ivory and black ink, 21 x 2.5 x 1.5 in (53.3 x 6.3 x 3.8 cm)
ESTIMATE: $2,000 — $3,000
PRICE REALIZED: 2,880
Ex Collection of Sir Patrick Ashley Cooper (1887-1961).
Major Cooper was Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company from 1931 to 1952, and a director of the Bank of England from 1932-1955. He was the first HBC Governor to have actually travelled in the Arctic in 265 years.
According to Dorothy Jean Ray, the earliest engraved tusks (usually cribbage boards) with a panoramic view of Nome date from 1903. These scenes were based on photos of Nome taken from the sea, and depict the bustling town including the famous Geiger toll bridge and a second bridge leading to Fort Davis . One side of this possibly later, crisply engraved tusk depicts the very same scene on one side; the other presents a charming scene of a campsite and bear hunters.
1. Dorothy Jean Ray, A Legacy of Arctic Art (1996), p. 111
References: For a cribbage board from Nome with a strikingly similar view of the town, dated 1909, see Dorothy Jean Ray, A Legacy of Arctic Art (Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1996, fig. 49. This is included in a larger chapter "Pictorial Engraving or Eskimo Scrimshaw" pp. 99-137.