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The Steven Michaan Collection of North American Tribal Art : The Art of the Spirit World : Woodlands

Northeastern (Hudson River Valley) Woodlands
Beaver Effigy Ladle
Ash 7 ¼” Length, c.1680 (or earlier)

This dramatic example puts all focus on the proportionally large-scale beaver, which sits atop a four-tiered frieze. The reverse side is equally compelling as the artisan carved a large, well defined tail running down the backside of the handle.

The scale of the effigy in relation to the handle and bowl, as well as the angle relationship of the bowl to the handle is diagnostic of early-mid 17th century ladles (see, Prisch, Aspects of Change in Seneca Iroquois Ladles AD 1600-1900, 1982).

This is quite possibly one of the earliest, non-excavated ladles extant.

Beaver Effigy Ladle