Stone Carvings & Sculptures
Alaska Eskimo hand carved and painted sperm whale tooth ivory Billiken figure.
This vintage Alaska Eskimo hand carved figure of Billiken l is very well done and a great aboriginal piece of art by an unknown artist, as the piece is unsigned nor marked.
Carved and hand painted from a sperm whale tooth this piece of ivory is well executed and is a fine example of the talent and skill of the Northern Eskimo craft.
This wonderful Eskimo carving would make a welcomed addition to any collection of northern art.
The Billiken is a charm doll created by an American art teacher and illustrator, Florence Pretz of Kansas City, Missouri, who is said to have seen the mysterious figure in a dream. It is believed that Pretz found the name Billiken in Bliss Carman's 1896 poem Mr. Moon: A Song Of The Little People. In 1908, she obtained a design patent on the ornamental design of the Billiken, which she sold to the Billiken Company of Chicago. The Billiken was elephant-like with pointed ears, a mischievous smile and a tuft of hair on his pointed head. His arms were short and he was generally sitting with his legs stretched out in front of him. Billiken is known as "The God of Things As They Ought to Be."
To buy a Billiken was said to give the purchaser luck, but to have one given would be better luck. The image was copyrighted and a trademark was put on the name. After a few years of popularity, like other fad toys, the Billiken faded into obscurity.
Measurements are 2.5 inches in height.
Please Note: Due to the unknown age of this item and the international laws that govern the Ivory trade this item can only be shipped to a Canadian address.