Rue des Minimes, 29 – 1000 Bruxelles
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Patrick & Ondine Mestdagh

Located in the heart of the Sablon, the antiques district of Brussels, the gallery spans three floors in a contemporary atmosphere designed by the talented Belgian designer Charles Kaisin.

Passionate collectors, Patrick and Ondine Mestdagh present an extraordinary selection of objects from outside Europe.

Breat pendant, hei-tiki, in Inanga nephrite, New Zealand, 18th century

Breat pendant, hei-tiki, in Inanga nephrite

New Zealand
18th century


This is an example of the rarer form of hei-tiki.

This other basic form of hei-tiki is much rarer, appearing perhaps about once in every ten examples.

Here the figure is also full-frontal but sometimes with an asymmetrical twist to the body and even one shoulder may be slightly raised.

One hand is always raised to the chest or occasionally the mouth, with the other on a hip, generally both with three large fingers and a spur thumb clearly outlined.

Heads are markedly inclined either way on a narrower neck.

This form is usually made from a relatively thin piece of nephrite, with small shallow eyes, low relief body mould-ing, sharp thin edges and a flat back.

Projecting ears and elbows are often present and the suspension hole is frequently large and prominent, passing straight through the front of the head.

Inanga or light green nephrite is clearly the preferred stone for this basic