About this object

A wooden flute with fibre binding at the thicker top end There is a hole in the front about halfway down, forming the mouth of the humanoid face carved around it. The eyes are round, but have no shell inlay. The carved surface decoration is based on pakati (dog's-tooth notches), ridges and grooves (haehae) and 'v' shapes, except near the bottom of the flute and at the back of the hole and face which have been left plain.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Music/sound; Fake
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Oceania: Polynesia: New Zealand
  • Date made
    Before 1932
  • Materials
    Wood; Fibre; Technique: Carved
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of the Trustees of the Wellcome Collection
  • Collector
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place collected
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Date collected
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Measurements
    4.2 x 2.5 x 36.0 cm
  • Note
    Purchased by the Welcome Historical Medical Museum at Glendining's Auction Rooms on 27 September 1932 Lot 47/26 (Mr Webb).

    The wood surface, and the carving, is quite rough, and there is no hole through the length, so it cannot function as a flute. This indicates that it may have been unfinished, or, more likely, is a fake or was made as a souvenir. It is stylistically similar to a flute made by the forger James Edward Little.
  • Related people
    Glendining and Co Ltd (Previous owner); Wellcome Historical Medical Museum (Previous owner)

Where is this object from?


Previous owners

  • Wellcome Historical Medical Museum

    Owned from: 1932-09-27
    How acquired: gift
    Owned until: 1951
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Glendining and Co Ltd

    Owned from: 1932-09-27
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1932-09-27
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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