Gilbert Island shark tooth sword, 19th/ earlier 20th century
Rare Shark-tooth Sword, the long carved shaft with carefully mounted double row of shark’s teeth secured in place by a masterful arrangement of coconut fibre cord.
19th or earlier 20th century
Excellent condition with minor signs of age, mounted on a bespoke metal & wood stand.
The Gilbert Islands were named after Thomas Gilbert, a British Captain who visited them in 1788. During the 19th century they were known as the Kingsmill Isles, when they became a British protectorate. They have a unique material culture in the Pacific, having ‘suits of armour’ made of woven cane, and these ferocious shark-tooth swords.