Lot 253

Eastern Woodlands W. Hall Marked Pipe Tomahawk

Estimate: $30,000 - $40,000

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $5
$50 $10
$100 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$2,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$25,000 $2,500
$100,000 $5,000
This is a phenomenal, rare, and important Eastern Woodlands Native American Indian presentation grade pipe tomahawk attributed to maker William A. Hall of Chicago, Illinois. It shows a crude punch-stamped “W. HALL 1820” mark at the pewter end cap. The tomahawk head is originally secured to its Tiger Maple hardwood haft handle that is adorned with two silver bands inlaid down the gradual tapering rounded design, which culminates in the poured pewter smoking tip with zig-zag tipi-like triangle artful inlay. The head is forged iron and shows a vase pattern short and wide pipe bowl, which was forged from a rifle barrel; hand cut rifling is still visible in the smoking chamber. The axe head shows forged moldings, forged chevrons, and forged rings on the bowl, all being expertly crafted. At the center of the blade is a poured brass weeping heart on both sides. The head is secured to the haft with a poured pewter gasket and end cap. Provenance: The tomahawk is from a private Virginia Antique Weapons collection. William Hall supplied presentation grade pipe tomahawks and trade knives to the U.S. Department of the Interior Office of the Indian Trade to be dispersed to Chiefs and other tribal dignitaries during treaty signings and as gifts during the 1820-1840 time period. Another example attributed to Hall is shown on page 152, figure 69, in “Tomahawks and Frontiersmen Belt Axes” (1995) by Daniel Hartzler & James Knowles and has a similar vase-shaped pipe bowl with upper ring, forged chevrons, forged moldings, and a dark Tiger Maple haft. This example is shown in the images for comparison. For additional information on William Hall and examples, see “Tomahawks & Pipe Axes of the American Frontier” (1995) by John Baldwin; “American Indian Tomahawks” (1965) by Harold L. Peterson; and "Indian Tomahawks & Frontiersmen Belt Axes" (1995) by Hartzler & Knowles. The piece is also very similar to several examples shown in Harold L. Peterson’s aforementioned 1965 book “American Indian Tomahawks” in figure 130 and 132 on page 107. The first example dates to 1800-1825 from Oglala Sioux Chief Red Cloud with barrel vase shaped bowl, forged moldings inlaid weeping heart, crescent curved blade with slight inward turn end, and Tiger Maple haft with silver bands and smoking tip. The second one is an 1800-1820 example obtained from the Iroquois with a similar axe crescent blade with inward curve, silver weeping heart on the blade, and pewter inlays. The entire tomahawk has a nice, deep shiny patina from honest age and use and overall, it is in good condition. The piece appears to be an original early example with correct shape, finish, haft, and adornments, with the “W. Hall” mark being a collection mark, early stamping with touch ups or a later addition. Please review all the pictures of the piece and personally inspect it to come to your own conclusion of age, origin, provenance, and condition. Overall, the piece measures 20 ½ inches in length with a head that is 7 inches long by 2 ½ inches wide.