Inuit and First Nations Art

Auction begins to close:
November 30, 2023 at 7:00 pm ET

Online Auction
LOT 124

Lot 124

Unidentified Artist

Unidentified Artist
Lot 124 Details
Unidentified Artist, Nuu-chah-nulth


wood, brass, pebbles, paint
a historic label affixed to the underside of the rattle reads: "H Stadthagen The Indian Trader 79 Johnson St. Victoria BC"; accompanied by steel display stand
subject 3.75 x 5.5 x 9.5 in — 9.5 x 14 x 24.1 cm

Estimate $3,500-$4,500

Lot Report

Additional Images
Unidentified Artist
  • Unidentified Artist
  • Unidentified Artist
  • Unidentified Artist
  • Unidentified Artist
  • 3D Image

Henry Stadthagen, Victoria, BC;
Private Collection, Vancouver, BC;
Private Collection, Toronto, ON


The form of this rattle is likely intended to evoke a petrel or other diving bird. Throughout the mythology of the peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast, diving birds feature prominently as intermediary creatures, communicating between human travellers on water and the water's deep-sea occupants. Among the whale-hunting Nuu-chah-nulth, diving bird figuration is particularly common.

This rattle features the unusual inclusion of an ovular panel of salvaged brass, contoured to form the abdomen of the bird. The brass panel amplifies the sound of the colliding pebbles inside the rattle when it is shaken.

Affixed to the underside of the rattle is a historic label from the Victoria, British Columbia curio shop of Henry Stadthagen. Stadthagen purchased objects directly from Nuu-chah-nulth craftspeople, as well as from owners of objects which may already have been old at the time of their acquisition by Stadthagen. Today, many prominent public and private collections of Northwest Coast art have objects which passed through Stadthagen's well known shop.

Related Works:
Seahawk Auctions, British Columbia, 21 Nov 2010, lot 108 (hammer price: 7,000 USD)
Canadian Museum of History, cat. No.VII-F-1051
National Museum of the American Indian, cat. No.11/3459


Overall very good condition. Minor imperfections commensurate with age, or inherent in sculpture.

Please contact the specialist for further condition information.

LOT 124

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.