Lot 133

Bella Coola Komokwa & Orca Haida Mask by D. Simeon

Estimate: $3,500 - $5,500

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $5
$50 $10
$100 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$2,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$25,000 $2,500
$100,000 $5,000
This is an outstanding, hand carved, articulated Bella Coola Komokwa Chief of the Sea Mask by Dwayne Simeon (b.1960), a master carved from the Northwest Coast Haida / Nuu-chah-nulth, dating to circa 1998 and of the Kwagiulth tradition. Provenance: The piece comes with an Appraisal from Douglas Reynolds Gallery Vancouver, B.C., dated August 8, 1998, stating this to be an authentic Dwayne Simeon Komokwa Mask from the Esperti Collection, valued at $4,800.00. The mask is constructed of solid Red Cedar and Cedar Bark deeply carved in traditional Kwagiulth Haida / Nuu-chah-nulth Pacific Northwest Coast totem geometric patterns. It is a large, full-size Bella Coolar Komokwa and Orca / Killer Whale mask with articulated whale (the side top and back fins all move; the piece spins on the dowel on top of the mask). This is likely Dwayne Simeon’s largest and finest Komokwa example ever brought to the market and is in well-preserved, good condition. In the mouth of the piece is a further totem face effigy and atop the head are the three Octopus-like tentacles or crown arms with the Orca Killer Whale above. The sides and bottom are draped in grass fringes. Dwayne Simeon was born in 1960 in Cape Mudge, British Columbia, Canada and is a Nuu-chah-nulth / Haida Pacific Northwest Coast Native American. He started his career around 1977, apprenticing under renowned artists, such as Tony Hunt and John Livingston. Although he is of Haida background, Simeon works in the Kwagiulth style. The artist describes this Komokwa Mask as depicting the tale of a Bella Coola Man who fell into the ocean when fishing from his canoe. He was pleased when a Killer Whale came along and lifted him into its mouth thinking he would be carried safely to land but instead Komokwa, Chief of the Undersea wished to meet the man, as he was reputed to be a poor hunter and fisherman. The Killer Whale obeyed the Chief’s request and took the man down to the sea bottom, the domain of the powerful Chief of the Undersea. The Killer Whale returned the man to land and once he awoke, he thought this all to be a dream, but instead it had become apparent that Komokwa had bestowed special powers upon him, later being known for his prowess as a fisherman and hunter. The Douglas Reynolds Gallery Appraisal confirms the above information, giving a $4,800 value and telling the piece's story, which is included with the piece. Measures overall 46”L by 31”W by 23.5”D (including the grasses below overall). $5,600 in 1998 is equivalent to $8,077 in 2021, as per inflation.
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