Perfect Number 1 Santa Cruz Feather Coil!

Currency:USD Category:Coins & Paper Money Start Price:5,000.00 USD Estimated At:NA
Perfect Number 1 Santa Cruz Feather Coil!
11,500.00USD+ (2,300.00) buyer's premium + applicable fees & taxes.
This item SOLD at 2021 Mar 15 @ 16:53UTC-8 : PST/AKDT
Lot: 4094
Title: Perfect Number 1 Santa Cruz Feather Coil!
Description: For over a century, the only money used in the Santa Cruz Islands consisted of long, wide coils of glued-together bird feathers. Reportedly invented in the mid-1860s, red-feather money was used to pay a fine for murder as early as 1871. By 2000 it was no longer being made, though it was still used as a standard of value for bride price. Each coil was made on order and required the efforts of three men: one to snare 300 scarlet honey eater birds and pluck their red feathers; another to shoot pigeons with bow and arrow, glue their feathers into a platelet, and trim them with the red feathers; and a third to bind each of 1,500 red-tipped platelets onto two cords of bark fiber such that they overlapped, so that the whole 30-foot coil seemed to be composed entirely of red feathers. A single coil took up to 600 man-hours of work.

The red color fades with time, causing the coil to depreciate as it deteriorates. When completely colorless it is worthless and is discarded. But the value of a coil increases geometrically from the least valuable to the newest and best. Bride price is always set at 10 coils, one of each quality, with the most valuable at the bottom of the pile and the least at the top, each coil being worth double that of the one above. This feather coil is a number 1, with 1 being the very best and 10 being the poorest. See Opitz, p. 142.

Low Estimate: 12000
High Estimate: 25000
Pedigree Collection: Mine is the best as the coil went directly from the makers to my contact who immediately sent it to me. On a coin scale this is a MS-70. It is bright red with no feathers damaged and everything as made.