Tlingit Red Corner Bentwood Storage box
Date: 19th Century
Artist: Tlingit artist
Materials: wood, red pigments, iron nails
Dimensions: 14 ½ L x 14 ½ ” w x 16 ¾ ” H
A fine old Northwest Coast classic Tlingit red corner bentwood storage box dating from the 1800’s. The red corner box seems to be specific to the Tlingit , painted with red corners and incised design on the lid. This type of box was made for everyday use. The bentwood box was a highly specialized skill on the Northwest Coast, a straight piece of cedar was kerfed and steam bent with the final end pegged or nailed into place, then a grooved bottom was fitted on using pegs as well. A form fitting lid completed these boxes water tight boxes that served numerous uses. Many of the original lids ended up in the fire on cold days, so many of them are missing. This example retains its original old lid. A great example of Native ingenuity. A museum quality specimen. Beautiful original old patina throughout.
Reference: Please see Reid and Holm “Analysis of Form ” pages 136-137 where the two scholars and artists discuss the complexity of these boxes and their intrinsic beauty.