A Maori nephrite club, called a mere pounamu, and three stone adze blades have joined Exeter’s collections at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum.
The beautifully crafted items were accepted by HM Government in lieu of Inheritance Tax and allocated to RAMM at the suggestion of the former owners, who had enjoyed visiting RAMM’s World Cultures galleries.
The nephrite mere is a ceremonial object that would have been owned by someone with high status. Nephrite is the lesser known of the two forms of Jade. This mere pounamu is in much better condition than a similar but fragmented one in RAMM’s collection which can never be displayed.
When RAMM reopens next year, the new club will be displayed next to a similarly shaped warrior’s club made of more common greywacke, a variety of sandstone, in the Polynesian case in the World Cultures gallery.