Skinner Auctions
Skinner AuctionsBoston MA
February 11, 2013 12:00 PMCalender

Yup'ik Carved and Painted Wood Mask

Sell one like this
Auction: American Indian & Ethnographic Arts - 2636BLocation: BostonDate / Time: February 11, 2013 12:00PM


Yup'ik Carved and Painted Wood Mask, c. late 19th century, a bird head, possibly a puffin, on top of a circular human-like face with pierced eyes and nostrils, the downturned mouth with slightly protruding tongue, remnant black and red detail on face and frame surface, encircled by two wooden hoops (one painted red),with attached feathers and symbolic wood pieces including a hand, a fox, a leg, and various geometric shapes attached with strips of baleen, (some of these have been temporarily reattached for photography, the back at some time was painted with a thin coat of commercial paint),ht. without attachments 12 1/2 in.

Provenance: Collected by Gustaf Osterberg, Chief mate on the USCGS ship "Yukon," possibly on Nunivak Island. Starting in 1913, Osterberg made at least five summer trips to survey the Bering Sea portion of the Alaskan Coast and Aleutian Islands for the U.S. Coast and Geodetic survey. One cruise went as far as Vladivostok in Russia, where the Yukon became iced in, requiring the crew's return to the U.S. via the Trans-Siberian Railway. The mask being offered has descended in the family.

Literature: The Far North, 2,000 years of American Eskimo and Indian Art, p. 122.
Estimate $15,000-20,000

The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Condition requests can be obtained via email (lot inquiry button) or by telephone to the appropriate gallery location (Boston/617.350.5400 or Marlborough/508.970.3000). Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner Inc. shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.


Gustaf Osterberg, bird head, Chief, Nunivak Island, Bering Sea, United States, Yukon