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Exhibit Label

The eagle as a motif was popular with engravers everywhere. The emblematic American eagle came to the Northwest Coast on coins, military insignia, ships' carvings, and engraved documents very early in the historic period, and native artists quickly adopted the motif. This expertly executed American eagle - with defiant thrust of beak and arrogant glance and shield, arrows, and olive branch proudly displayed - is one of the finest examples of this type. Classic foliate scrolls, with flawless curves and spirals deeply cut, flank the eagle's cartouche.
This bracelet is of heavy gauge silver, probably hammered from an ingot cast of melted coins in a wooden or stone mold. Many bracelets were hammered from whole coins, but they are usually thinner and show creases and overlaps on the inner side - the result of folding and refolding the silver to achieve the proper shape. A cross-hatched background, while not unique to the Northwest Coast, was the usual choice of Indian engravers and was very uncommon on the European prototype. (Holm, Box of Daylight, 1983).

Item History

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