Hand Scraper – Greenland or Aleutian Islands

Ergonomic grooves and indentations sculpt the body of this nineteenth-century hide scraper. Arctic and Paleoeskimo peoples employed an array of handcrafted scrapers for the preparation of skins, carving, and other varied uses. While many designs comprise a wood haft bound to a chipped stone blade, this example from the nineteenth century has been carved entirely of ivory. The British Museum holds a similar object, described as an Eskimo-Aleut pick blade. With its worn, aged surface and asymmetrical sculptural quality, this scraper carries the powerful and ineffable sense of hard-fought, eternal continuance so palpable in Arctic art traditions.

19th century
Marine ivory
8.5” h  2.5” w
Provenance: Private USA collection
#520
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