Buton Island, off the south east coast of Sulawesi. is the former capital of the Sultan of Wolio, who ruled Buton and the nearby islands of Muna, Kabaena, Wowini and Tukangbesi. These rare Butonese fishing rod rests, usualy fixed parallel to the prow in pairs, providing a support for the rods in transit to the fishing ground and are part of the original island culture, and are found nowhere else in Indonesia .
This old and well used example is carved in the form of a fighting cock. I have not seen many of these rare artefacts, but those I have seen have all been carved as birds, a form that fits the upswept shape. It is painted in trade paints (as are the boats themselves) and has an old and weathered patina. The dimensions are 33 x 18 cm / 13 x 7 inches. The saddle is supplied on a simple display stand.