Henry Hunt Tribal Wind Mask
Appraised Value: $4,000 - $6,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:33)
Antiques Appraiser and Consultant
GUEST: I purchased the mask at the Provincial Museum in Victoria, B.C. And I was attracted to the spiritual quality of the mask, and I knew Henry Hunt as the chief of the Kwakiutl tribe and I knew that he was instrumental in helping promote the Indians and their art and culture...
APPRAISER: In what year was that, 19...?
APPRAISER: Okay, and what did you pay for it?
GUEST: I paid $395.
APPRAISER: Okay, do you think you got a pretty good buy?
GUEST: At the time, it was very expensive for me and I couldn't afford it, but...
APPRAISER: And you were a docent, I believe, weren't you?
GUEST: I was a docent at the Portland Art Museum in the '70s.
APPRAISER: First of all, I want to establish the fact that this in fact is a contemporary mask. All of these masks are signed, as you know, and this one is signed, and that's one of the things you should look for when you see a contemporary mask.
APPRAISER: The history on this piece is exciting. We have to first go back to Henry Hunt's father. Henry Hunt's father was George Hunt, and George Hunt was the informant for Boaz, who was one of the early ethnologists in this area in the late 19th century. Henry Hunt was born in 1923, he died in 1984. Henry with Mungo Martin were instrumental in, really, the birth of contemporary Northwest Coast carving in this area. Now, he had a place called the Carving Shed, which was attached to the Provincial Museum, which is now called the Royal British Columbia Museum. So this started really in the late '50s, early '60s. He carved up through the late '70s. Their tradition goes on. And the Hunt family is Tony Hunt, Henry Hunt, Jr., Richard Hunt... The carving continues and the carving in the Northwest Coast, especially typified by the Hunt family, it's about as good as it gets. Now, as you know, this is a wind mask for the wind spirit. Beautifully carved, wonderfully defined. This mask in a gallery in either Seattle or Portland or Victoria, I think now is worth $4,000 to $6,000 U.S.
GUEST: That's astounding.
APPRAISER: That's a wonderful investment for your $395.
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