Walrus Ivory Carved Letter Opener with Hand
This is a rare piece of Eskimo folk art. The blade is in the form of a Bowie knife and the handle is a relief carved hand holding the blade. Carving the hand holding something was very popular in the late 19th and early 20th century and obviously impressed the carver of this piece. He added a scrimshawed fish on one side, but the hand holding the blade is what makes this a particularly important piece. If I would have seen this piece thirty years ago when I was collecting Eskimo ivory carvings, I would have eagerly bought it. I should mention that the front part of the blade is a little ragged with tiny chips along the edge
L. 6 ¾"