This is a well observed carving of a swimming seal, thrusting its body through the water in an undulating curve. It has no means for attachment and no discernible function, so was possibly made for the European market. The eyes and nostrils are inlaid with wood, or possibly baleen.
Steven Hooper, 1997
Entry taken from Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection, Vol. 2: Pacific, African and Native North American Art, edited by Steven Hooper (Yale University Press, 1997) p. 257.
Purchased by Robert and Lisa Sainsbury from G. Bloch in 1957.
Donated to the Sainsbury Centre, University of East Anglia in 1973 as part of the original gift.
Not on display
Date created: 1850 - 1899
Materials: Walrus ivory, Wood
Measurements: l. 89 mm
Accession Number: 119
Historic Period: Late 19th century
Production Place: Arctic, North America, The Americas
Credit Line: Donated by Robert and Lisa Sainsbury, 1973
More from the collection
Aluminium, Electrical components, Electrical motor, Paint, PVC, Resin
h 236 x. w 236 x d 15 cm (tube: l 123.5 x dia 4.5 box: 13.5 x 18.4 x 18.6)