Northwest Coast Whalebone Club, probably Haida
- Whalebone (humpback whale)
Collected by John Moresby at Skittaget sic (Haida)
By family descent to the present owner
John Moresby, for whom an Island south of Queen Charlotte Island is named, wrote an account of his voyage to the Northwest Coast entitled Two Admirals, the first edition published in 1909. In the book he writes: "We mixed freely with the tribe and noted the skill of these Indians in carving whale's teeth with rough but unmistakable charm. On June 7 we left Fort Rupert and left for the Queen Charlotte Island, 130 miles distant. Met the Skittaget Tribe now recognized as the finest, most advanced in the arts of any the Northwest Coast tribes. Our business was to report on the gold prospects."
For a related example and discussion of whale bone clubs see Thomas Vaughan and Bill Holm, Soft Gold, 1982, p.62: "This may be a seal-killing club, rather than a war club. Many northern seal clubs, generally of wood, were carved as killer whales or sea lions, both of which prey on seals. The figures seem to be standardized to such clubs and probably do not have a crest significance."