Enquiry about object: 8960

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    Oceanic Cowrie & Sinnet Cord Necklace

    Pacific Islands
    early 20th century

    circumference: approximately 80cm, length of cowries: 6.5-7.8cm, weight: 309g

    Available Enquire


    private collection, UK

    This fine and very wearable Oceanic necklace comprises 20 sections of tiger cowrie (Cypraea tigris) shell strung on a natural fibre sinnet cord.

    Precisely which island in the Pacific the necklace is from is not clear. Necklaces of related form and strung on sinnet cord originate from Kiribati and Fiji for example.

    The tiger cowrie is a non-CITES listed species. It is found widely in the seas from the eastern coast of Africa to the waters of Micronesia and Polynesia, the Coral Sea and around the Philippines.

    The necklace is in excellent condition. Each segment of cowrie shell has age and patina derived from contact wear.


    Hooper, S., Pacific Encounters: Art & Divinity in Polynesia 1760-1860, The British Museum Press, 2006.

    Hooper,. S., Fiji: Art & Life in the Pacific, Sainsbury Research Unit for the Arts of Africa, Oceania & the Americas, 2016.

    Neich, R., & F. Pereira, Pacific Jewelry and Adornment, University of Hawai’i Press, 2004.

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