Harpoon head


Ekven Culture
Old Bering Sea II
Archaic Eskimo

Carved walrus tooth
200-500 A.D.
Length : 10.5 cm (4 ⅛ in.)

Ex collection Cleveland Museum of Natural History
Inv. : 43.2532
Deaccessioned from the museum collections early 2000s
Ex European private collection

Price: sold

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Archaic Eskimo art—whose oldest sculptures from the frozen permafrost go back nearly 2,500 years—conceals poetry, mystery and a power of evocation that are unique.
Stylization of features, alliance of naturalism and symbolism, sculptural finesse, sobriety and a hieratic quality—these are the key features characterizing this several thousand years old aesthetic style, whose parallels with modern art are striking.

Fascinating manifestos tracing the development of culture and survival in the environs of the North Pole, archaic Eskimo cultures have left an exceptional artistic legacy in the form of marine ivory sculptures of an incomparable expressivity.