Okvik head


Old Bering Sea I (Archaic Eskimo)
200 B.C. – 100 A.D.

Carved walrus tooth
Height: 1 ½ in. (4 cm)

Ex collection Trotta-Bono, New York
Ex private collection, Paris acquired from the above in 2011
Ex collection Guy Porré & Nathalie Chaboche, Brussels

Published: Voyages… From the North Pacific to the South Pacific in the wake of Captain Cook, 2019

Price: sold

America - Alaska
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This head, sculpted in a partially fossilized walrus tusk is quite exceptional in terms of its spare lines, its refinement and in the extreme stylization of the features. The way in which the features are stretched across the face confers a remarkable elegance and interiority to the sculpture, reminiscent of the art of Giacometti or of Brancusi.
The style is characteristic of the Okvik culture (Old Bering Sea I), an archaic civilization of the Arctic which developed on St. Lawrence Island in the southern Bering Strait in Alaska during the first millennium B.C.
A veritable giant in miniature, this hieratic head has a timeless, universal quality to it.