This bag is by David Ansonia, a British/Swiss national who does good southeastern work. David's other major interest is tipi camping.
This is a southeastern-style bag of the 1820s-1830s period. The strap design is from a bag that was in an advertisement in AMERICAN INDIAN ART magazine many years ago. The main design on the flap is David's own, and the heart-shaped designs were inspired by a bag that used to be in the Rowan County Museum in Salisbury, NC, but sold at auction a few years ago. This type of bag is made by sewing down a narrow braid using a running stitch right down the center of the strip to form the design. Then the maker outlines the design using 8/0 white beads.
In the early 1970s, as a Midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy, I purchased a number of whale's teeth (it was legal then) from a ship chandlery in New York. At the time, J.P. McNalley's, located at 234 Water St., in lower Manhattan, had barrels full of sperm whale teeth for a dollar or two each. Some of the teeth were very old and had been around since the 19th century. Over the next several years, as a Midshipman and then as a naval officer on destroyers and cruisers in the Pacific Fleet, I engraved many of the teeth as gifts for family and friends. This is one I did for my sister in 1985. She just recently asked me to make a base for it. The base is turned ebony with an ivory inset.
When Robert Weil started collecting images for the Contemporary Makers book in 1973 the challenge to record contemporary gun work was daunting. Gathering material was difficult and time consuming. Few makers thought that there was any value in published documentation of their work. Electronic publishing has changed all that. Having a website or having one's work available to view on the internet is becoming a necessity. In spite of all the potential to finally have a true overview of what's being produced by the artists of today, a great deal of work still remains covered up and basically unknown. Our role is to make an effort to document some portion of what’s going on today. To comment on the established makers and to uncover the unknown. We welcome your comments and suggestions and look to you our readers to make us aware of the talented makers out there. Art and Jan Riser Robert Weil and The Makers