User Menu

MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.


Attached to bottom of bowl a paper memo scotch taped, with notes on object (see Inscriptions).


Principal inscription in ink in caps on bottom: NORTHWEST COAST ([torn] ka[?]) / HAIDA OR KWAKIUTL / POTLATCH BOWL / BEAVER / ABALONE EYES / IVORY TEETH AND / BACK DECORATION / INSET WITH WHITE / TRADE BEADS / ABOUT 1880-1890 / [Signed] Lee Parner 1973" In ink, added to above text on right: "COLLECTED / 1908-1909 / SITKA" Also in script on paper label on bottom: "Bowls made by chief of tribe--given / away to people invited to special / feast to show off host's wealth Prob. / contained food. Chief also threw / [gap created by other inscription] these things canoes etc. on / fire to show off wealth." Paper form printed in lower right: "Memo"


About 1908/1909, collected by an unknown party in Sitka, Alaska [see note]. 1973, with Lee Parner [see note]. 1999, property of a Midwest private collection; November 30, 1999, anonymous (Midwest private collection) sale (sale no. 7398), Sotheby's, New York, lot 426, to Hy Zaret (b. 1907 – d. 2007) Westport, CT; 2007, by inheritance to Shirley Zaret, Boston; 2011, gift of Shirley Zaret to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 21, 2011) NOTE: According to a label affixed to bottom of bowl.

Credit Line

Gift of Hy and Shirley Zaret

Native American (Haida or Kwakiutl), about 1880–90

Object Place

Pacific Northwest


Height x width: 3 1/2 x 14 x 4 1/2 in. (8.9 x 35.6 x 11.4 cm)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Carved wood with ivory and abalone inlay and glass beads




Wood Carvings / Turnings