Plains pipe tomahawk will lead Native American art sale

A rare Plains pipe tomahawk is the star lot of an auction of Native American art at Bonhams.

It will cross the block in San Francisco on December 7 with a valuation of $35,000-55,000.

Tomahawk pipe sothebys
Tomahawk pipes were mainly used for ceremonial purposes

The lot formerly belonged to a resident of Kansas, Ebenezer Patrick, who was presented with it by a group of Sioux Indians in 1843.

Patrick's obituary in his local newspaper explained how he obtained it: "One spring day in 1843 on his way back to the farm, he witnessed two men attacking a young Indian girl who was picking chokecherries along Wildhorse Creek, which is a tributary of the Delaware River.

"He fired two rounds from his pistol into the air near the men, frightening them off.

"Ebenezer took the young Indian squaw to the farm, then later back to the church where he and [his wife] Mary cared for her.

"Several days later, a party of two non-hostile Sioux Indians came into town looking for the girl and was told that the pastor and his wife had her at the church.

"They presented Ebenezer with a silver tomahawk pipe in appreciation of his good deeds."

Other lots in the sale include a third phase Navajo chief's blanket, which is valued at $15,000-25,000.

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