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A Maori spear or harpoon

Museum number: M607

Curatorial note

The Museum's 1837 inventories describe this object as a 'grotesque staff about 7 feet tall' with one of them adding that it was the 'walking stick of Guy of Warwick'.

This indication that John Soane did not know the precise origin of this wonderful object is intriguing. It implies that he obtained it second or third hand.

Such a piece must surely be associated with the collections brought back to England from New Zealand by the explorer Captain James Cook.


If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: worksofart@soane.org.uk