Tom Hurst has collected Tribal Art from a young age, passionate and focused he has an eclectic collection with many of his pieces attached to historically important provenances.
A Senufo champion cultivator staff
First half of 20th Century
Ex Michel Koenig, Brussels. Pendarell (Pen) Kent
The staff was the prize in a competition undertaken by the young men in the Senufo tribe, presented to whoever could outwork the rest of the competitors, swinging a hoe to the beat of a drum. The winner would not only win the staff but also the promise of a beautiful wife which the staff represents.This would later, on his death, be placed beside his grave to guard his spirit.
A Chokwe prestige Sceptre
Janus head figures. Early 20th Century. 62cm long.
A Rurutu Island spear club (Tao)
Austral Islands. Carved from ra'au (hardwood)
Ex Captain Robert E Donneley collection 277.5cm long
A Tongan Apa’apai (coconut stalk) club
Having three sides of finely carved decoration
An Elema gope board
Having red and black pigments and a central ancestor mask.
Papuan Gulf. Papua New Guinea.
Late 19th C.
Ex Malcolm Davidson, Melbourne. 194.5cm long.
Gope boards are used to guard against evil spirits, sickness and death and are often carved from the enemy’s boats. They are consulted before a battle on which tribe to attack and they are thought to sap all the enemy’s strength. Warriors are awarded these for acts of bravery in battle.