Stunning 19th Century Mi'kmaq Birch Covered, Porcupine Quill Decorated Box

Regular price $275.00

This is the sort of thing I really can't believe exists in the world; the craftmanship is so exquisite, and the manipulation of the materials such a challenging and laborious process, that its creation, to say nothing of its endurance, just amazes me. (It is many times more beautiful in person, and extremely viscerally satisfying.) I come across small Native American bark boxes decorated with porcupine quills now and then, most made for the tourist market, but this is of a different ilk, c. 1830s-50s or so I confident, and definitely Mi'kmaq, indigenous to the areas of Canada's Atlantic Provinces and the Gaspé Peninsula of Quebec as well as the northeastern region of Maine. It once would have had a quill decorated lid as well, sadly lost, though I personally like seeing the wooden structure of the box exposed, with its clean lines complimenting the geometric patterns of the quills (which are adhered to bark that wraps the box) and the patina on the pine bringing out the color of the quills. There are small losses here and there, and certainly one wants to be very gentle handling it, but it is sound and stable and even more gorgeous in person. (I'm including photo of an example in the collection of the Peabody Museum, Boston, which was reportedly collected in New Brunswick in 1829, and another from the Huntington Museum, CA, c. 1850, as reference, including for what a lid might have looked like.)

10" wide x 7 1/2" deep x 7" tall. Photos thorough document condition. Quills are well adhered to bark and box is structurally sound.