The lot features a fantastic historically important carved bone amulet from the Tlingit Native American Indian Tribe of the Pacific Northwest Coast of British Columbia and Alaska. The piece is said to date to the 19th Century and is considered a “Soul Catcher”. Similar examples labeled as "Soul Catchers" are illustrated in 1960 Andrews, Ralph W. Indian Primitive: Northwest Coast Indians of the Former Days (p 98). “Soul Catcher” amulets were used by shamans of the Tligint, Tsimshian, Haida, and Heiltsuk tribes when it was believed that a person, who was ill and herbal remedies had no effect, was losing or had lost their soul during dream travels, frightened out of the body or stolen through sorcery. “Soul Catcher” amulets were known to be carved either of a flat piece of bone or of the femur and would show a symmetrical design of two animal heads at each end. This Tlingit Soul Catcher Bone Amulet is from the 1800’s and shows a fantastic typical totem pole like carved design with pierced nose and ear holes. The bone shows a repair and chip at the top right. Overall the piece is in fine condition for its early age and shows a nice even original patina. Provenance: From the renowned Sundog Fine Art Bozeman, Montana collection and collected by Bruce VanLandingham. Bruce VanLandingham was a pillar in the American Indian collecting community and a respected expert. Along with being an avid collector Bruce also was the sole owner of Sundog Fine Art Gallery in Bozeman which was both part museum and gallery. The piece measures 1.75" x 4". These "soul catcher" amulets from the 19th Century are extremely scarce such as the Tlingit Amulet sold by Cowan's Auctions at their 4/12/2012 sale for $4,500, the Northwest Coat amulet that sold at Marion Antique Auctions 11/24/2018 sale for $3,000 and the Northwest Coast wolf amulet that sold for $1,875 at the Schwenk Auctioneers 7/20/2014 sale.
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