About this object

A wooden flute with fibre binding at each end, and one end thicker than the other. There is a hole in the front, about a third of the way down from the thicker end, which forms the mouth of the humanoid face carved around it. The shell-inlaid eyes have serrated outer edges and central wooden pegs. The flute is hollow, but the aperture at the narrower end is very small. It appears to have been made in two sections, joined together. The wood surface is very smooth.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Music/sound; Fake
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Oceania: Polynesia: New Zealand
  • Date made
    1931 before
  • Materials
    Wood; Abalone (Haliotis sp); Technique: Carved, inlaid
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of the Trustees of the Wellcome Collection
  • Collector
  • Place collected
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    5.0 x 4.5 x 49.0 cm
  • Note
    Purchased by the Welcome Historical Medical Museum at Stevens Auction and Sales Rooms on 22 July 1931, Lot 410/21 (Mr Stow). The style indicates that this is a fake, or was made as a souvenir, possibly by the forger Edward Little.
  • Related people
    J C Stevens ( Previous owner); Wellcome Historical Medical Museum ( Previous owner)


Previous owners

  • Wellcome Historical Medical Museum

    Owned from: 1931-07-22
    How acquired: Gift
    Owned until: 1951
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • J C Stevens

    Owned from: 1931-07-22
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1931-07-22
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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