A94_703_b.jpg Tekoteko. James Little. Collection of Puke Ariki (A94.703).

Between 1908 and 1919 New Plymouth collector W.H. Skinner purchased a number of Māori artefacts from British curio dealer, James Edward Little. Among those that Skinner obtained from Little were, what turned out to be, 18 fake artefacts. Little was also a furniture restorer so he had a good knowledge of timber and, more importantly, how to age it. Skinner was warned by colleagues in 1910 that some of the material coming from Little was dubious but he continued to purchase items from him.

This carved figure is a good example of the type of work Little was producing (he used items on display in British museums for inspiration) and in particular his characteristic spiral. The Puke Ariki Heritage Collection of Little fakes is the largest single collection of his work that is known. 

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