Regal Adornments from the Oceans of the South Pacific

Experience the rarity and traditions of Polynesian jewelry—with Patrick & Ondine Mestdagh

Thursday, March 16

2PM – 2.30PM CET

Stand 703, MECC Maastricht

Register to attend


This Polynesian Adornment (19th century) is a magnificent and rare composite breastplate, made of sperm whale, tooth, and black lip pearl oyster fixed with metal. Called civavonovono, these breastplates were an important royal adornment worn by Fijian chiefs. Whales were considered divine, and the use of sacred materials in rituals reinforced their power and legitimated their rule.

These breastplates were suspended from the neck by a pair of strings fastened to shell, and tied at the nape of the wearer's neck. Another cord which ran across the back of the breastplate was passed round the wearer's torso to be tied behind the back, so that the breastplate held in place against the chest during ceremonial dances or when worn during combat.

TEFAF Meet the Experts programs celebrate the expertise of our world-renowned exhibitors, spotlighting exceptional objects and the stories they tell across categories and 7,000 years of history.

Location & Access

TEFAF Meet the Experts programs are hosted at exhibitors’ stands at TEFAF Maastricht. Please note that TEFAF Programming is free with a valid ticket to TEFAF Maastricht and seating is limited.

For questions about registration contact:
[email protected]