About this object

A shovel-shaped wood baler with a phallic handle projecting inwards in the shape of a humanoid figure with arms but no legs. The handle end has rough double spirals and curved ridges on the upper surface, extending to the sides.

'MODERN COPY OF A MAORI CANOE BAILER. NEW ZEALAND (MADE BY EDWARD LITTLE)' is written on the handle in white ink. The baler is covered in reddish-brown paint. The lip is splitting in two places.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Transport; Fake
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
    E Little
  • Place made
    Europe: Northern Europe: UK: England
  • Date made
    Before 1942
  • Materials
    Wood (Pinus palustris); Paint; Technique: Carved
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Purchased from Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society, Taunton Museum, 1942
  • Collector
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place collected
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Date collected
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Measurements
    20.0 x 10.0 x 40.0 cm
  • Note
    That this item is a replica is also strongly suggested by wood analysis; it is made from pine which is not a New Zealand species.

    Edward Little had a series of convictions for theft from museums in the southwest of England from 1915 onwards. His main method was to steal an original piece from display and replace it with a copy. This baler may be a copy he made for a theft, or attempted theft, from Taunton Museum.
  • Related people
    James Edward Little (Artist/maker); Taunton Museum (Previous owner)

Where is this object from?


Previous owners

  • Taunton Museum

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Purchase
    Owned until: 1942
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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