Spoon

North America | Canada

Spoon

Canada

Northwest Coast

Copper alloy

19th century
Length: 7 ¼ in. (18.5 cm)

Ex collection Jean-Pierre Laprugne, Paris
Ex private collection, Paris, acquired from the above

Northwest Coast metal spoon 18.5 cm / Galerie Flak Price on request
This is a rare and unusual example of a carved metal spoon with a bird's head. In the Northwest Coast of Canada, spoons were reserved for formal occasions, including the ceremony of feasting, gifting, and mourning known as "potlatch". As stated by the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University ("Feeding the Ancestors" exhibition), eating was a potent physical and spiritual act. As participants feasted, ancestral beings on spoon handles were nourished and honored.
Carved spoons depict supernatural and ancestral beings, natural phenomena, and animal and human characters. Each intricate handle manifests inherited stories through nested crests and figures.
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