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Carved Spoon with Five Animal Heads

Arts of the Americas

On View: Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor

Every Northwest Coast family had a supply of spoons. Those for common household purposes were of the same shape and materials as feast spoons, though undecorated. Feast spoons such as this example were brought out, in the same way as fine china or best silverware in other cultures, when a family gave a celebratory feast or when visitors arrived from another village. The number of feast spoons was determined by the magnificence of the feast the family could afford. This Haida spoon was delicately carved from a single piece of goat horn and decorated with five animal heads, each with abalone-shell eyes. Before carving, the horn was steamed until pliable, bent into shape, and cooled in a mold.

MEDIUM Horn, mother of pearl
GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATIONS
DATES late 19th-early 20th century
DIMENSIONS 7 1/2 x 1 15/16 in. (19 x 4.9cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
ACCESSION NUMBER 52.4.3a
CREDIT LINE Gift of Elizabeth Achelis
RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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CAPTION Haida (Native American). Carved Spoon with Five Animal Heads, late 19th-early 20th century. Horn, mother of pearl, 7 1/2 x 1 15/16 in. (19 x 4.9cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Elizabeth Achelis, 52.4.3a. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE overall, 52.4.3a_acetate_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION This spoon is carved in one piece. The handle has five animal heads, very deeply carved and standing out along the handle. All the animals have abalone shell eyes.
RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (85%)
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