Mid Century Faux Argillite Haida Statue of a “Boston Sea Captain”

Mid Century Faux Argillite Haida Statue of a “Boston Sea Captain”

$1,275.00

Scarce Vintage Museum Replica Faux Argillite Haida Statue of a “Boston Sea Captain,” a cast resin piece made for Mystic Seaport Museum in the 1950s, a faithful copy of the 19th Century Haida carved argillite and whale tooth masterpiece in their collection.

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Scarce Vintage Museum Replica Faux Argillite Haida Statue of a “Boston Sea Captain,” a cast resin piece made for Mystic Seaport Museum in the 1950s, a faithful copy of the 19th Century Haida carved masterpiece in their collection.

Argillite is a naturally black fine grained sedimentary rock found in a few places in the Northwestern mountains and in the Haida Gwaii archipelago (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands) in British Columbia. The Haida began carving this “black slate” around 1800 principally for trade and sale to outsiders and it remains an icon of Haida artwork and their exclusive cultural property: the Haida have a cultural and legal monopoly on the mining and carving of argillite.

A sea captain from Boston chanced to stop along the Pacific Northwest Coast exploring for a source for furs to bring to China. He was successful (leading to Oregon’s appellation as the Beaver State), sparking the start of the Northwest Fur Trade and America’s entry into the China Trade. This first contact between the Haida and the whites in their huge square-rigged ships lead to all Yankees being called “Boston Sea Captains.”

Argillite carvings are limited only by the artist’s cultural imagination, but the few full length statues of New England sailors have become recognized masterpieces of this 19th Century art. Most known examples are in museums, but the extremely rare occasional example comes onto the market and may easily top the hundred thousand mark. The Mystic Seaport Museum in the 1950s had these cast resin replicas made of their original carving of argillite and whale tooth; it appears that relatively few were made and were offered only for a short time.

This stature remains in very fine condition. There are the expected scuffs along some edges, and the bottom rear of the left leg shows a seam that is either an imperfection when cast or a small chip that was carefully re-adhered.

Measures: 13-5/8 in H x 4-1/2 in W x 4-1/2 in Deep

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