The Osborne Collection: To Begin, A Biography

Carolyn and Dr. Douglas Osborne, 1968 passport photographsImages courtesy of Frieda Wray Tolúk Back In a previous blog post we showcased two rare tolúk currency pieces from the Osborne Collection which originates from the island country of Palau in southwest Micronesia. Though the post focused more on the objects than their provenance, the donation...

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Tolúk: Palauan Women’s Currency Trays

Woman's Valuables (Toluk), early to mid 20th CenturyPalau, MicronesiaTortoiseshell2019.17.32-.33Gift of Frieda O. Wray from the Estate of Dr. & Mrs. Douglas and Carolyn Osborne Have Tolúk and See Them The Bowers Museum recently acquired the Osborne Collection, an assemblage of objects originating from the island country of Palau—an archipelago ...

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Feathered Funds: Solomon Island Currency Rolls

Feathered Currency Roll (Tevau), late 19th-mid 20th CenturySanta Cruz Islands, Temotu Province, Solomon Islands, MelanesiaFeather, bark, shell, fiber, resin and bead; 6 x 15 5/8 x 16 3/4 in.2001.74.14Gift of Mr. William Moran Red the Feather that Coils With the Bowers Museum’s recently opened Dimensions of Form: Tamayo and Mixografía, many visitors...

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Shell to Pay: Boiken Wamayuwa and Weingga

Shell Currency (Wamayuwa), 19th CenturyYangoru Boiken culture; Prince Alexander Mountains, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea, MelanesiaShell (tridacna gigas); 9 7/8 x 8 ¼ in.2018.13.63Gift of Anne and Long Shung Shih All the Money in the World The Bowers Blog has spent a great deal of time exploring currency in its myriad shapes and sizes. From...

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Manilla Portfolio: West African Worn Currency

Manillas, 19th CenturyUnknown Manufacturer; probably Birmingham, EnglandLeaded brass; Various Dimensions2003.43.72-.79Anonymous Gift Who wants to be a Manillionaire? Some might like to make a grand show of wealth, but along the cost of West Africa, one could literally wear their net worth on their sleeve up until the mid 20th Century. At least unti...

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Hefty Sum: Central African Throwing Knife Currency

Throwing Knife, 19th CenturyKapsiki culture; Cameroon or NigeriaIron, rubber and cloth; 24 1/8 x 5 3/8 in.2003.43.91Anonymous GiftThrowing Knife (Ngwolo), 19th CenturyNgombe culture; Democratic Republic of the CongoIron, wood; 19 3/8 x 12 1/2 in.2003.43.92Anonymous GiftThrowing Knife (Sengese), 19th CenturyMafa culture; Cameroon or NigeriaIron, fib...

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Perfect Rings: Dimbo of Cenderawasih Bay

Glass Earrings (Dimbo), 19th CenturyWaropen culture; Cenderawasih (Geelvink) Bay, Papua Province, Indonesia, MelanesiaGlass2017.8.1-.5Bowers Museum PurchaseThough we may think of it now as an isolated, inaccessible part of the world, New Guinea has always been rich in organic and mineral resources; the peoples of its coasts welcome partners to comm...

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