Harpoon counterweight

Old Bering Sea III, Native American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 746

Technologically sophisticated, the harpoon was an essential tool for hunting on the Bering Sea. Carvers used walrus ivory to make components of the long, spear-like instrument, including its counterweights, or stabilizers, sometimes referred to as "winged objects" due to their shape. The elegant sculptural form of this example is complemented by the engraved curvilinear designs. The top and outer edges may be inscribed with animal features.

Harpoon counterweight, Walrus ivory, Old Bering Sea III, Native American

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