A plaque which features a caricatured Maori face with a moko which has been carved from Kauri gum and mounted on a varnished wooden base. The moko, hair and eyes have been painted and the remainder of the face is unpainted Kauri gum. A metal eye is screwed into the top of the base.
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Producing varnish for the American market may have been the basis of New Zealand’s kauri gum industry but many chunks of gum went on to grace Kiwi living rooms instead.
This kauri gum plaque, that could be considered a kitsch Kiwiana classic, shows the versatility of the gum which could be chiselled, moulded or polished to suit. It is mounted on a polished wooden base and is designed to be hung on a wall using a small loop at the top.The original artist and history of the plaque is unknown but its crude, caricatured features seem to have fallen out of favour with its original owner as it fetched only $2 at a Devon Intermediate School gala day some years ago.
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