It felt like I had lots of eyes on me last week while I unpacked, sorted, and organized a collection of New Guinea and Eskimo art for a client. It came from the same estate that I shared a take home organizing project from a few weeks ago. The pieces were shipped to my clients ten years ago and they were excited to have someone to inventory the collection, research the values, and check all of the items for possible damage.
I cleared off my dining room table and set up a long card table in the dining room and started unpacking the boxes. The first few boxes contained several masks from New Guinea. They all had such interesting detail, especially this guy with the ivory tusks, beard made out of grass, and hair made out of faux feathers.
This hand carved mask is tall and thin with shells for eyes…
This figure looks like someone important, like a saint or a
priest. It is handcarved and I felt like he watched me all day!
This hand carved piece is interesting, it has some
damage in the middle but it could easily be repaired.
An interesting hand painted tray of a hunter in action…
This mask is much bigger than it looks! I thought I was going to have to cut it
out of the box because the shipper spray foamed it into the box for protection during
shipping but luckily I was able to slide out in one piece. His face is kind of scary to
me and the shells look like bones. It does have some damage on the base.
Next I unpacked the Eskimo art, most of the pieces were carved out of soapstone.
I did some research and found out that there are several Eskimo villages that the art comes
from in Canada. Each piece is signed by the artist (first name only) and the artists produced
several similar pieces as a series. This first carving is of a woman on a boat receiving a visit
from a baby seal.
This carving is interesting, it has a human face on one end and a seal’s face on the other.
This poor wolf is missing an ear!
This is one of the larger pieces in the collection. It was made by an artist who learned how
to carve from his father. I thought it would be worth a lot because of the beautiful
green soapstone and the detail but the resale is only about $100.
Another man with a seal, I hope he is rescuing it instead of killing it 🙁
This little pelican is cute, it would look nice on a bookcase.
There were lots of small items in the boxes like this pipe…
And this tortoise shell. It was fun to look at each piece and research the collection!
I repacked the collection and organized everything into labeled sterilite bins from Target.
I created photo collages of the items to attach to the bins along with
labels for a quick inventory at a glance.
Judging from her collections, my client’s late mother must have been a very interesting woman. I love sorting and organizing collections like this and it makes me wonder what kind of legacy I will leave behind some day. If you have boxes in your garage that you really want to sort through and organize please contact me, I would be happy to take them home and organize them for you!