An older tupilak sculpture, carved from whale ivory, representing a skeletal anthropomorphic figure locked in an embrace with a polar bear, each seemingly struggling to beat the other. Originally, these were magical creations associated with witchcraft and malevolent activity to destroy an enemy. Since the late 19th C, and particularly into the 20th C, their use has been tailored more to fantasy sculpture for a souvenir market. This example dates to the early 20th C, and was obtained from an old private collection in Germany. Inset baleen eyes on both creatures. 4.50"H. In fine condition.
Provenance: Bernd Ratz, Maulbronn Germany