Comb

North America | Alaska

Comb

Alaska

Comb with two animal heads
Thule culture – Ancient Eskimo

1200– 1700 AD
Marine Ivory
Height: 6.5 cm – 2 ½ in.

Provenance
Ex collection Anthony JP Meyer, Paris
Ex collection Guy Porré & Nathalie Chaboche, acquired from the above

Zoomorphic Comb Thule 6.5 cm / Galerie Flak / Galerie Flak Price on request
In the Arctic, it was believed that decorated objects, through their beauty, attracted the prey and at the same time paid tribute to its spirit. As noted by the Princeton University Art Museum (see “Art of the Hunt”) the beautifully balanced and elegantly (…) functional tools (…) were incised with spirit images and designs that honored the animals the hunters sought.

This carving was first a utilitarian artefact: the comb was notably used in the preparation of bear fur and skins, as well as head ornament.
This ingenious utilitarian object is here elevated to the level of a work of fine art and takes on an eminently shamanic character.

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