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Another brass/bronze decorative piece(s) from near the War of 1812 tavern site - found this yesterday

Hi all,

For a long time, I've been wanting to approach the people who own some private property just north of the public property (woods) War of 1812 era tavern site that I've posted a few finds from earlier. Finally found a contact number, met with some wonderful folks who were thrilled to see my finds from the tavern site, and graciously granted me permission to detect on their property. Spent most of my time chatting with them (I gave them a lot of info about their property that I had researched from online maps) so didn't find too much other than a lot of junk, a decent hames/horse collar knob, and then the following 2 pieces, which I am about 100% are from the same decorative bronze or brass item. The owners don't have clear records on their farmhouse's age other than "pre-1900" but it has a sandstone foundation and is definitely pre-1876 based on my map research and very likely pre-1851.

Similar to one of my earlier postings, I think this is from maybe a wall-hanging candle sconce, fireplace insert, mirror, or possibly a wall clock or mantel clock, because it is one-sided, but not sure. The shoulder is bent upward and outward, as is one of the plumage feathers up at the top left of the headdress, maybe from getting run over by farming equipment, so this would have been completely flat. I can tell that it had gilding on it, which should brighten up with some lemon juice. The first fragment I dug was the head, which was pretty exciting. Ruler for scale on middle photo, sorry that it's out of focus.

I'd like to ask anyone reading this, please:

1) Any idea if this is supposed represent a specific Native American chief? I was thinking maybe Tecumseh or Powhatan with the distinctive headdress.
2) Any idea of what type of decorative object this is from? Maybe one of those I mentioned above?
3) Possible date range? I have no idea whether this is something Victorian or from the 1920s, or something much earlier and possibly something that was transferred from the War of 1812 era tavern to the newer house a few hundred yards to the north.

Thanks for any ideas!
 

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Steve(Can)

Well-known member
Great find, FH. Puts me in mind of a state coat of arms I've seen somewhere.
 

Steve(Can)

Well-known member
Artists are notorious from borrowing references from existing images and it's not uncommon to find similar elements from earlier work.

Below is an engraved drawing of the Native American Creek Indian tribe, from the book 'Ridpath's Universal history' by John Clark Ridpath, 1897

engraved-drawing-of-the-native-american-creek-indian-tribe-from-the-book-ridpaths-universal-hi...jpg


Below is a painting done a few years earlier of Big Snake, Chief of the Blackfoot Indians, Recounting his War Exploits to Five Subordinate Chiefs done by Paul Kane around 1850. Kane took extensive exploration trips through Northwest Canada sketching and painting the native people he encountered along the way.

Six_Blackfeet_Chiefs_-_Paul_Kane.jpg


Some pretty obvious similarities between the two pictures, even though some of the heads have been turned to face the opposite direction.
The plumed feathers and cloak in both look kinda similar to your find.

Not sure if this is a step in the right direction, FH, but kinda interesting.
 
Thanks, Steve. You are absolutely right on target in your line of thinking. So, just about 15 minutes ago I found this old litho from circa 1870: https://www.loc.gov/item/95507872/
and the similarities to my brass/bronze piece are striking, right down to the bottom fringes of his cloak, the belt and the fringes hanging from it, his earrings, wrinkles on his forehead, etc. Powhatan definitely fits the bill, (not that Big Snake wouldn't also) and I am guessing this is from right around that 1850-1870 timeframe or a little afterward, which goes well with the house where I found it.

Now it's just a matter of trying to figure out what this decorative piece was from.

PS - how do you embed nice large images like you've done above? I'm still learning the mechanics of the forum/posting and still have a lot to learn so don't hesitate to correct me if I'm replying the wrong way.
 

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Steve(Can)

Well-known member
Thanks, Steve. You are absolutely right on target in your line of thinking. So, just about 15 minutes ago I found this old litho from circa 1870: https://www.loc.gov/item/95507872/
and the similarities to my brass/bronze piece are striking, right down to the bottom fringes of his cloak, the belt and the fringes hanging from it, his earrings, wrinkles on his forehead, etc. Powhatan definitely fits the bill, (not that Big Snake wouldn't also) and I am guessing this is from right around that 1850-1870 timeframe or a little afterward, which goes well with the house where I found it.

Now it's just a matter of trying to figure out what this decorative piece was from
Thanks FH. The last button posted of the croc and porcupine was a great example of brass work based on existing art. The plumed feathers on your piece looked really familiar for some reason. Great find and good catch with the litho! Gonna keep looking around a bit, the thing with cast metal was they were able to make multiple copies and maybe we can luck out and find one to match your pieces.

Betting from this artwork and the date of the house, you are on the mark with the date.
 
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Thanks FH. The last button posted of the croc and porcupine was a great example of brass work based on existing art. The plumed feathers on your piece looked really familiar for some reason. Great find and good catch with the litho! Gonna keep looking around a bit, the thing with cast metal was they were able to make multiple copies and maybe we can luck out and find one to match your pieces.
Thanks, Steve! That croc and porcupine button is definitely a great example. Like you mentioned, those plumed feathers jogged my memory. I've been googling around a bit too for brass/bronze items but still haven't found a match yet - thanks for looking around too! Next time I go back to my new permission, I am going to hit that little area where I found both pieces harder to see if I can't pull up more fragments of the same.
 

Steve(Can)

Well-known member
Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 10.00.12 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 10.01.10 PM.png


from the link below:
Antique Pair GIRANDOLE Bronze Figural Candle Holders Native American Inspired 15.5 inchesAntique Pair GIRANDOLE Bronze Figural Candle Holders Native American Inspired 15.5 inches

 

Ronstar

Well-known member
Wow
 

Steve(Can)

Well-known member
for comparison

Indian.jpg
 

Steve(Can)

Well-known member
...something similar

From the link below:

w 514. An American Gilt Bronze Girandole Figure of an Indian Holding a Rifle, mid-19th c., possibly Cornelius & Co., Philadelphia, a variant on the “Warrior with Musket” model of c. 1845-1860, height 8 1/2 in., on a light gray marble base 4 in. square (total height 9 1/2 in.) [$400/600]
Note: The gun later associated (its stock pierced for attachment to a different base). For the “Warrior with Musket” model, see H. Parrott Bacot, Ninteenth-Century Lighting: Candle-Powered Devices, 1783-1883, West Chester, 1987, p. 192, fig. 267.


0514_1.jpg



and this one...

Item number 4631. A rare pair of Girandoles. 1845-1865. Indian Form also known as the "Warrior" model. The pair are identical. Each Indian holds a spear. The American Indian is dressed in Indian attire. The figure is of an Osage Indian Chief modeled after a Catlin Portrait print. A similar example of this girandole is exhibited in the Philadelphia Fine Arts Museum Collection in their gallery of American Decorative Arts. Manufactured by Cornelius Co. of NY between 1845-65. On the center of his chest is a large 5 pointed star. The Indian has long hair and a feather plume head dress. Condition: This pair (which is from a New York City Townhouse) has original very dirty patina; The lusters are period and have multiple edge flakes. Each long prism is 7" long including the button and the shorter prism is 6" long including the button. Missing are 8 smaller prisms and 3 larger prisms. There is no loss to the metalwork. Parrott Bacot's book Nineteenth Century Lighting does not picture these girandoles. In 30 years in the business this is our first pair like these. Size: 19" tall. Marble base is 4" x 6". The Indian is app. 9" tall. Each girandole holds 3 candles and there are two girandoles. The candle luster holders are slightly bent. Price for the pair: $3,500.00.

4631a.jpg


 
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Thank you so much, Steve! I don't know how you did that so quickly, just flabbergasted! I will look carefully to see if I can figure out whether it is the tomahawk-bearing candle holder or the rifle-toting Powhatan. Will report back to you soon with my best guess.
 
Assuming that the "Warrior with Musket/Rifle" figure is intact at the very top and not broken, then they probably just re-tooled the top of the mold to cut off the candelabra part at the border where the feather plumage ends and the floral fancy stuff begins. The distinguishing feature on an otherwise identical figure (figural?) then would be the floral stuff on top, which my fragment has (prominently the 2 lines below the red arrow), so my figural should be the candle holder with tomahawk. Thanks again for the amazing sleuth work, Steve!
 

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Steve(Can)

Well-known member
Thank you so much, Steve! I don't know how you did that so quickly, just flabbergasted! I will look carefully to see if I can figure out whether it is the tomahawk-bearing candle holder or the rifle-toting Powhatan. Will report back to you soon with my best guess.
That one with the musket don't look right. Like they said in the ad "Note: The gun later associated" Looks like the figure with the tomahawk (as in the first set of pics) and maybe the tomahawk broke off and somebody replaced it with that musket? Looks like a toss up between the tomahawk and the spear. Great find, good dates... some pretty nice dirt you're digging, ha! :thumbup:
 
That one with the musket don't look right. Like they said in the ad "Note: The gun later associated" Looks like the figure with the tomahawk (as in the first set of pics) and maybe the tomahawk broke off and somebody replaced it with that musket? Looks like a toss up between the tomahawk and the spear. Great find, good dates... some pretty nice dirt you're digging, ha! :thumbup:
Yep, either they made the shorter one with a musket/rifle to address a design flaw due to it being prone to cracking in half, or the one with the gun is some kind of later modification of an already broken candle holder. Looks like mine is gonna be the tomahawk version. Thanks again, looking forward to digging there again soon and seeing if I can find other pieces of the same candle holder.
 

Steve(Can)

Well-known member
Unbelievable! I don't know how you do it, Steve! That is just amazing!
Dumb luck. :ROFLMAO: Thanks FindingHistory. The hard part is always finding the right question... once you find the right question, the answers pop up everywhere. :p

In this case, the right question was "girandole warrior?" There's a few in there that show the back like you mentioned.
 
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Dumb luck. :ROFLMAO: Thanks FindingHistory. The hard part is always finding the right question... once you find the right question, the answers pop up everywhere. :p

In this case, the right question was "girandole warrior?" There's a few in there that show the back like you mentioned.
Wow, that link to "girandole warrior" is just amazing! Only now have I realized what you were referring to re: the one(s) with the spear. I need to check the back of mine more carefully to see what it might match up with. This gives me even more incentive to get out there and re-check that patch of dirt for more pieces!
 

Steve(Can)

Well-known member
You saw the spear pic and link above in the musket post? That one had a great description and good dating. As well at the link, a good pic of the back.

Sorry to do this to you FindingHistory :ROFLMAO:.... was wondering if the same company, Cornelius Co NY, possibly made the pieces you found earlier?
bronze girandole Cornelius
 
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Steve(Can)

Well-known member
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