Breast plate made of trochus shell and sections of teeth of sperm whale, with cord of strips of coloured cotton for suspension. Structure: boss in shell edged with ivory (4 pieces & serrated), with central oranment (ivory & lunate), coloured cloth for suspension.
Macgregor, William Sir
Early: 1800 Late: 1888
Macgregor, William Sir
ivory whale.tooth shell cloth vegetable.fibre
L: 200 mm W: 218 mm
Breast Plates These two objects, each known as a civa vono vono in Fiji, was worn on ceremonial occasions as a sign of rank. No 3 is made of trochus shell, sperm whale tooth and cotton. Cotton was not grown in Fiji and would have been imported from abroad. No 4, is displayed from the back to show how it has been made with sections of sperm whale tooth sewn together with thread made from hibiscus bark. William Macgregor (1846-1919) served the British Colonial Office for 14 years in Fiji (1875-1888), primarily as Chief Medical Officer, but also holding offices such as Receiver-General, Colonial Secretary, Commissioner of Stamps and Acting Administrator. During the Neolithic in Britain, about 4000-2000 BC, accomplished flint knapping produced some highly finished items, such as arrowheads, knives, sickles and laurel leaf points. These, along with ground stone artifacts, were probably objects denoting high social status. This is a large and very competently-made round based, laurel leaf-shaped point made in grey flint. It is made on a flake and shaped by pressure flaking, leaving shallow flake scars over the surface. The edges have been sharpened by flat invasive retouch. The point was found in the Bog of Fintray along with other flint tools made mostly from a similar flint and also well made. The flint may come from outwith the Aberdeenshire area and the collection may indicate contacts with communities further south in Britain. This bronze socketed axe-head is part of a collection of bronzes donated to Marischal Museum, Aberdeen in July 1984. The donation included the donor's great-grandfather William Joyner's original collection of the Dingwall hoard of bronzes taken by him to Natal, South Africa in 1851 and two other bronzes. The hoard comprises two socketed axes, a sunflower pin-head and a rare neck-ring, all dating from the later Bronze Age, 1100-700BC and found together near Dingwall in the early 19th century. The two other bronzes became associated with the collection while in Africa and are probably of African origin. The hoard is of particular importance because it includes an example of a Bronze Age neck-ring, only two of which were previously known from Scotland. During the prehistoric period collections of metal or stone items, often of value to the community or individuals, were buried or deposited in wet places. Axeheads, swords, halberds and ornaments are often found in these hoards. The type of artefact found in a hoard is probably not typical of everyday objects. However, the associations of different objects can help to establish the dates of artefact types.