top of page



yellow cedar, paint, and opercula shells,

9.75 x 21 x 16.5 in (24.8 x 53.3 x 41.9 cm)


This rectangular bent-corner bowl features subtly bulged sides and asymmetrical formline designs painted on all four panels. One end may represent the profile view of a creature’s head, the sides painted with body profiles. The opposite end is too dark to discern its painted image, and a broken top edge has been replaced and darkened to match the rest of the rear panel. This end also has the joined corner, traditionally located at the rear of a container.


The painting style is of thin formlines in black and red, with wide negative spaces, rounded elements, and high-floating small inner ovoids. This style of painting developed in the region south of the Skeena River, among the Coast Tsimshian and Haisla, and as far as Milbanke Sound, home of the Heiltsuk or Bella Bella people.


The paintings on the sides each contain a formline element that looks like a bird foot, but little else that would represent one creature or another. Curiously, the side paintings are oriented in opposite directions, one side the reverse of the other, and each containing a largely different assemblage of design elements. Each painted side is masterfully composed, incorporating a large central ovoid at an angle, a bird foot in the lower left corner, and other related but different shapes in an overall horizontal movement to fit the space.


Steven C. Brown

References: For a contemporaneous, smaller painted example see William C. Sturtevant, et. al., Boxes and Bowls: Decorated Containers by Nineteenth-Century Haida, Tlingit, Bella Bella, and Tsimshian Indian Artists, (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1974), fig. 58. For a contemporaneous Haida example see Daina Augaitis et al., Raven Travelling: Two Centuries of Haida Art, (Vancouver: Vancouver Art Gallery / Douglas & McIntyre, 2006), cat. 59. For an earlier, carved example see First Arts Auction, Toronto, Nov. 2021, Lot 17. See also Bill Holm, The Box of Daylight: Northwest Coast Indian Art, (Seattle, WA: Seattle Art Museum/University of Washington Press, Seattle, 1983), cat. 112, p. 72.



Collection of John and Joyce Price, Seattle.

A third quarter 19th century bent corner bowl, Haisla or Heiltsuk artist

  • Please contact Dealer for more information


    Ingo Hessel  |    613-818-2100   |

    Nadine Di Monte

    647-286-5012   |

bottom of page