This spectacular hand-carved 17” long ‘ceremonial club’ (KJH87) was purchased by Ken Hladek in March 2003 (as he recalls, it was an estate sale and the item number was 0962..."INDIAN TRADE WAR CLUB - LUKA) at a Lolli Brothers auction in Macon, Missouri. The only information that came with this lethal-looking weapon was a note that it was from the William R. Gauld collection of Elmo, Montana, a town located well within the boundaries of the Flathead Indian reservation. Many other items offered in that auction were stated to have been purchased by Gauld on or near the Crow Agency. The wood is well weathered, but not cracked, although the very tip of the eagle’s beak has been glued in place along a straight and hardly noticeable break, and the various components all have a distinct aura of age. A small glue-backed but faded paper label with illegible print still adheres to its side. The horsehair tassel, pipestone and trade seed beads, and a well-worn wrapped leather handle all contribute to its visual appeal. The brass tacks, according to Hladek, were tarnished when purchased, but the greenish-blue ‘verdigris’ (copper salts) developed at a later date in the more humid environment of Kansas. The club is not believed to date back before the 20th century...and my guess is first quarter...and was used in tribal ceremonies or when performing for tourists. Whatever its history, it would make a dynamite wall decoration! The club comes in a 2” deep, 12” x 16” glass-fronted collector frame with a small note as to its relationship to William Gauld and a map of Montana with the location of the town of Elmo highlighted. Note…if you want to limit your browsing time, try our ‘TWELVE different items on a single page format’ by simply spelling out the word TWELVE in the search box. That will quickly bring up all of our listings that have twelve different items on a page, each individually priced! And if you want to further refine the group, add one or two additional modifiers at the same time such as ‘Indian, Precolumbian, Stone, Pot, Gold, etc.’ Any item that has been sold will be so noted on its photograph.