Object Record

Collection World Cultures Collection
Catalogue Number 1981.551
Date 19th Century
Object Name Clubhead
Description A nineteenth century stone club head with a flat head design from the south coast of Papua New Guinea.

This object was collected by David M. Ballantyne who was born in 1868, the third son of the Gourock draper John Ballantyne. D.M. Ballantyne had decided to seek his fortune beyond Scotland and by the 1880s he was working at Sudest Island in a store. In 1889 there was a gold rush on the island and, on the recommendation of the Resident Magistrate for the Eastern District, Sir William Macgregor, he was appointed as Sub-Collector of Customs at Samarai. His success in this post led to him becoming Acting Treasurer in 1892 and then Treasurer in 1893. As Treasurer he was also served on the Legislative Council and the Executive Council. Ballantine was often at odds with his superiors and when the governance of the British colony came under scrutiny he was the subject of criticism. The 1907 Royal Commission said of him that he was "a prominent example of an officer, who was recruited locally to the Service in the "early days," and who, without having had any special training or experience in such proper methods of working as would fit him for the important offices he holds, has nevertheless (to his credit, be it said) by natural ability and the possession of forceful characteristics, denoting strong will power, worked himself to the front, and it is to be deplored that he has been unable, in his later years, to withstand the growth of arrogance, and of a habit of indulgence in other directions that coupled with a mischievous misuse of the influence he has attained to, have marred his more recent career." David Ballantine subsequently lost his official appointments and died at Sogeri, Port Moresby, Papua on 18th June 1909.
Dimensions W-7.3 L-8.8 cm
Place of Origin South Coast/Papua New Guinea/Melanesia
Material Stone
Acquisition David M. Ballantine Collection (Gift of Mrs. Ballantine) 1911