North American Auction Company
Live Auction

Fine Montana Collector Sale - April 2023

Sat, Apr 22, 2023 11:00AM EDT
Lot 133

Rare 19th Century Osage Ball Head War Club

Estimate: $7,000 - $9,000

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$50 $10
$100 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$2,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$50,000 $2,500

The lot feature a fantastic root burl ball head war club from the Osage Native American Indians dating to the 19th Century. This large, heavy club shows a hand-carved solid walnut hard wood made from a single piece including the root ball burl head. Southern Plains ball clubs typically have lighter finishes, green or yellow paints and also do not have a spike protrusion from the ball head, with this example being no exception and is in typical documented Southern Plains form. The haft is adorned with old brass trade tacks, scratch carvings and old faded mineral pigment paints. No spike is inset into the head. There are some expected minor nicks and dings from honest age and use. There is a pierced hole near the bottom end that likely held a leather wrist thong or drop of beadwork or feathers at one time. The bottom of the club has an artful “raised fin” or stepped carved in high relief. The haft and ball have some minor splits in the wood from age and likely heavy impact cracks from use. The entire club exhibits a mellow patina with some additional wear at the gripping area. Southern Plains ball head war clubs attributed to the Pawnee, Kiowa and Osage are scarce with this being a lovely circa 1880, late 19th Century example in well kept condition. Provenance: Said by the owner to be collected from an Osage family in Pawhuska, Oklahoma and from the ex-collection of Mary Lou & Pierre DuPont collection of St. Louis, Missouri. Measures overall 24 inches in length and the ball is approximately 4 inches across.*