20 Feb 2012

Rare Cooks artefact fetches well above estimate at auction

2:43 pm on 20 February 2012

A rare centuries' old artefact from the Cook Islands has achieved well above its estimated sale price at an art auction in the United States.

The Atiu pole-club or akatara was the highlight of the San Francisco sale, the first devoted to Oceanic art by auction house Bonhams.

The two metre high ceremonial piece was expected to fetch one hundred thousand dollars and went under the hammer for 146 thousand five hundred dollars.

A rare shield from Papua New Guinea fetched more than 10 thousand six hundred dollars.

A spokesman for Bonhams says many of the 150 pieces went to first-time bidders showing good demand for oceanic art.