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Carved Trick Chest

Arts of the Americas

MEDIUM Cedar wood, pigment
DATES 19th century
DIMENSIONS 23 1/4 x 36 x 22 1/4 in. (59.1 x 91.4 x 56.5 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
CREDIT LINE Museum Expedition 1908, Museum Collection Fund
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION The object is a large trick chest made of cedar wood. The sides that are larger are decorated with carvings and painted designs; the smaller sides are decorated with painted designs but have no carvings; the lid and bottom have no decoration. The chest, which is a bent wood box, was constructed out of a single plank of cedar wood that was notched, steamed, bent into shape, attached on the fourth side, then fitted with a top and bottom. The back of the chest, which has a cut out section that can be removed and replaced, was used in a knife thrust trick according to Charles F. Newcombe, former collector/owner of the object. The central element of its design is a creature's large head. At the bottom, there are hands with palms facing out. Although subject matter on the front and back is similar, the designs differ. Condition is fair. Overall wear. Numerous repairs. Lid cracked lengthwise and glued; chips around edges. Interior reinforced at corners.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Haida. Carved Trick Chest, 19th century. Cedar wood, pigment, 23 1/4 x 36 x 22 1/4 in. (59.1 x 91.4 x 56.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Expedition 1908, Museum Collection Fund, 08.491.8903. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 08.491.8903_bw.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 08.491.8903_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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