Mamuli Heirloom Ornament, Sumba, 19th century, gold, 2.75 x 2.25 in. (7 x 5.7 cm.), 38.8 grams
Winter Bruneaf 2022, Thomas Murray Asiatica/Ethnographica
Online exhibition, February 16-20, 2022
This week Thomas Murray is participating in the prestigious Winter Bruneaf for non-European art in Brussels with an online exhibition. This biannual fair was established in 1988 and is one of the leading gatherings for specialists and galleries in Tribal Art. This season's show, which includes 28 galleries from Europe and the United States, features a wide array of Asian, Indonesian, African, Pre-Columbian, and Aboriginal Australian sculptures, masks, jewelry, coins, and other ritual or domestic treasures.
Among the selections of art works presented by Thomas Murray is this exceptional gold ornament from Sumba, an island in eastern Indonesia. In the shape of the characteristic omega form, which has been interpreted to represent the female genitalia and thereby reference fertility, it is balanced with “male” goats, which stand in profile at the base and bring about a cosmic harmony, even while symbolizing wealth and prestige. This exceptionally rare and important Goat Mamuli is possibly the companion to the related Goat Mamuli in the Metropolitan Museum of New York.
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