Gulf of Alaska
Inuit necklace and earrings
Glass beads, shells, hide
Height of the necklace : 9 in. (23 cm)
Height of the earrings: 5 ½ in. (14 cm)
Ex collection George Terasaki, New York
Eskimo peoples of the Pacific coast (Gulf of Alaska) were, along with the Aleut, among the earliest peoples of the region to participate in the fur trade. Consequently, they were exposed at a relatively early date to trade materials.
These ornaments are made largely of exotic materials: the beads originated in Venice, the dentalium shells in Puget Sound. Only the leather, sinew, and marine ivory hooks are of indigenous origin. The display of such ornaments added to the prestige of the wearer.
These delicate ornaments formerly belonged to George Terasaki (1931-2010), a passionate New York collector and prominent dealer in the ancient arts of North America.