Object Title

Tomahawk

Tomahawk

Date

1800-1830

Object Number

VIII.77

Provenance

No information in the typed inventory entry. Probably acquired in 1960 (see Notes).

Physical Description

Slender blade, drooping on the underside to the lower point of the cutting edge; heavy socket and large, angular pipe bowl. The haft, which also acts as a pipe stem, is modern.

Dimensions

Dimensions: Length (including pipe): 528 mm, maximum width: 230 mm, length across blade: 80 mm, depth: 45 mm, pipe bowl: 45 mm x 25 mm

Inscriptions and Marks

On the blade, on inside, stamped: HOLTZAFFEL (or Holtzappfel).On the blade, on outside, stamped: broad arrow over B O.

Associations

Places Britain

Notes

Re Acquisition: A letter on the inv. file of 3 October 1960 from Norris Kennard to Sir James Mann, informing him of the inventory number, refers to 'The tomahawk, which we now have, ...', suggesting it was newly acquired about then. The preceding number (VIII.76) was acquired in 1956 and the succeding number (VIII.78) in 1965.
For pipe tomahawks generally, see H.L. Peterson 'American Indian Tomahawks', revised edn, Highland Park, NJ, 1971, Chapter 10 and part of the Appendix (by M.G. Chandler) for illustrations of the various methods of their manufacture. Peterson says that pipe tamahawks, which are were invented at least by about 1710, were probably the invention of an Englishman and that the vast majority were of European manufacture, though both these ideas have recently been chalenged (C.F. Taylor, 'Native American Weapons', University of Oklahoma Prerss and Salamander Books, London, 2001, p. 9 - p-copy on inv. file).
Pipe tomahawks were exported for trade from the first half of the eighteenth century and 'by 1750 they were common though relatively expensive items in trade and treaty lists in the East running from 12 to 20 shillings for fine specimens, as compared with three shillings for simple hatchets' (Peterson 1971, p. 33). Tomahawks bearing government marks were used to arm the Indian allies of Great Britain during and after the American Revolution and as treaty gifts' (Peterson 1971, p. 103, caption to Pl. 113).
Peterson (1971: Pls 109 ff.) illustrates a number of pipe tomahawks of similar form to the present example, including one by the same maker (Pl. 126 and p. 106) and another with the broad arrow mark, by Parke (Pl. 123 and p. 103).
According to Peterson (1971, p. 48), Holtzappfel & Co. of England supplied axes to the Hudson's Bay Company in 1811.