Inuit Jewelry

North America | Gulf of Alaska

Inuit Jewelry

Gulf of Alaska

Inuit necklace and earrings

Glass beads, shells, hide
19th century
Height of the necklace : 9 in. (23 cm)
Height of the earrings: 5 ½ in. (14 cm)

Ex collection George Terasaki, New York

Necklace and earrings Alaska ex coll Terasaki / Galerie Flak Price on request
Earrings and necklaces such as these were worn by women of the Kenai Peninsula in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
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.

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