SCR18 - Eskimo Carved Whale Tooth Tray with 2 Polar Bears

Probably a 1950s era carving made by an Eskimo carver for the Alaskan tourist trade, this very interesting piece uses as a base, a longitudinal section of a Sperm Whale tooth that was about inches long.  The section shows in very nice detail the internal nodules or “pearls” that define Sperm Whale Ivory.  This feature alone makes it a great teaching or conversation piece.  The bottom side is flattened to provide a stable base.  The top has its exposed interior surface of the tooth hollowed out to make a pin tray, or perhaps a small ash tray.  The central depression merges with the natural pulp cavity of the tooth.  On either side of the pulp cavity two small polar bears are pinned to the tooth.  The bears appear also to be carved of Sperm Whale ivory, and despite their small size (1” long and 1” high) they are carved with amazing detail, with small ears, and snarling mouths having exposed tiny teeth.  The mouths, eyes, and claws on the front feet are delineated with black pigment.  There is a “hang” hole in front of the central depression that may have anchored another figure, but that perhaps missing piece does not detract from this wonderful and informative carving.  There is small chip missing from one of the bear’s hind legs, but this is not obvious.  Good+




Price -   $225.00

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