Examples of Argillite Carving -- Clam Shell Box

Ornately carved cedar boxes were common amongst the tribes of the Pacific Northwest, and were made also for the scrimshaw trade. Some of the finest were done in argillite. Shown here is a reproduction of a large argillite box or casket in the Canadian Museum of Civilization collection. We also offer this box in a smaller size, suitable for desk use.

Clam Shell Box, Oblique View

This rather large argillite box was first ascribed to Charles Edenshaw by Marius Barbeau, but later research indicates that it was made by John Robson, the stepfather of Edenshaw. The size is 16 x 12 x 7 inches, color argillite black. This museum quality reproduction is made from a natural resin composite to attain the heft of the argillite original. This is a monumental piece, outstanding in its type and carving, done at the height of the early classic period. Made in Canada.

Clam Shell Box Front

The front of the box shows the bear.

Clam Shell Box Top

After the great flood, Raven was gorging himself on edibles on the beach. Hearing some strange sounds, he found a giant clamshell with little beings wiggling inside. He crooned and coaxed them out, and they were the first humans. The top of the box shows the people coming out of the clam shell, flanked on both sides by a frog and bear.

Clam Shell Box Back

The back of the box shows the mosquito crest.

Clam Shell Box End

The ends of the box show the beaver.

For more information ...
Please follow the links below to learn more about the Pacific Northwest Coast Indian jewelry and reproductions we offer and other related items and information.

Argillite Reproductions
Totem Poles
NW Indian Jewelry
Trade Bracelets
Pacific Northwest Coast Indian Art & Lore
Clam Shell Box Reproduction
Small Clam Shell Box Reproduction