Burl Bowl with Raised Crests and Bird Effigy Ladle

Burl Bowl with Raised Crests and Bird Effigy Ladle


Burl Bowl with raised crests and bird effigy ladle

Region / Tribe: Northeastern Woodlands /

Circa: 18th Century


Bowl – Highly figured maple burl

Ladle – figured tiger maple


Bowl – 10” x 3.5”

Ladle – 5.25” x 3”

Condition: Excellent condition, no restoration

Collection History:

– Locally collected together

–Cowan’s Auction 2017


Comments: The patina on both pieces is rich and dense.  Both objects are very early, finely sculpted and in great condition, they exemplify the rich patina occurring from long and continual use.

The bowl displays a minimally raised crest which represents the upraised ears or horns of an underwater manitou. The side walls are very thinly carved. The entire rim of the bowl is incised along the exterior edge. This would allow for expansion and contraction without fracturing and reflects the intimate knowledge of the carver’s craft.

The bird effigy ladle is outstanding. It is carved from beautifully figured hardwood tiger maple with the bowl terminating in burl. The effigy appears to be a long necked crane or heron in a feeding posture. The body of the bird is abstractly depicted. The head is finely delineated with pin point eyes and open beak. The feeding bird relates to the ladle’s function. In typical early Woodland fashion it beautifully weds form and function.

We consider this to be the best bowl and ladle to come on the market in the last number of years. It is fresh to the market and previously unknown.

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