This is a phenomenal quillwork hide, harness leather, and Elk Antler riding quirt from the Northern Plains Native American Indians dating to circa 1850-1870's. The piece shows a large Rocky Mountain Elk Antler, which has been expertly carved into a squared off design tapering with the curvature of the antler and etched with cut "kill" marks down each edge, running down the entire length of the antler. At the larger end is a wooden dowel pin, which holds the harness saddle leather quirt whip-like end. which has a rich, dark chocolate coloring and shiny finish. The leather is wrapped in red stroud wool trade cloth, which is held in place with a wrapping of Indian tanned hide that also has a nice coloring from age. The pointed end of the antler shows a single drilled hole, which has an Indian tanned hide tie holding the fully quillwork geometric pattern wrist throng drop. The quillwork is all porcupine quills wrapped over a parfleche hide cuff in natural cream white, with the black being horse tail hair, a very early quillwork feature. The inside of the cuff is lined with a black trade cloth, which is sewn on with trade thread. The end of the antler is ground flat, showing rough striations indicative of early work. This is truly a fantastic early example. The quillwork shows some loss, the ties have slightly worn, and the hide is stiff. The antler has excellent coloring with a darkening and slight yellow from early age. Provenance: From an outstanding museum collection from Eastern Montana, where the piece was found to be an authentic original example. Measures 40.75"L with the leather.