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Friday, November 9, 2012

Thunderbird Effigy or Eagle Effigy Piece. Too bad it's a Hoax.


eagle effigy piece.
A few weeks ago Kyle and I went to an antique store in Oskaloosa during our lunch break.  I wasn't looking for anything in particular, I just really like antique stores and this one is especially excellent.  Since I'm into coins I sniffed some out and took them to the register where owner of the store was working.  She took my money and we made casual conversation about her history with antiques.  As it turns out she's a third generation antique dealer.  It runs in her blood.

She asked us about our collections.  Kyle told her that he was into arrowheads and she asked him to identify something that had her mind boggled.  She reached into a jar and pulled out a flint napped object. 

"Well, that's an eagle effigy piece," said Kyle, "They're kind of controversial."

"How much is it worth?" Asked the owner.

"....20 bucks?  Maybe." Answered Kyle.

I coveted her effigy at that point.  It had to be mine and I began to haggle.   I didn't care if it was controversial.  I needed it.

"I'll give you 7 bucks."

"Ha!"

"OK, how about ten?"

"Give me 12 and it's a deal."

Of course I paid the money. That piece felt so good to hold, worth every penny...and an arrowhead shaped like an eagle?  That blew my mind. It was worth the risk as far as I was concerned.  This is where the controversy begins.  Apparently, no archeologist believes that eagle effigies exist, they believe all of them are counterfeits.  Eagle effigies have never been found at burial sites or archeological digs.  Ipso Facto....they don't exist.  I did a little research and found that arrowhead books written in the 1800's had chapters about eagle effigies and why they were fake.  People have been counterfeiting them since people started wanting to own arrowheads.  Crazy.  A long time ago they were sold at tourist traps.  I didn't know what to think but... it's probably a fake.  The patina is believable and the flint naps looks unbelievably  authentic...but people that counterfeit are good at their jobs.  

Later in the day I called the woman at the antique store and told her the story.  I even told her I found a couple on Ebay.  (they sell for a lot on ebay...I didn't get ripped off).  She told me that she found the piece in a box of jewlery that hadn't been opened in 36 years.  So...it's old.  It's controversial.  It's beautifulIt's art as far as I'm concerned and I keep it in my studio for good luck.

It's quite the conversation piece.

4 comments:

  1. have you ever tried making your own arrowheads? i wonder now how many of the ones you see in shops are also fakes...?

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    1. No, I've never attempted and don't think I ever will. People would never believe me when I told them I found one if I could make them myself ;)

      but like anything that is collectable, there are fakes out there. I'd like to think most people are honest...it's a good idea to document everything you find.

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