17 rue des Beaux-Arts, 75006 Paris
Phone: +33 (0)6 80 10 80 22

Anthony JP Meyer

For more then 40 years and following his parents who were antique dealers and collectors based in both Paris and Los Angeles, Anthony JP Meyer has been working hard and tenaciously from his Parisian gallery to promote the ancient arts of the island cultures of Oceania.

In 2010, he added a department specializing in the ancient art of the cultures of the Arctic Circle – a private passion for over 30 years. Today, after publishing in 1995 a landmark book on Oceanic art and many thematic catalogs Anthony JP Meyer is engaged in other book projects, while continuing his work as an antique dealer and expert, providing collectors and institutions with Oceanic & Eskimo works of art of the highest quality and rarity.

Drag handle or toggle carved as a swimming seal, Point Hope, North Alaska, 18th/19th century.

Drag handle or toggle carved as a swimming seal

Point Hope, North Alaska
Walrus tusk
(Odobenus rosmarus divergens)
with a superb patina of age and usage,
glass trade beads, skin and whiskers.
9,7 cm
18th/19th century

Dr. John Beach Driggs collection
Driggs was an Episcopal missionary physician and educator
who served in Point Hope, Alaska, between 1890 and 1910
as the first missionary in the far north.

By family descent

Skinners Auction, 2019

Ex private French Collection.


A superb drag handle or toggle carved as a swimming seal.

The naturalistic head has blue glass trade beads with seal or walrus whisker pupils.

The face is sensitively carved, offering a marvelous example of early Eskimo carving showing the sense of observation and quality of hand of the artist.

The joined, rear flippers are pierced through vertically.

The remains of the walrus or seal skin rope is still attached with its original knot.

Toggles of this type were often used to drag home the result of a successful hunt but also to pull the drill thong from either side when using a two-person pull-drill.

One man pulling the thong in one direction while the other held the drill and pulled in the opposite direction.