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You are on Alaska Page 11

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Table of Contents on Page 1

Contents:  Joe Blatchford carving collection


 

JOE BLATCHFORD

Native Eskimo Artist, Alaska

Joseph D. Blatchford

Born August 22, 1940

Deceased February 4, 2009

in Anchorage, AK at the age of 68

Click to upsize and read his family's story below:

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Joe picked up whatever work he could once his family moved to Anchorage .  At one point he worked for a roofing company, hot tarring roofs.  He was on a roof carrying two pails of hot tar, when the roof gave way and he fell.  The hot tar on the roof and in the buckets poured over him, literally melting his skin and melting his fingers together.  We also got information from family members that Joe was involved in another unfortunate house fire with additional burns at an earlier time along with his best friend Ralph.

After recovering, he designed a Dremel and other manual tools he could hold with his deformed hands to scrimshaw ivory and mammoth ivory to make artworks to sell.  He was a very talented artist and Glenn collected whatever he could find of Joe's work then, and over the years since Glenn left Alaska.

There are two versions of his demise, we have not verified which one is correct as yet.  One has him being hit as a pedestrian crossing the street in Seattle WA.  The 2nd version comes from the Alaska Cook Inlet funeral services in Anchorage that he passed away from cancer.  If link for the Cook Inlet Funeral Home below is not active, here are the details:

Joseph Dexter Blatchford, 68, died Feb. 4, 2009, at home in Anchorage. A memorial gathering was held Sunday at the Cremation Society of Alaska, Anchorage.  Joseph was born August 22, 1940 in Golovin Alaska to Charlie and Jennie Blatchford.

Obituary for Joe's wife Ruth: 
Ruth E. Blatchford, 49, of Anchorage, Alaska died June 27, 1999 at her residence. Mrs. Blatchford was born July 15, 1950 in Fairbanks, Alaska. She is survived by her husband Joe D. Blatchford; sons Daniel J. Martinez, Shawn T. Martinez and Burton H. Twitchell; daughter Monica A. Martinez; ex-husband Ken J. Martinez; father Timothy Twitchell Sr.; brothers Timothy and Matthew Twitchell; sisters Lois L. Stover, Ester E. Lurson, Eunice A.Pacheco, Racheal I. McCarthy, Hannah I. Broussard, Mary and Rebecca Twitchell; and five grandchildren.

http://www.cookinletfuneralhome.com/fh/obituaries/obituary.cfm?o_id=972997&fh_id=13390

 

These are framed photos of Joe Blatchford’s sketchbook pages.  You can see these images throughout Joe’s finished work below.  We are lucky to have them.
 
There are no pieces for sale in this collection, they are for display purposes only.
 

I AM ACTIVELY SEEKING ANY AND ALL TYPES OF JOE BLATCHFORD'S ARTWORK, BE IT CARVINGS, SCRIMSHAW, SKETCHBOOKS, TUSKS, AND ANY OTHER ITEMS THAT ARE LINKED DIRECTLY BACK TO JOE BLATCHFORD.

Contact me at: sharkman1020@gmail.com with photos and a phone number

 

 

The Story of Joe and Glenn

After Glenn met Joe in Anchorage (summer of 1995) at the Native Eskimo co-op where he worked and displayed his items for sale, he commissioned a large walrus tusk to be scrimmed by Joe.  Then Glenn video taped the entire process of making this tusk a work of art.

There is much more to this story that will be documented shortly.

Here is Joe and his wife Ruth in his workroom.  He is holding a stand for a walrus tusk he is working on.

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Joe is working at his table scrimshawing the big tusk for Glenn, using sketches from his sketchbook

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More of Joe working at his table on the tusk.  Notice the interesting pieces around him.

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Typical photo of unstable piece of woolly mammoth ivory in the process of being stabilized by Joe

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Joe with Glenn, holding the finished walrus tusk art work

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A snapshot of Glenn in 1995 in Anchorage, the real "Mountain Man", in his big motor home, taking care of his wife Darel who is in the advanced stages of MS.  This is when he bought the big tusk from Joe

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Three of Joe's masks for sale on the wall of his shop

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and Joe holding two of them:

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Bolo ties made by Joe, hanging on the wall.  Made with whale baleen, walrus ivory and mammoth ivory

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This is a woolly mammoth tusk carved by Joe, which is in storage at the Wells Fargo Bank building in Anchorage (you can ask to see it).

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More photos of this in the Alaska travels page 

Photos of Ruth, and Ruth with Joe

and Joe

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BEAVER HIDE ON BOARD
  

   

    

This is the only hide we have ever seen that Joe created into an art piece.
 
Ink Drawing by Joe on large beaver hide, glued to back board
Wire on back to hang.
 
Signed.  Frame measures 40x30x1”
 
Beaver hide itself measures 34x28x3/8” thick.
 

 

BIRDS
 

#AK-BIRD-55

Eagle head (whale bone) on walrus ivory base, black ink eye, measures 2-1/4" long x 1/4" thick x 1-1/4" tall; signed "JB" for Joe Bla
tchford

$115

 

#AK-BIRD-56

Eagle head (walrus ivory), baleen neck, on walrus ivory base; black ink eye, measures 2-1/2" long x 1/4" thick x 1-1/8" tall
; signed "JB" on reverse for Joe Blatchford


$145  

 

BOLOS

 

#AK-BOLO-1

 
Walrus ivory slice (rounded on sides, flat on back) with scrimshaw Canadian goose, measures 1-3/4" tall x 1-3/4" wide x 1/4" thick; with bolo finding glued on back, dark brown braided cotton bolo cord 30" long with walrus ivory tips; bolo signed "JB" for Joe Blatchford 

 

   

#AK-BOLO-2

Baleen whale slice, rounded on sides, flat on back, with etching of Dall sheep, measures 2" long x 1-3/8" wide x 1/8" thick; with bolo finding glued on back, dark brown braided cotton bolo cord 30" long with walrus ivory tips; signed "JB" on reverse for Joe Blatchford

 

 

FIGURE
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#AK-FIG-19

Face carved into fossil walrus tooth, on whale baleen slice base.
Measures 2" long x 1-3/4" wide.  Tooth itself is 1-5/8" tall x 3/4" wide x 5/8" thick.  By Joe Blatchford.

 

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#AK-FIG-50

Detailed scrimshaw work of full body of Eskimo laying on side with spear.  Signed Joe Blatchford.  This is Joe's mother he has scrimmed on this piece, which is a section of fossil walrus tusk at least 1000 years old.  It is also an artifact Fire Starter which is a real bonus.  Measures 6" long x 2-1/4" tall xy 1/2" thickest.  

 

 

MAMMOTH IVORY

   

#AK-MAM-1

These two pieces of mammoth tusk ivory came from Joe as a gift from him, from his workroom.

 

 

MASKS
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AK-MASK-1

Spirit mask with ivory face, fur ruff, 3 fossil ivory spear points & one spear end, all 4 baleen; 11" tall x 6-1/2" wide; by Joe Blatchford signed JB

SOLD to Joe's niece Charaleigh Blatchford in Unalakleet, Alaska

 

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AK-MASK-3

Fossil whale bone face with ivory eyes and dot decorations, baleen pupils; 8" tall x 6-1/2" wide; by Joe Blatchford signed JB

 

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AK-MASK-7

Fossil whale vertebrae disk SHAMAN MASK man/walrus, baleen whisker spots & ivory tooth; 7" long x 5-3/8" wide; by Joe Blatchford

 

 

PENDANTS


#AK-NECK-100

Fossil walrus tusk slice, scrimshaw of ram/Dall sheep, Measures 1-3/4" long x 1-1/8" wide x 1/8" thick; front to back drilled, gold wired with loop for necklace; signed "JB" Joe Blatchford 
 

#AK-NECK-101


Fossil walrus tusk slice, scrimshaw of Flying Canada goose, Measures 1-3/4" long x 1" wide x 1/8" thick;
front to back drilled, gold wired with loop for necklace; signed "JB" Joe Blatchford 


#AK-NECK-102

Fossil walrus tusk slice, scrimshaw of Flying Bald headed eagle about to catch prey, Measures 1-5/8" long x 1" wide x 1/8" thick; front to back drilled, gold wired with loop for necklace; signed "JB" Joe Blatchford 


#AK-NECK-103


Walrus ivory slice with scrimshaw of whaling ship & lighthouse; 1-1/4" long x 7/8" wide x 1/8" thick, top drilled with pendant loop; signed "J" for Joe Blatchford

 


#AK-NECK-107


10 walrus ivory handmade beads, drilled, four - 8 mm, three - 10mm, three - 11+ mm.  Made by Joe Blatchford.

 


#AK-NECK-108


Billiken pendant made of walrus ivory, black inked, measures 1-1/2" long x 1/2" diameter, pendant loop drilled sideways; back is flat.  Not signed, but made by Joe Blatchford. 


 


#AK-NECK-109


Billiken pendant made of walrus ivory, black inked, measures 1-3/4" long x 1/2" diameter, pendant loop drilled sideways; back is flat.  Not signed, but made by Joe Blatchford.


 
 

#AK-NECK-110


Walrus ivory tusk slice measures 1-7/8" long x 1-1/4" wide x 1/8" thick; drilled front to back with gold wired pendant loop.  No signature, but they are unfinished Joe Blatchford pieces.

 
 

#AK-NECK-111


Fossil walrus tusk slice measures 2-1/8" long x 1-3/8" wide x 1/8" thick; drilled front to back and gold wired pendant loop.  No signature, but they are unfinished Joe Blatchford pieces.

 



#AK-NECK-120


Fossil walrus tusk slice with scrimshaw flying Canadian goose, measures 1-3/8" long x 1-3/8" wide x 1/8" thick; signed "JB" for Joe Blatchford; drilled front to back, gold wired as a pendant. 

 
 

#AK-NECK-125


Walrus ivory face glued on baleen oval back, measures 2" long x 1-1/4" wide x 1/8" thick; drilled front to back and gold wired with loop for pendant; signed on reverse "JB" for Joe Blatchford.

 

 

OOSIK

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#AK-OOS-17

Large walrus oosik, scrimmed with two simple (but colored) husky sled dog heads, with colored mountain background scene.  Signed "Joe Blatchford".  We believe this to be post-accident.

Measures 21-1/2" following the curvature (21" linear) 

1-3/4" diameter on largest end, x 2-1/4" across.  

Weight: 1 pound 8.6 oz.

 

 

OSTRICH EGG
 

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#AK-OST-1

Glenn commissioned this ostrich egg to be scrimmed by Joe Blatchford when he was in Anchorage Alaska in 1995.  Signed, and is on a horn tip stand

 

 

SEAL
 

#AK-SEAL-35

Fossil walrus ivory of seal with inlaid baleen eye, flat on back; measures 2-3/8" long x 7/8" tall x 1/8" thick; looks like an AB  initials on back but signed "JB" (for Joe Blatchford) on reverse.

 

 

SHARK

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AK-SHARK-2

This is a 2" modern great white shark tooth, top is black baked enamel, gold wired as a pendant.  Scrimshaw work by Joe Blatchford (dyslexic, he signed it "LB" instead of "JB". Glenn is the one that gave him the tooth and commissioned the work from him to do this so we know it is Joe's work.

 

 

VASE
 

   

#AK-VASE-6

Section of walrus tusk made as a covered vase or jar.  Measures 5-1/4" tall x 3" wide x 1-3/4" deep.  Scrimshaw with a Puffin, Seagull, Cormorant rookery, walrus in the sea, flying sea gull, on front only.  Tusk is solid on bottom with 2" deep of hollow space inside.  Carved wooden top to fit, and a fossil ivory seal on top as a finial.  Signed "JB" AND "Joe Blatchford" on the bottom. 

 

WALRUS
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#AK-WAL-50 

FULLY SCRIMMED Walrus TUSK by Joe Blatchford

Small walrus ivory tusk fully scrimmed on front by Joe Blatchford (personally known by Glenn from 1995). Detailed Eskimo and sled dog.  Measures 14-7/8" long x 2" wide x 1" thick.

 

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#AK-WAL-51

FULLY SCRIMMED WALRUS TUSK by Joe Blatchford

Glenn video taped Joe as he scrimmed this tusk over a 4 day period.  By Joe Blatchford, Golovin, AK.  Due to the fact that he had two family members killed by a walrus (father) and seal (uncle), his family could not hunt these two animals as they believed the spirit of those relatives resided with that animal spirit.  The family had to leave the village because they were no longer an asset because of this.  Joe was forever known as the Walrus Man thereafter.  Joe's signature shaman face of half walrus half man is shown on the end, and a seal head on the other.

Themed with whales and whaling ships.

VALUE:  PRICELESS.  This one is part of Glenn.

 

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#AK-WAL-52

FULLY SCRIMMED WALRUS TUSK by Joe Blatchford

Seal head on one end in fossil stellar sea cow bone, Joe's signature shaman face of half-walrus half-man on the other end with polar bear fur hair on half, baleen spacers.  Theme is a rookery of puffins, killer whales, cormorants, walruses, whaling ships, polar bear, and humpback whale.

Back has a tracing of the front half of a whale (as seen with tusk turned sideways), the line is also a type of serpent bird (sacred to the Eskimo people), and images of seal & fish.

Wells Fargo Bank in Anchorage Alaska bought 4 tusks from Joe in 1995 they now have in their showcase.  Joe is now deceased as of 2008, which also increases the value of his remaining body of work.  We are proud to have owned three of his tusks and other smaller items.

MEASURES 23" long x 3-3/8" widest end (tip 2" wide) x 2-1/4" thick.  Weight: 5 pounds 7 ounces.

This is from a large BULL WALRUS weighing 3,000 pounds.

The last 6-8" of the tusk tip is worn off or missing from the original full tusk as it was in the walrus skull, though you would never know it.

 

 

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#AK-WAL-53  Joe's Biggest tusk yet.  It weighs about 6 pounds

DOUBLE signed by Joe Blatchford front & back; over 40 years old, pre-accident work.  Ends left natural.

30" long following the curvature, x 3" wide x 3" deep

Scrimmed front & back, of a flock of geese, Dall sheep, elk, moose fighting 2 wolves, 4 brown bears fishing.  On the reverse is a scrim of an Eskimo hunter standing on his boat looking for seal or bear.   A real masterpiece.

 

 

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#AK-WAL-54

Smallest tusk, acquired from Mike, 11/2015

Measures 15-5/8" long curved measurement (15-1/4" linear)

1-5/8" tall x 1" wide across large end

Weight: 1 pound 7.5 oz.

Joe's father is shown on a walrus hunt.  His coat is colored, the walruses are colored, and the polar bear is colored.   Signed Joe Blatchford, "JB" and a seal image.  Banded at both ends; black end piece is baleen.

 

 

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#AK-WAL-55

Acquired from Mike, 11/2015

19-1/2" long curved measurement (18-1/2" linear)

1-13/16" tall x 1" across large end

Weight: 1 pound 8.5 oz.

"Double jeopardy".  Scrimmed scene is a bird rookery, orca whales hunting seals, which are also being hunted by the polar bear (double jeopardy for the seal).  Detailed banding on both ends.  Black end is baleen.  Signed Joe Blatchford, "JB", and small seal carving, and "Golovin, AK".

 

 

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#AK-WAL-56

Acquired from Mike, 11/2015

20" long curved measurement (18-1/2" linear)

2-1/2" tall x 1-5/8" wide across large end

Weight: 3 pounds 5.7 oz.

 

Scrimmed scene is a family cemetery image (top), 9 husky dog sled team, father Charlie is pictured.  Sun is colored yellow, and the huskies, blanket on sled, and Charlie's boots are colored.  Signed Joe Blatchford, "JB" and spotted seal image.  Banded on both ends.

 

 

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#AK-WAL-57

Acquired from Mike, 22/2015

23-1/2" long curved measurement (23" linear)

2-1/16" tall x 1-3/8" wide across large end

3 pounds 8.9 oz.

Scene scrimmed is a 9 bird rookery, 4 orcas, and 3 colored walrus.  End is a cap of walrus ivory.  Signed Joe Blatchford, "JB", and "Golovin AK" and spotted seal image.

 

 

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#AK-WAL-58

5/26/15  This beautifully COLORED scrimshaw walrus tusk is in private hands, we have permission to share the photos. James writes:

Hello Glenn,
 
I just came across the site about Joe Blatchford.  I never knew that Joe worked under such a difficult handicap.  Thank you for memoralizing him and his works of art the way you have done.
 
The wife and I used to live in Anchorage, and while there we purchased one of Joe's scrimshaw tusks, it's truly beautiful.  We did not meet Joe personally, however.  That was over 30 years ago.

Update 11/2015 We have since purchased this tusk.  Here are the photos

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Acquired from James & Barbara, 11/2015

DROP DEAD gorgeous piece.  One of Joe's finest.  Slice has been removed to facilitate a flatter surface for scrimming.  Deep curvature to tusk.  Peg leg hole in back. (back photo shows peg taped to the tusk for display later)

26-3/4" long curved measurement (24-3/8" linear)

3" tall x 2-1/4" wide across large end

4 pounds 10.8 oz.

Mother and sister and father portrayed on the annual caribou hunt.  Seal in background, family tent with heat (chimney).  Trusty husky dog, ancient design of spear for seal hunt and modern rifle.  We know this was carved early in Joe's career because his father was still able to seal hunt (meaning his uncle and brother had not died yet), while they were still in Golovin.  Ten caribou.  85% of the tusk is colored.  Premier piece.  Black end is baleen.

 

 

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#AK-WAL-59

This is an old and wonderful tusk, just acquired 12/16/15.  It came from a flea market in Berlin New Jersey.  

Theme on the tusk are detailed scenes of father, and mother with child in back of parka, large village scene with kayaks up on stilts, skins drying on racks, numerous houses, walrus, mountain scenes, pair of whale ribs etc.

Weight: 4 pounds

Measures: 25-1/2" long, 3" across base, x 1-1/2" across tip

 

 

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#AK-WAL-60

Base added is a woolly mammoth back bone vertebra from Siberia, Russia, 10,000 years old.  Measures 12-1/2" long x 6" wide x 2-1/2" tall.  Full tusk with brass rods in the base measures 8" tall.  Spectacular.

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This LARGE and detailed tusk came to us from a pawn shop in Georgia.  Origination was Anchorage, Alaska.  The owner acquired this tusk some 40 years ago when he was stationed in Alaska.  Currently we are working with the family to track down more history on this piece.  It came without the base.  It appears that the wood cap on the end had small items glued to it, which are not there.

Theme of the tusk is Family.  From Left to Right: trapper's cabin, Eskimo style with husky sled dogs, with a bear hide drying on rack.  The next 4 scenes are all of family members (yet to be identified).  The far right figure is Joe's father.  2nd from right is: Female with child is Joe's mother and oldest sister.  3rd from right: Eskimo spearing fish is possibly Joe himself.  4th from right: Elderly Eskimo lady is more than likely Joe's grandmother.

Measures 28-5/8" long.  Widest part of tusk and the end are 3-1/8" tall.

Weight: 6 pounds 3.8 ounces

 

 

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#AK-WAL-61

Baby walrus tusk measures 

11-1/8" long x 1-1/4" wide x 1" deep.  No cap.  Subject:  Polar bear, Hunter in gear laying down, spear at his side, and sled dog nearby.

 


  

  



#AK-WAL-62

From Krista, Montana

Measures (following curvature) 23-1/2" long x 1-3/4" deep x 2-1/2" tall
On base, 5-3/8" tall
Tusk weight: 3 pounds 9 ounces


 

  

  

 

#AK-WAL-63

From Krista, Montana

Measures (following curvature) 19-1/2" long x 1-3/4" deep x 2-5/8" tall
On base, 5-1/4" tall
Tusk weight: 2 pounds 14 ounces


 

 

JOE BLATCHFORD ART WORK

OWNED PRIVATELY

 

CRIBBAGE BOARD (Karl)
 

joe-crib (1).jpg (129756 bytes)  joe-crib (2).jpg (122105 bytes)  joe-crib (3).jpg (123098 bytes)  joe-crib (4).jpg (138183 bytes)

 

 

TUSKS
Cecil allowed us to photograph the Joe Blatchford signed tusk he has in his possession while we were in Anchorage, November 2015

TUSK 1

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cecil2.jpg (31662 bytes)  cecil3.jpg (36449 bytes)  cecil4.jpg (17513 bytes)  cecil5.jpg (21643 bytes)

  cecil7.jpg (37467 bytes)  cecil8.jpg (30557 bytes)  cecil9.jpg (49086 bytes)

 

 

Roy allowed us to photograph the two Joe Blatchford signed tusks he has in his possession in Anchorage Alaska, November 2015.

roy1.jpg (31832 bytes)

Tusk 1

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  roy2.jpg (29166 bytes)  roy3.jpg (25008 bytes)  roy4.jpg (23492 bytes)  roy5.jpg (18500 bytes)

  roy6.jpg (13328 bytes)  

Tusk 2

roy16.jpg (32949 bytes)

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roy12.jpg (36047 bytes)  roy13.jpg (32739 bytes)  roy14.jpg (25316 bytes)  

roy15.jpg (14529 bytes)

 

TUSK MOUNT (Shawn)
 

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Weight:  Approximately 10 pounds; tusks are 21" long.

 

 

TUSK MOUNT (Ruy)
 

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His dad lived in Alaska a few years, and purchased this tusk mount while he was there.

 

TUSK MOUNT - Brian, Alaska 9/17/16



  

   

  

I purchased a full head walrus mount in 1990.  I wanted to share with you. The mount has the lower lower jaw with all of its teeth. The tusks are 23-1/2" long from where they are glued into skull and 8" in circumference at the skull.  One of the hunter scrim resembles what may be his father. The other tusk depicts his uncle. I have owned this piece for over 25 years and have never researched its origin until today. 


I had been eying the mount in an ivory retail store on 4th avenue in Anchorage for a while and during fur rondy in 1989 or1990.  I had to have it.
We named it Chumly and it has traveled many miles from AK to Illinois to Colorado back to AK back to Colorado and finally back to AK again. It has it's own special shipping crate.
If you would like to use the pictures you have my permission.
We now live in Sterling AK where Chumly is proudly displayed in our living room.
 

 

SHIP
This piece remains in private hands in Alaska

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joeship7.jpg (237238 bytes)

#AK-SHIP-1

 

 

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