SCR12 - Eskimo Lidded Box. 

This older Eskimo lidded box is made from the base of a large Walrus tusk, with top and bottom fashioned from additional walrus ivory.  The bottom is fastened with both sinew and iron brads—the iron dating it to the historical era.  But the patina and decoration are old, and the piece probably dates to the early 1800s if not before.  The box stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has a width of nearly 3 inches and a thickness  of 1 ¾ inches.  The bottom ivory piece is nailed and sinew lashed to the base of the box, while the ivory top is lashed down by an internal sealskin leather thong that is fastened to one side, and runs in a tunnel drilled through the thickness of the lid and then passes through the opposite side wall where it emerges to be pulled taut and then tied to hold the lid on tightly.  The body of the box is decorated with two parallel circumferential lines cut and pigmented around the box, and each side has another pair of lines that reach upward toward the box top.  The top has four arrows (harpoons) pointed to the center from each side, and in the middle there is set a pale blue stone (probably glass) that is ½ inch long and 3/8 inch wide.  A very similar box, slightly larger, made of bone with wood top and bottom, and no ornamentation is in the Smithsonian Collection (Cat. No. 60/1265) and was collected from Port Clarence in 1899.  This one is far better.  The size of the tusk speaks to its likely western Arctic origin, rather than the eastern Arctic where the Walrus generally have smaller tusks.  This box might have been used to store tobacco, snuff, game pieces, or more likely charred fungus (tinder).  Fine.



Price -  $910.00



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