A rare Chinook or Quinault bone comb

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Lot 2082
A rare Chinook or Quinault bone comb

Sold for US$ 9,760 inc. premium
Property of various owners
A rare Chinook or Quinault bone comb
Carved and pierced from a single piece, showing a central standing human figure, open block "windows" to either side, a pair of confronting otters overhead, a band of incised stripes over the tines, circle-dot decoration added on the front and back.
length 5in, width 2 3/4in

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Purchased in recent years as part of an old collection of combs sold in a small East Coast auction

    Cf:
    Vincent, Brydon and Coe, editors, 2000, p. 308, ill. T152
    Referring to an example in the Thaw collection: "Examples of very early southern Coast Salish artwork are quite rare in museum and private collections today...Salish societies hold the belief that images represent personal power acquired through guardian spirits, and that power is diluted by the overexposure of its source...Partly as a consequence, the number of highly decorated Salish pieces are few and their images rather cryptic...The figure's front is undecorated except for two nucleated circles which mark the heart and navel power points of the man's spirit. Circles also accent the shoulder and hip joints and the heart or belly of two animal images that form a delicate finial to the piece. This use of circles in Salishan art as power points or body joints appears to be drawn from an ancient human tradition that lies at the heart of all Northwest Coast-style graphics and is the essence of the structure around which the northern Northwest Coast formline tradition developed..."
Contacts
A rare Chinook or Quinault bone comb
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