Lot 3005
  • 3005

A PAIR OF MAMMOTH TUSK CHUKCHI SNOW GOGGLES NORTHEASTERN SIBERIA, EARLY 19TH CENTURY

Estimate
120,000 - 180,000 HKD
Sold
325,000 HKD
bidding is closed

Description

  • mammoth ivory
finely carved with a subtle curvature to sit over the eyes and nose of a Chukchi, with long horizontal slits flanking the central raised arrowhead-shaped section, each short side pierced with a pair of apertures for strapping, the smoothly polished and patinated surface of a warm beige-tan colour with traces of old polychrome, metal stand

Catalogue Note

The Chukchi people are an ancient Arctic tribe inhabiting the tundra, an area of desolate wasteland in Northeastern Siberia; the treeless landscape has led them to adapt to their environment by making use of all natural resources. The only materials available for toolmaking are antlers, bones and a little wood as the inland Chukchi are herders of reindeer and those on the coast rely on fishing, so the discovery of a piece of 10,000-year-old mammoth tusk would be a valuable and much prized find. The present pair of goggles with their fine carving, smooth finish and traces of polychrome would have been greatly appreciated and must have belonged to a person of status within society.

The Chukchi homeland is snow covered for the greater part of the year with winter temperatures plummeting to as low as minus 50 Celsius. The narrow slits on all snow goggles considerably lessen the amount of light reaching the retina and are an effective protection from snow blindness caused from the low-lying arctic sun reflecting from the dazzling snow.
Close