An exceptional Tlingit rattle

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Lot 76
An exceptional Tlingit rattle

Sold for US$ 175,075 inc. premium

Native American Art

31 Aug 2020, 11:00 PDT

Los Angeles

Property of Various Owners, lots 72-76
An exceptional Tlingit rattle
Carved in the form of an oystercatcher, constructed of two hollowed sections lashed together with hide thongs, the bird with gracefully curving neck and inset shell eyes, the wings indicated in formline relief at the underside, framing closely tucked web feet and pronounced cloaca, the head of a mountain goat situated on the back, its lengthy tongue extending behind, grasped with both hands by a recumbent human figure, opposite a pair of diminutive figures lying supine and clutching the animal's backswept horns, devilfish tentacles carved below them at the sides, all with inset shell eyes, a series of small perforations (possibly for the insertion of hair) between the figures, similarly found underneath at either side of the cloaca, "1788" inscribed in white pigment on the side of the rattle, ":A7674" at the end of the handle, the separately carved beak a later replacement.
length 12 1/2in

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Russian America Company Museum, Sitka, possibly collected by Ilya G. Voznesensky, 1839-1849
    Captain Edward G. Fast (U.S. Army), acquired while stationed at Sitka, 1867-68
    Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, 1869
    Alan R. Sawyer, 1958
    Adelaide DeMenil and Edmund Carpenter, New York City, 1976,
    Sold at Sotheby's New York, December 1998, lot 442
    Fred and Mimi Boschan, Philadelphia, PA, 1998,
    Sold at Sotheby's New York, May 2006, lot 23

    Exhibited
    Galeries Nationales du Grande Palais, Paris, "La rime et la raison, Les collections Ménil (Houston - New York), deux générations de collectionneurs", April 17-July 30, 1984

    Illustrated
    Furst, Peter T. and Jill L., 1982, North American Indian Art, Rizzoli, p. 124, pl. 114
    Hopps, Walter and Mock, Jean-Yves, eds., 1984, La rime et la raison, les collections Ménil (Houston - New York), Editions de la Réunion des musées nationaux, Paris, p. 341, no. 199
    Wardwell, Allen, 1997, Tangible Visions, Monacelli Press, New York, p. 264, no. 402

    Note
    In an assessment of this rattle included in the 2006 Sotheby's catalog, written by Steve C. Brown, former Curator of Native American Art at the Seattle Art Museum, he observes: "The rounded and fluid style of this rattle is readily comparable to the style of painting on a large spruce-root hat that is now in the Peabody-Essex Museum, accessioned prior to 1830 {E-3647}. A similar balance of positive and negative forms exists in both these finely crafted paintings. The arched neck of the oystercatcher is particularly delicate and graceful in this example, and the abalone-shell inlaid eye is not a common feature."
Contacts
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
An exceptional Tlingit rattle
An exceptional Tlingit rattle
An exceptional Tlingit rattle
An exceptional Tlingit rattle
An exceptional Tlingit rattle
An exceptional Tlingit rattle
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