An extremely elegant button or ornament from a garment. The incised decor on the raised convex surface bears an incised design which resembles a four-leafed clover. The outer edge is pierced with a regularly spaced drilled dot decoration.
Provenance Saint Lawrence Island, Bering Strait, Alaska. Punuk or early Thule Culture 600 to 1500 AD. Mineralized walrus tusk (Odobenus rosmarus divergens). 4.8 cm Ø. Provenance: Ex. private collection, Geneva; Ex. private collection, France; Acquired from Galerie Flak, Paris.
Literature: There is also the possibility that this object is a sinew spinner as described by E. W. Nelson (The Eskimo About Bering Strait, Annual Report, Bureau of American Ethnology, 1899). The raised center may have been used for the passage of the sinews during the twisting or spinning process.