19th C. American Indian Presentation Pipe Tomahawk:
The lot features a true sale highlight, a terrific, authentic 19th Century American Indian presentation pipe tomahawk. The pipe tomahawk is likely Iroquois in origin and comes from a large, private Virginia museum collection of antique frontier weapons. The tomahawk is comprised of a blacksmith forged iron head which measures 7-inches in length and has a brass pipe bowl on the top with artful file work engraving. There is an upward curled basal process off the back edge of the blade and there are forged chevrons on both sides of the head moldings and filed lines on the edges of the eyelet hole, the eye or eyelet hole is a tear drop. There is a zig-zag filed line on the front outer edge of the blade. According to tomahawk authors and scholars Baldwin, Francis, Hartzler & Knowles, this is an early documented art feature on authentic 19th Century examples. The haft handle is made of old tigers stripe maple wood and has a nice, shiny deep patina showing a tear drop shape that tapers in size toward the smoking tip. There is a single silver band on the haft (silver not tested but possibly ingot, coin or nickel) as well as artful pewter inlays in a phenomenal geometric pattern at the head as well as an artful geometric pewter inlayed smoking tip at the end. The end of the haft extends past the head, an early weapon documented feature, with a poured pewter cap and the clean out plug being long missing. The pewter has an overlapping diamond and triangle pattern with oblong rectangular banded design. The tomahawk has a few nicks and dings from use but overall is well preserved and one of the finest presentation tomahawks we have ever offered for public sale. The pipe portion still has draw. These fancier American Indian Presentation Pipe Tomahawks or Presentation Grade examples were typically given to Chief’s and other tribal delegates / dignitaries at treaty signings and other prominent events. This example shows unbelievably high craftsmanship and beautiful art appeal being overall well preserved. The bowl appears to have been cleaned by a previous collector, as well as the piece itself, a common practice many years ago. Provenance: From a large antique frontier weapons private museum collection in Virginia as well as the Jim Bastian collection in Kansas City, MO. Total length of the piece is 20 ½ inches.