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An Elongated Slate, Fantail Birdstone, From the Collection of Jan Sorgenfrei

Glacial Kame Culture, Late Archaic Period, 3000-500 B.C.
Madison County, Illinois
length 6.5 in.

Of dark green banded slate, where the banding follows the contours of the body; with an extraordinary 2.375 inches wide fantail.  

This is a rare example, having exceptional length and extraordinary tail width. Only 12-15 examples of this form have been recorded. These birdstones range in length from approximately 6.5 inches to over 7 inches, with tails that can exceed two inches in width.  Many of this style have been found in Indiana, a few in Ohio, and this example from Illinois.  

W. P. Forse discovered this piece on December 11, 1914.  Earl C. Townsend, Jr. acquired it for his collection in the mid-1950s from Kosmon Meyer of Peoria, Illinois, and retained it in his collection for nearly a half-century.

Publications:
Birdstones of the North American Indian, Townsend, Earl C., 1959, pg. 371-D
Central States Archaeological Journal, Vol. 33, No. 4, 1986, pg. 338
Prehistoric American, Vol. 43, No. 4, 2009, (Birdstone Special Issue), pg. 40 and 81 (center)

Collection History:
William Smail, Lagootee, Illinios
Kosmon Meyer, Peoria, Illinios
Earl Townsend, Indianapolis, Indiana
Steve Fuller, Wooster, Ohio
James Johnston, Ashley, Ohio
Jan Sorgenfrei, Findlay, Ohio

Provenance:From the Collection of Jan Sorgenfrei, Findlay, Ohio

Condition:

About 25% of the left side of the tail is restored.  Also, there is some restoration at the front right corner of the base.

Estimate: $10,000 - $15,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$45,000
04/06/2018

 

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