Inuit and First Nations Art

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

Online Auction
LOT 171

Lot 171

Unidentified Artist

Unidentified Artist
Lot 171 Details
Unidentified Artist, Haida


argillite, bone
unsigned; old label affixed to underside with erroneous inscription reading: "Maori Stone Image / New Zealand / Carved Green"
8 x 3 x 2.25 in — 20.3 x 7.6 x 5.7 cm

Estimate $4,000-$6,000

Realised: $3,690
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report

Additional Images
Unidentified Artist
  • Unidentified Artist
  • Unidentified Artist

Private Collection, British Columbia


Mysterious figures both within their communities as well as to outsiders, depictions of shamans both provoked curiosity and were a popular subject among early travellers and curio collectors on the Northwest Coast in the 19th century.

Among the Haida and their Northern Northwest Coast neighbours, shamans were regarded with both suspicion and respect. In the event of illness, their social function was acknowledged, and their services were sought out and paid for. Through their calling they had the power to deal with sickness, and were able to encourage the direct intervention of the spirits.

The present sculpture depicts a shaman with a fearsome visage, attired in the trappings of his profession: the bone septum piercing, fringed deerskin apron, stylized cedar headdress or topknot, and staff carved with a design of twisted cedar bark.

Many countries prohibit or restrict importation or exportation of property containing ivory, whale bone, sealskin, and/or products derived from other endangered or protected species, and require special licenses or permits in order to import or export such property. It is the responsibility of the buyer to ensure that the item is properly and lawfully exported / imported. Please do not hesitate to contact one of our specialists for further details.


Overall very good condition. Irregularities inherent in material.

Please contact the specialist for further condition information.

LOT 171

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.