Penobscot "Root" Club, ca. 1920
I acquired it in upstate New York, near Fort Ticonderoga, out of an antique barn. It was 1963-- I was vacationing in the area with my family. The man that I bought it from didn't know its history or could tell me much about it. I was just fascinated with it, and the price was right.
Now, you mentioned to me you felt it was a shaman's club. Is that right?
That's what I assigned it.
Well, what you have here-- and it's quite a, quite an amazing example, if I must say-- you have an example of a Penobscot club, which comes from Maine. These were made for sale in the late 19th century into the 1940s. I suspect this one is probably from around the 1920s. I have seen, in the 20 years I've been in business, hundreds of these. However, this example is one of the best I've ever seen. If we take a look here, these are made from burl roots, from the burl of a tree, and we have here quite wonderful imagery of a moose and a fish, and a portrait of the stereotypical North American Indian. And we can see the wolf at the top, with wonderful polychrome and chip carving. These generally sell in the neighborhood of $800 to $1,200. Frequently, they just have the burl at the top, and they do not have this wonderful carving and painting that this example has. I would say this one of the two best examples I've seen of this type.
And I would guess that if this was in my gallery, we would ask somewhere between $4,000 and $6,000.
Amazing. That was a very good $60 investment.
What will you do with it now?
Take it home, put it away. Treat it with great respect.
Well, enjoy looking at it. Don't hide it under the bed.
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