An exceptional Tlingit rattle

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Lot 394Y
An exceptional Tlingit rattle
Sold for US$ 504,500 inc. premium

Native American Art

11 Dec 2018, 11:00 PST

Los Angeles

Lot Details
An exceptional Tlingit rattle An exceptional Tlingit rattle An exceptional Tlingit rattle An exceptional Tlingit rattle An exceptional Tlingit rattle An exceptional Tlingit rattle An exceptional Tlingit rattle
An exceptional Tlingit rattle
Attributed to Kadjisdu.axch, Old Wrangell, c. 1770-1790, constructed of two halves, carved in the form of an oystercatcher with gracefully curving neck, the bill separately carved of walrus ivory, a bear mother situated on the bird's back, a diminutive eagle emerging from between her ears, two humans and a bear-headed humanoid suckle at one flank, a wolf crouches on the other, the wolf and she-bear linked by a salmon clutched in their mouths, the wolf's tail arcing over a rotund humanoid visage, the underside carved to depict a hawk, the oystercatcher's feet tucked in below, minor restoration.
length 12 5/8in

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Collected by Dr. Hugh S. Wyman (1858-1913), thence through the family. Acquired from a descendant by the vendor, part of a collection of Native American artifacts assembled by Dr. Hugh S. Wyman and his brother, Dr. Hal C. Wyman.

    In 1884, Hugh S. Wyman was serving as Assistant Surgeon aboard the U.S.S. Pinta, stationed in Sitka, along with fellow officer and noted ethnographer George T. Emmons. After resigning his Navy commission in 1885, Wyman remained in Alaska until 1899, residing on Douglas Island and Juneau before moving his practice to Olympia, Washington.

    The attribution to Kadjisdu.axch comes from Steve C. Brown, former Curator of Native American Art at the Seattle Art Museum. "The greatest carver of wood in the history of the Tlingit people", is how this eighteenth century artist was described by Tlingit scholar Louis Shotridge, in a written narrative of his work on the Klukwan Whale House, transcribed c. 1917. In an expertise written following detailed physical examination of the rattle, Brown analyzes the stylistic features of the present lot in comparison to known works by Kadjisdu.axch, including the set of four houseposts he carved for the clan leader known as Chief Shakes, now displayed in the Wrangell Museum. Brown concludes that, along with other acclaimed objects carved by this celebrated artist (including several clan hats, one other oystercatcher rattle, a delicate bear mask [recently sold at auction], at least three bent-corner sculpted bowls, and another set of four houseposts), this outstanding example of his work aids in cementing Kadjisdu.axch longstanding reputation as the greatest carver of wood among the Tlingit people.

    Please refer to the department for a full copy of Steve Brown's expertise, along with documentation related to the provenance.
Activities
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