Estimate: $6,000 - $9,000
A contemporary stone tooled pounamu hei tiki by Matiu Bartlett, hand-worked in blue inanga pounamu, chin to left shoulder, hands clasped to thighs. H.100mm. Note: Matiu Bartlett is from Wairoa, Hawkes Bay and is a traditional stone worker making hei tiki with traditional stone tools drills and abrasive rubbing methods. He has been full time with this work since 2015 which has taken him internationally to give presentations on this lost art, techniques and working methods that have been used for centuries prior to electric hand tools that arrived in the mid-1900s This hei tiki has been worked with hoanga (sandstone rasps) that were laboriously shaped out using another piece of sandstone. Work on the tiki started in October 2020 and was completed on Jan 18th this year. The cord hole was drilled by tuwiri (stone tip drill) which took an hour to complete, the eyes are drilled by an albatross wing bone that is cut and attached to the tuwiri cord drill aided with sand and water. A three-ply twisted flax fibre ta toru cord was then added which was then dyed in tanekaha (celery pine) tree bark then rolled in fire ash to give it a rich dark brown-orange colour, an albatross wing bone toggle was then added to complete the cord. The stone used is the blue inanga jade which is found on the West Coast of the South Island which is Bartlett’s favourite stone to work. There are no others in the country applying and gathering the knowledge these of old working techniques due to the copious amount of time it takes to produce a finished piece.