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20th C. Whimsical Northwest Coast Halibut Hook- Octopus

Lot 0145
**Originally Listed At $300**

Native American, Pacific Northwest, Tlingit or Haida, ca. 1940s CE. A fine example of a hand-carved, decorated wooden halibut hook. The hook has a slingshot shape, with two arms that meet in a V and are held together with leather straps. One arm is carved into a whimsical octopus with a human-like face. Perhaps this is intended as a commentary on the diet of the halibut, which includes cephalopods - a playful lure, perhaps. A barb projects from inside of the undecorated arm. This hook style was designed to capture the correct size of halibut, who feed by opening their mouths wide. If the fish was too small, it will not be able to hook itself; if the fish was too large (and might capsize a small boat), it would put the entire hook in its mouth and not be barbed. Over time, hooks like these were replaced by non-wood technology, but they continued to be carved as pieces of art. Size: 12.25" W x 7.35" H (31.1 cm x 18.7 cm); 9" H (22.9 cm) on included custom stand.

Provenance: private Newport Beach, California, USA collection

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Slight patina on wood and leather with signs of wear commensurate with age.

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20th C. Whimsical Northwest Coast Halibut Hook- Octopus

Estimate $550 - $825Jul 30, 2018
Louisville, CO, USA