmoratus Snail

Lot reference 14143817
Talipun Mask - Primitive Money with Turbo Marmoratus Snail

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Current bid $331
Next minimum bid $355
Auction fee: 9% of the winning bid
Shipping to United States: $46.52

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$331 Bidder 1783
16-11-2017 20:53:40
$308 Bidder 9334
16-11-2017 20:53:23
$284 Bidder 1783
16-11-2017 20:51:17
$261 Bidder 9334
16-11-2017 20:51:09
$238 Bidder 1783
16-11-2017 20:50:38
$226 Bidder 9334
16-11-2017 20:50:33
$220 Bidder 1783
16-11-2017 20:50:33

Early 20th century - Good condition

Unusually surreal piece with long stalk eyes and traces of red paint.

Museum quality

Literature: Art of the Boiken ISBN: 978-1-4507-5823-9

Collection: Steffmann

Talipun - a totally unique form of money from the Yangoru area in New Guinea
These well-known, complex objects were, and are, used as 'primitive money' in northern New Guinea; as payment for a bride between families, as well as for transactions between individuals or whole villages. A 'Talipun' consists of a large piece of the sea snail ' Turbo marmoratus' on which is the woven face of an ancestor. The large turbo snails are found on the northern coast of New Guinea and traded with the Yangoru Zoya in the Prince Alexander Mountains in the interior of the country. The Boiken then weave faces of their ancestors, colouring and painting them with clay, decorating them with cassowary feathers and then mounting the 'ancestors' on to the snail shell. Once complete, the 'talipun' are used as a means of private payment (bride price), or swapped with Papua tribes in the surrounding area (Latmul, Lumi, Abelam, among others). Even today, 'talipun', in conjunction with modern money, are regarded as a valuable means of exchange. This 'talipun' is a very nice, old, and complete example of this early form of ‘money': The lancet-shaped, flat, attached head is tightly woven from rattan, coloured with ochre and decorated on the outside edge with black cassowary feathers. The typical, heart-shaped face with eyes, mouth and nose, is emphasized by colouring it with grey clay. The long nose protrudes forward and the septum is pierced. A major part of the Turbo marmoratus' snail is obviously very old with remnants of an earlier, red colouring. A piece with clearly older signs of use (bridge of the nose and shell). Superb condition with hardly any damage.

Height: 32 cm

Without stand

This lot will be shipped from 23 November.

De kalabu  

Feedback score: 100%
Reviews given: 30
Member since: August 3, 2017
  • Please note: some elements on this page have been translated automatically.
    Super vendeur!!!Un grand professionnel!!! En toute confiance!!!!Item magnifique et de grande ancienneté parfaitement conforme à la description.
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    22yves March 14, 2018

  • Please note: some elements on this page have been translated automatically.
    Perfekt: Museumsqualität zum Super Preis.
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    ozeankunst March 4, 2018

  • Shells were very tiny

    SDDesign February 27, 2018

  • Please note: some elements on this page have been translated automatically.
    Super schöne Objekte
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    ozeankunst February 26, 2018

  • Please note: some elements on this page have been translated automatically.
    snel geleverd, goed verpakt en prachtige voorwerpen! verkoper is goed benaderbaar en reageert snel op vragen.
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    Quanjin February 26, 2018

View all 30 reviews


The seller will ship the item(s) within 3 working days after receiving confirmation of payment.

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Shipping costs

United States $46.52
Austria $23.26
Belgium $23.26
Canada $46.52
Denmark $23.26
France $23.26
Germany $11.63
Ireland $23.26
Italy $23.26
Luxembourg $23.26
Netherlands $23.26
Norway $40.71
Poland $23.26
Portugal $23.26
Spain $23.26
Sweden $23.26
Switzerland $40.71
United Kingdom $23.26
Rest of Europe $46.52
Anywhere else $58.15

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You can pick up this lot from the seller: Dortmund (NRW), Germany.


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