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Portrait Mask of Dzila'qons

Haida
Haida Gwaii, British Columbia

ca. 1820-30

wood, paint
height: 8 ¾" 

Inventory # N4328

Please contact the gallery for more information.


PROVENANCE

Collection Ron Nasser, New York
Alain de Monbrison, Paris

Collection Claude Berri (1934-2009), Paris

Private Collection, France

RELATED EXAMPLES

Peabody Museum, Harvard, Cat. No. 10/76816 - See: Macnair, Peter, Joseph, Robert and Grenville, Bruce. Down From the Shimmering Sky: Masks of the Northwest Coast. Vancouver: Douglas & MacIntyre, 1998, pg. 64, pl. 38 for a mask identified in the scholarship as the prototype "Jenna Cass" type mask (Macnair 1998). Inside the mask an inscription reads "A correct likeness of Jenna Cass, a high chief woman of the Northwest Coast"

And also: Holm, Bill. Soft Gold: The Fur Trade and Cultural Exchange on The Northwest Coast of America. Portland: Oregon Historical Society Press, 1982, pg. 96, pl. 60 for a discussion of this archetype “Jenna Cass” mask and its likely representation of the ancestress Djilakons of the Eagle Clan moiety.

Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Cat. No. E3483 - See: Macnair, Peter, Joseph, Robert and Grenville, Bruce. Down From the Shimmering Sky: Masks of the Northwest Coast. Vancouver: Douglas & MacIntyre, 1998, pgs. 36-37, pl. 15 for a sister mask catalogued in 1831 as a "Wooden mask once used by a distinguished chieftainess of the Indians at Nootka Sound-said to represent exactly the manner in which she painted her face." (Macnair 1998)

Peabody Museum, Harvard, Cat. No. 10/51671 - See: Macnair, Peter, Joseph, Robert and Grenville, Bruce. Down From the Shimmering Sky: Masks of the Northwest Coast. Vancouver: Douglas & MacIntyre, 1998, pg. 68, pl. 41

And also: Holm, Bill. Soft Gold: The Fur Trade and Cultural Exchange on The Northwest Coast of America. Portland: Oregon Historical Society Press, 1982, pgs. 96-97, pl. 61

Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian, Cat. No. 2666 - See: Macnair, Peter, Joseph, Robert and Grenville, Bruce. Down From the Shimmering Sky: Masks of the Northwest Coast. Vancouver: Douglas & MacIntyre, 1998, pg. 69, pl. 43

University of Pennsylvania Museum of Anthropology, Cat. No. 45-15-2 – See: Ibid, pg 68, pl. 41

Museum voor Land Volkerkunde, Rotterdam, Cat No. 34796 – See: King, J.C.H. Portrait Masks From The Northwest Coast of North America, London: Thames & Hudson, 1979, pg. 61, pl. 56

Ipswich Museum, Cat. No. 24.1976 – See: Ibid, pg. 62, pl. 57

Private collection (ex Collection Menil, Houston) – See: Ibid, pg. 63, pl. 58

And also: Holm, Bill and Reid, Bill. Indian Art of the Northwest Coast: A Dialogue on Craftsmanship and Aesthetics. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1975, pg. 218, pl. 88 (sold Sotheby’s, Paris, June 11, 2008, lot 2)

Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnology, Cat. No. 5795-27 - See: Rickenbach, Judith. Tlingit: Alte Indianische Kunst Aus Alaska. Zurich: Museum Rietberg, 2001, pg. 140, pl. 11

Essay

This exquisitely carved portrait mask is associated with a style of mask known as the “Jenna Cass type”. This group of masks share many of the same features including “round, open eyes with a grooved upper lid; large eye socket; small, narrow nose flattened under the nostrils; rounded sometimes double chin; wide mouth with very large labret. The face painting is expertly designed of formlines in blue and red. Some of the masks in this group have large, elaborately carved ears painted red.” (Holm, 1982, pg. 96). Three of the most notable examples by the same master carver are in the collections of the Peabody Museum, Harvard and the Peabody Museum Essex. Four dolls are also attributed to this carver, two in the Peabody,Harvard, one in the Peabody, Essex, and one formerly in the Woburn Public Library, Woburn, MA, and now in a private collection. The subject of all these carvings is believed to be the ancestress of the Haida people, Djilakons, and the name"Jenna Cass" to be a 19th century English rendering of the Haida name. In the words of the ethnologist John Swanton: " Djilaqons is a conspicuous and ever recurring figure in [Haida] mythology...All the Eagles upon this island came in succession out of the womb of Djilaqons. In the process of descent they became differentiated [into various families]." (Swanton 1909)

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Adze Handle CN4313-128

Chinookan, likely Multnomah
Lower Columbia River

ca. 1750-1820
CN4313-128
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