Lot 117. Maori Anthropomorphic Neck Pendant, New Zealand, hei tiki. Greenstone (pounamu), height 4 3/4in (12.1cm). Sold for US$ 31,250 (€27,390) inc. premium. Photo: Bonhams.
Extremely well carved with head turned to the left side with large circular eyes and mouth open revealing the tongue, the arms resting on the hips; pierced through at the top of the head for suspension, the hole showing much wear from extensive use; the surface finely worked into a smooth and lustrous finish.
Provenance: Private Collection, Scotland
Note: According to David Simmons (personal communication, November 2015), this hei tiki is "a very fine example made 18th century or earlier...probably made in Northland; early tiki there have their head in this slightly unusual upright position. I have thought thru [sic] the ones I know and on balance think it is as made in Northland, probably collected in the 18th to early 19th century when it was already old. The position of the tongue in the mouth gives the right to speak by chiefs."