Kerfed and bentwood box, the sides of a single piece of yellow cedar [?], the bottom of red cedar, the fourth vertical seem sewn with sinew? and pegged; the corners at the rim also pegged with lead, missing at two corners. Although quite small the box has a great elegance and lightness of touch; this is achieved by reducing the bulk of the base by excavating the interior slightly, and the exterior by scooping out a square area which follows the edge of the box. The sides are also carved very thin, but a broad lip or edge is left at the top of the box. The final point about the box form is that the tops of one pair of opposite sides are carved with convex edges, and the other pair with concave edges. The base is pegged to the sides in two places with wood pegs. The sides of the box are expertly and interestingly carved in low relief with formline designs; two opposing sides seem to have the same large mammal head, treated rather differently. The other two sides have apparently entirely abstract designs, but the whole thing could form a depiction of a single crest. That the design represents a single creature is suggested by the placement of a large ovoid/eye form at the top of one of the abstract sides - upside down - suggesting that the four sides be read as a single unit.
© The Trustees of the British Museum
Using this image
To license images for charged-for journals and publications, and other commercial uses, please contact British Museum Images.
Contact BM images
The image will be released to you under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license. You can read more about the British Museum and Creative Commons here.
Download this image
If you cannot see an image that you want on the British Museum website, you can order new photography from us.
Order new image