Rare flute hits right note

A Putorino bugle fluteA Putorino bugle fluteA Putorino bugle flute sold at John Nicholson’s Auctioneers today for a total £173,600. The Maori wood flute, carved with heads, the eyes mother-of-pearl measures 19ins long and is a fine example. John Nicholson’s Auctioneers in Fernhurst, West Sussex auctioned the rare object as part of their Fine Antique sale. The buyer was from Paris via the internet.

Despite their seemingly limited use as musical instruments, Putorino were highly valued, judging by the richness and great refinement of their ornamental sculpture. The lack of documentation dating back to the early times where they were still used makes their interpretation uncertain. It is believed that this type of instrument was used to announce the return of a chief to his village.

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