An Exceptional Tlingit Rattle

AN EXCEPTIONAL TLINGIT RATTLE
Carved in the form of an oystercatcher, constructed of two hollowed sections lashed together with hide thongs, the bird with gracefully curving neck and inset shell eyes, the wings indicated in formline relief at the underside, framing closely tucked web feet and pronounced cloaca, the head of a mountain goat situated on the back, its lengthy tongue extending behind, grasped with both hands by a recumbent human figure, opposite a pair of diminutive figures lying supine and clutching the animal’s backswept horns, devilfish tentacles carved below them at the sides, all with inset shell eyes, a series of small perforations (possibly for the insertion of hair) between the figures, similarly found underneath at either side of the cloaca, “1788” inscribed in white pigment on the side of the rattle, “:A7674” at the end of the handle, the separately carved beak a later replacement.
length 12 1/2in

Bonhams
Live Auction

Native American Art

Start: Aug 31, 2020 11:00 PDT