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Okvik Head

OBS I, Alaska

Okvik, Old Bering Sea I

Archaic Eskimo

Marine ivory

200 B.C. – 100 A.D.

Height: 2 ½ in. (6.5 cm)

Excavated circa 1983-1984

Ex collection Edmund Carpenter (De Menil)

Published: The American Dream

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 size, its refinement and in the extreme stylization of the features.
Delicate facial marks grace the forehead and underline the eyebrows. 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, 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 is a timeless, universal masterpiece.