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    Description

    Chief Joseph Brant's Personal Tomahawk. The name Joseph Brant (alternate spelling Brandt) may not be a "household word" to most of us, but historians of the American Revolution and frontier recognize him as a figure of great importance. Wikipedia perhaps sums it up best naming him as "perhaps the Native American of his generation best know to the Americans and British...he met many of the most significant Anglo-Americans of his age, including both George Washington and King George III. Thanyendanega, or Joseph Brant, was born in 1743. His rise to prominence was not hereditary, but rather the result of his abilities and astute use of family connections. His sister, Molly Brant, was the consort of Sir William Johnson, the British Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the province of New York during the American Revolution. During the war he raised and led a force called Brant's Volunteers, whose combined Mohawk and American Tory forces waged relentless war on the settlers along the western frontier in New York. Their deprecations were immortalized in the classic 1939 film "Drums along the Mohawk", starring Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert. The leader was often referred to as "Monster Brant", although some revisionist historians have challenge the extent of the atrocities attributed to his forces. Following the war, the British rewarded Brant and his followers with a large tract of land in Ontario to replace that lost after their defeat. Ultimately Brant settled on the Six Nations Reserve, where he continued to play a leadership role until his death in 1807. In 1775 Brant travelled to England, where he was royally received, and a portrait by George Romney at the time still hangs in the National Gallery of Canada. In this portrait Brant is seen holding a tomahawk which may be the one offered here. In 1797 Brant, who chose to dress in traditional Mohawk attire for his portraits, was painted by Charles Wilson Peale. That painting is now displayed in the Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia. At that time Brant met with President Washington and famously addressed the U.S. Congress, famously pledging that he would "never again take up the tomahawk against the United States." He spent the remainder of his life tirelessly seeking new lands for settlement for his people, including in New York and Ohio. Regarded as a hero from the British perspective, Brant is honored as one of fourteen leading Canadian military figures commemorated at the Valiants Memorial in Ottawa. A dormitory and one of the squadrons of the Royal Military College of Canada are named in his honor. His superb tomahawk was acquired by the deceased husband of the present consignor in 1994 from prominent dealer Greg Martin. This pipe tomahawk is accompanied by Martin's handwritten letter describing it as follows:

    "...etched in script on the blade "Chief Joseph Brant." This rare tomahawk is adorned with gold inlays on
    the (inscribed and decorated) blade. The haft also bears silver and gold designs in the form of squares,
    ropes, and hearts along with a long silver arrow. The original mouth piece is made of silver."

    Measuring 21.5" in length, the tomahawk is in wonderful condition, and certainly ranks as one of the most remarkable historical artifacts ever presented by Heritage. Apparently it was at one point exhibited at the Native American Center in Niagara Falls, New York according to documentation provided by Martin which also accompanies the piece.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2020
    22nd-23rd Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,110

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