Featured Any ideas on this little bird?

Discussion in 'Antique Discussion' started by Steve Shubinski, Jul 29, 2020.

  1. Steve Shubinski

    Steve Shubinski Active Member

    This is such a cute little bird. It is 1 5/8" tall and is carved from some type of bone or horn. There is some scrimshaw around the head and down the back. Any thoughts on what type of bird or where this might have come from? There are no markings of any kind. Bird 1.jpg bird 2.jpg
  2. wiscbirddog

    wiscbirddog Well-Known Member

    A strange looking penguin?
    Christmasjoy likes this.
  3. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    What does the bottom look like? I'm wondering if it could be walrus tooth.
  4. Christmasjoy

    Christmasjoy Well-Known Member

    Cute !!! ... Joy. :)
    Bronwen likes this.
  5. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    Is the beak a separate piece?
    Christmasjoy likes this.
  6. Steve Shubinski

    Steve Shubinski Active Member

    Bronwen likes this.
  7. all_fakes

    all_fakes Well-Known Member

    I'd say likely ivory of some sort, Inuit or Inupiat from Alaska or Canada.
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  8. Marie Forjan

    Marie Forjan Well-Known Member

    I love him, he's cute!
    Bronwen likes this.
  9. 2manybooks

    2manybooks Well-Known Member

    Yes, Eskimo/Inuit/Inupiat. Looks like walrus tusk, or perhaps fossilized mammoth - the photo of the bottom is a little too blurry to be sure.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020
    Bronwen likes this.
  10. Steve Shubinski

    Steve Shubinski Active Member

    This photo might be a little clearer bird 3.jpg
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  11. smallaxe

    smallaxe Well-Known Member

    Interesting choice of animal if Inuit, since penguins don't naturally occur any further north than the Galapagos Islands.
    Bronwen likes this.
  12. 2manybooks

    2manybooks Well-Known Member

    More likely an arctic murre, "eaten by many Indigenous Peoples and reported to be a favoured traditional food wherever present across the Arctic".
  13. 2manybooks

    2manybooks Well-Known Member

    Between the saw marks and the old glue (?) it is difficult to see the diagnostic traits. This is what you would look for on a cross section of walrus tusk:
    walrus ivory cross section.jpeg
    (Courtesy of @komokwa and the National Forensic Fish and Wildlife Lab)
    Bronwen likes this.
  14. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    Courtesy Bronwen.
    2manybooks and aaroncab like this.
  15. janettekay

    janettekay Well-Known Member

    It is so adorable....:happy:
    Bronwen likes this.
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