Hand carved and painted by Ketchikan, Alaska artist Patrick Seale, this tall, yellow cedar totem pole depicts traditional symbols like the raven with its outspread wings and a pair of steelhead salmon. The totem pole is signed by the artist on the bottom of the octagonal wooden platform. There is a faint remnant of glue there where the "Made in Alaska" label would have been affixed. The totem is 16 1/2 inches tall, with a wingspan of 8 inches. (The wings are fixed, not adjustable.) The base measures 3 1/2 inches across and the solid wood piece weighs about 1 1/2 pounds. It's in excellent condition, with no breaks or cracks and the strong paint colors still lustrous.
Pacific Northwest Native American carvers began making these model totem poles in the 1950's to sell to tourists. The quality of the carving varies widely; Patrick Seale is known for his careful carving and painting and this is one of his better examples. Given the size of the totem and the well-known carver who created it, this piece would have been expensive even when it was new. It makes an impressive display alone or in a Native American collection.