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Exhibit Label

Even though there had been an earlier tradition on the northern coast of engraving copper and iron with totemic figures, many of the earliest examples of decorated silverwork show intrusive designs derived directly from eighteenth and early nineteenth century European engraving conventions. Whether these patterns of stylized scrolls and leaflike sprays were merely copied from examples seen by native engravers or actually taught by European tradesmen is not clear. The technical details of European, Euro-American, or native Northwest Coast foliate scroll engraving are so similar it seems possible, if not plausible that these patterns were learned from European tradesmen.
This expertly fashioned silver bracelet is a fine example of early floral engraving. Beveling, lining, and shading exactly reproduce the details of scroll engraving on early nineteenth century silver and related decoration, such as that on firearms. The 'rococo scroll' engraving on the brass and silver inlays of early eastern American rifles represents another, very similar 'folk' adaptation of formal European engraving style. (Holm, Box of Daylight, 1983).

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