Rare Totem Pole Goes Under the Hammer in Dorchester
7:39am 14th February 2013
(Updated 7:47am 14th February 2013)
A rare Native American totem pole that dates back to the late 19th century is going under the hammer today at Dukes Auctioneers in Dorchester.
The totem had been forgotten about for years but has been found in a Dorset farmhouse.
Understood to have been made by the indigenous Haida people from British Columbia the sculpture features a carved face of a beaver, a bear, a whale and surmounted by an eagle
The rare piece was came to light after Duke's Auctioneers in Dorchester were called to a routine valuation and specialist Guy Schwinge spotted the significance of the pole, which had been propped up in the corner for so long the owners had almost forgotten it was there.
Totem poles are made by the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest coast of North America and are usually artistic presentations and contrary to popular belief, not used for worship, as was thought by early European explorers, but more often used to recount notable events.