A fine and rare Tlingit shaman's rattle
Lot 1048
A fine and rare Tlingit shaman's rattle
Sold for US$ 149,250 inc. premium
Lot Details
Property of various owners
A fine and rare Tlingit shaman's rattle
Carved in two sections and tied at the sides to contain rattle pellets, hide cords bind the handle, worked with a pair of animal heads, each in profile, their open mouths with protruding tongues joined, possibly representing land otters, or perhaps mountain goats, a single horn-like appendage protruding at the back of each head, one lined with devilfish tentacles, each finished with crab pinchers, twin formline designs painted in black and red on the body, remains of red and green-blue pigments on the faces.
length 9 1/2in
See illustration


  • Collected in the 1870's by George Thomas Bynner, great-grandfather to the present owner. He was a Captain of the 7th Regiment out of New York City and a surveyor for the Northern Pacific Railroad. He traveled out West working in 1872, sometime later returning to his home in Chicago with the rattle. Bynner's only daughter, Edith, inherited the piece and kept it hanging for many years on a hook from a shelf in her living room. After her death, at 106 years of age, the rattle descended to her grand-daughter, the present owner.