Miniature Eskimo Torso

A minute, highly stylized, anthropomorphic effigy representing the torso and head of an ancestor in the « star-gazer » position. The oval head is tilted back at an extreme angle with the chin jutting forward. The figures arms are bent at the elbows with the hands resting on the stomach. The rear of the torso is completely hollowed out forming a squared lodging allowing the figure to be attached to another object.


Provenance Saint Lawrence Island ?, Bering Strait, Alaska. Punuk to early Thulé period (c. 600-1500 AD). Mineralized walrus tusk with a fine patina of age and usage. 2,5 cm.

Beyond the intrinsic beauty of this miniature work of art it is remarkable to see how the absolute reduction of form here precedes the abstraction of the sculptor Henry Moore by close to two thousand years. The minute dimensions of this effigy do not reduce its sculptural power – on the contrary the miniaturization enhances the monumentality of the plastic power radiation from this archaic masterwork transcending the evolutionary process of art and the transition from the artistic representation of reality to the concept of abstraction over the last millenniums