Item ESK2 - Eskimo Snow Knife.  Museum Quality


An absolute prize, this larger snow knife was fashioned by an Inupiaq or Inuit, from whale skeletal bone probably obtained from drift skeletal material from a Bowhead whale no later than the 19th Century.  The tool, overall, is 21 inches long, with a greatest depth of 2 ¼ inches and a thickness of up to ¼ inch.  The blade is 13 ½ inches long and is constricted to hand hold that is wrapped with old woven textile, wrapped with leather, and expands at the rear to a pointed hilt likely used to tamp snow into chinks between the snow blocks cut for igloo construction.  Only one side of the blade is “sharpened.”  This was an essential tool for Eskimos in the western Arctic, and Inuits in the eastern Arctic for preparing snow houses while on hunting trips or when migrating.  It is interesting that the leather binding of the handle is not seal or caribou hide, but shows embossing that unmistakably marks it has having been salvaged from an old leather-bound book!  This is a great piece!  Fine.





Price -  $800.00

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