Description & Technical information

A large and well-carved ladder from the main entrance of a Mens House. Representing an elongated and highly stylized crocodile, the ladder has seven, deeply carved, steps between the powerfully carved ancestral head at the base and the zoomorphic head at the top. Watam village, Lower Sepik, PNG. Wood (alstonia ?) with a good patina of age and wear with some lacunae. 

Period:  Early to mid 20th century
Dimensions: 253 cm (99⁵/₈ inches)
Provenance: Field collected by the anthropologist Pietro Agnolotto and acquired in 1991 from Ian Thompson, Brisbane along with N° 2, pp. 16/17 in OCEANIA N°12. "SEPIK", Galerie Meyer, 1992. See another slightly smaller example at the Davis Museum at Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA (object number 1980.66) and another was previously in the Helen and Mace Neufeld Collection, New York.