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Lot 0157
Native American, Pacific Northwest Coast, Haida peoples, ca. first half of the 20th century CE. A fine example of an argillite totem, hand-carved to display a vertical profusion of animals stacked atop one another and flowing into each other through the use of similarly carved forms and motifs. This example is capped by a winged figure, perhaps a bat or a raven, and includes a human-faced frog, a large beaked head with an extended tongue, and an upside-down anthropomorphic figure with the beaked head's projecting tongue in its mouth. Each figure is carved as one with an integral platform and the totem stands easily on its own. Size: 4.375" W x 13.1" H (11.1 cm x 33.3 cm).

Argillite is a fine grained sedimentary rock that is essentially made of mud and ooze; it often has a smooth appearance like this example. In the 19th century, the Haida people began to carve this material as a trade good for visiting Europeans and Americans, because of the decline of their traditional economic practice of fishing. Items like this one served as a way to show their artistic merit and introduce some of their iconography to the outside world.

Provenance: private Newport Beach, California, USA collection

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Base repaired with minor adhesive residue along break line. Surface wear and abrasions commensurate with age, with some minor fading to surface color. Light earthen deposits within recessed areas. Old inventory sticker on base.

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Buyer's Premium

  • 24.5%

Early 20th C. Pacific Northwest Haida Argillite Totem

Estimate $250 - $350Jun 21, 2018
686 S. Taylor Avenue Suite 106
Louisville, CO 80027
United States
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