SCR18 - Old Eskimo Medallion/Ornament/Talisman/Toggle

I’ve looked at this for quite a while and still don’t understand its meaning or purpose.  The piece is carved from old walrus ivory that has become richly stained from long immersion in a frozen midden.  Probably it is from Saint Lawrence Island in the northern end of the Bering Sea and is likely hundreds of years old.  It is 3 inches long and about 7/8 inch across at its widest point.  It is flat on the back (with some scratches from use) and only about ¼ inch thick at the most.  It has a shape like a slight curved knife sheath, with a plain color and a raised rim at the top.  The object is carefully engraved with pairs of curved lines that parallel the curved shape of the piece and that converge to the bottom point.  The collar rim is also engraved with pairs of short points.  About midway along the sheath the straight (right) side is perforated near the edge with a very narrow slit about ¼ inch long, that was likely for sinew or a very thin hide strap to fasten the sheath to a hat or article of clothing, or perhaps as a toggle closure..  This “ornament” is in wonderful condition, probably pre-contact in its age, and is generally a very endearing object.  Fine


Price - $200.00

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