Ray Toolie (d / 1933-2005) was one of the most respected Eskimo carvers. This walrus/shaman/hunter figure is similar to others he carved. There are eagle/shaman/hunter and polar bear/shaman/hunter figures that are well known, but this is the first walrus one I have seen. Some places call these figures transformation figures, I am unclear as to the line separating true transformation figures from simply art so due to my lack of knowledge I am unwilling to list this as a transformation figure.
This figure carved of new walrus ivory has baleen eyes and there is sinew wrapped between the spear's handle and spear point. It stands 5" tall and the base is 2.5" x 1.25. It is a detailed carving with artistic merit by a well-known carver whose work rarely comes on the market now.
Part of a collection of Eskimo and Inuit items which was built by one gentleman over several years. More items from this collection are now available - check more from this colleciton in "Antique items from other areas" and "current work from other areas"
NOTE: - currently California and New Jersey ban the sale of ALL ivory - so these can not be sold or shipped to anyone in either state. Should you live in one of these states and purchase this - I will not ship to you, I will refund your purchase price.....and relist this item... (And no international sales either - as many countries prohibit purchase/sale of any ivory)