Inuit and First Nations Art

November 2530, 2023
Auction begins to close at 7:00 pm ET

Online Auction
LOT 123

Lot 123

Unidentified Artist

Unidentified Artist
Lot 123 Details
Unidentified Artist, Tlingit


sheep horn, mountain goat horn, abalone, copper rivets
accompanied by metal stand
13 x 3.5 x 9.5 in — 33 x 8.9 x 24.1 cm

Estimate $3,000-$4,000

Realised: $2,952
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report

Additional Images
Unidentified Artist
  • Unidentified Artist
  • Unidentified Artist
  • Unidentified Artist
  • Unidentified Artist
  • Unidentified Artist

Private Collection, British Columbia


The Tlingit and their neighbours–including the Haida–historically used ladles to transfer food from huge serving bowls to smaller, individual bowls, from which a single person ate using a spoon. Most, if not all large historic feast ladles were made for people at the top of the hierarchical Tlingit society, a society in which material wealth was closely tied to status.

Often elaborately decorated on their handles and sometimes, as in the present example, on their bowls, large decorated ladles demonstrated the wealth and prestige of their owners, and documented important stories that were their prerogative to display.

The present ladle is embellished on each of its constituent parts and includes both incised and deeply-cut three-dimensional designs. The materials from which the ladle is made, horn of mountain goat and dall sheep, copper, and abalone, are from a diverse range of origins, and some would have been acquired with great difficulty and expense, heightening its value.

Anne-Marie Victor-Howe, Feeding the Ancestors: Tlingit Carved Horn Spoons, (Cambridge: Peabody Museum Press, 2007)


Overall very good condition. Minor imperfections commensurate with age.

Please contact the specialist for further condition information.

LOT 123

About Condition Ratings

  • 5 Stars: Excellent - No discernable damage, flaws or imperfections
  • 4 Stars: Very Good - Minor flaws or imperfections visible only under close inspection using specialised instruments or black light
  • 3 Stars: Good - Minor flaws visible upon inspection under standard lighting
  • 2 Stars: Fair - Exhibits flaws or damage that may draw the eye under standard lighting
  • 1 Star: Poor - Flaws or damage immediately apparent under standard lighting (examples: missing components, rips, broken glass, damaged surfaces, etc.)

Note: Condition ratings and condition details are the subjective opinions of our specialists and should be used as a guide only. Waddington’s uses due care when preparing condition details, however, our staff are not professional restorers or conservators. Condition details and reports are not warranties and each lot is sold “as is” in accordance with the buyer’s terms and conditions of sale. In all cases the prospective purchaser is responsible for inspecting the property themselves prior to placing a bid.