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Toggle in the Form of a Bear Head

Culture Old Bering Sea
Title Toggle in the Form of a Bear Head
Date 200 BCE–300 CE
Medium Sperm whale ivory
Dimensions Mount: 7/16 × 1 1/16 × 1 1/4 in. (1.1 × 2.7 × 3.2 cm)
Object: 5/8 × 9/16 × 13/16 in. (1.6 × 1.4 × 2.1 cm)
Overall (includes mount): 1 1/8 × 1 1/16 × 1 1/4 in. (2.9 × 2.7 × 3.2 cm)
Credit Line Raymond and Laura Wielgus Collection, Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University
Accession Number 2010.44

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About this Work

The beautifully carved toggle is in the form of a delicate polar bear head. Animals such as whales, seals, and walruses were all significant to the people of the Old Bering Sea, and it is the bones and teeth of these animals that were used in the carvings.

Provenance research is ongoing for this and many other items in the Eskenazi Museum of Art permanent collection. For more information about the provenance of this artwork, please contact the department curator with specific questions.

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"Toggle in the Form of a Bear Head | Collections Online." Collections Online. Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University, 2024.