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spiromound-0001- Figure 1: The
Many people consider this to be the finest example of Native American flintwork.
This artifact was recovered from The Spiro Mound, reportedly by Bill Heydon
Vandagriff, and purchased for $15.00 on the spot by Robert E. Bell for his fathers
collection. The blade was broken in one place and was glued together as shown in
the photograph taken April 15, 1935. This break can be identified by a small shadow
in the middle of the blade, about one-fourth of the way up from the base.
According to Dr. Robert E. Bell, the blade is made of colorful Kay County chert
from northern Oklahoma. (Proper name is Florence B Chert). It is pictured in color
in Whos Who in Indian Relics, #5 (1980), where it is said; this 13 1/8 inch flint lance
has a maximum thickness at one spot of only 3/8 inch. It was item # 103 in the
Harry T. Bell collection at Marion, Ohio, until July 30, 1956, when Earl C. Townsend,
Jr. purchased the Bell collection. It is currently in the collection of Bobby Onken.
Mr. Onken has put this piece on display on several occasions to allow interested
parties, including the authors, to view it. He has also published pictures of it. The
blade is shown in the Townsend collection in Mr. Onkens Legends of Prehistoric Art,
Volume 1, page 97 and will also be featured in Masterpieces of Prehistoric Art -
Volume 1. It was also shown in color on the cover of the Prehistoric American
Volume XXXVII Number 3, 2003. Mr. Onken and others believe it is made of Kaolin
flint. Whatever material it is made from, it is one beautiful artifact.
This blade was found in April 1935. This would be around the time when Dr.
Bell took photographs of the diggers at work in the minor cones. Photograph 7 shows
them digging in the third cone from the north. W. Guinn Cooper is shown in this
picture. In his interview with Dr. James Cherry, Cooper discusses the discovery of
what probably is this blade: and there was a fellow, I was trying to think of his
name. I had his picture . . . he was a professor . . . . He used to come down here all
the time . . . . Hes interested in this stuff and he bought one of those long thin, well
youd call it a knife probably . . . . Yeh, it wasnt flint, I dont know what it was . . .
but anyhow the old preacher broke it, I remember when he broke it and I pulled it
out. This would account for the fact the piece was broken. Although Dr. Bell said
the diggers wouldnt let outsiders know exactly where items were found, it is safe to
assume that this piece came from the third cone from the north in the area shown in
Photographs 7 and 11.
spiromound-0008- Figure 8: 3000
This photograph shows an incredible cache of around 3,000 arrowheads. This cache was found in April 1935.
These were sold to Mr. Cooperrider of Indianapolis, Indiana, a secondhand furniture dealer, for a price of $100. Dr.
Robert E. Bell said the cache would fit in his camera bag (See Photograph 12). They are shown sitting on someones
lunch sack. These pieces are probably the source of some of the nice Spiro arrowhead frames assembled years ago by
the old time collectors. Jacob S. Royer reported that G.E. Pilquist said over 10,000 war points were taken out of
spiromound-0012- Figure 12: The
Tribute Points Frame
Mr. Schellenberger of Dardanelle, Arkansas originally assembled this outstanding
frame of 205 bird points from Spiro. Robert E. Bell took this picture in April 1935.
The picture was shown to Mr. Schwem who managed the local S.S. Kresges 5 & 10
store in Bells hometown of Marion, Ohio. (Kresges became K Mart.) Although he
was not a collector, he asked Bell to purchase the frame for him. Bell arranged the
transaction and, for $100, the frame was obtained.
Later, Mr. Schwem sold his frame and it was obtained by Dr. C.J. Bondley of
Bell Center, Ohio, his brother Elmer, a postal worker in Marion, Ohio, and three other
individuals. The frame was then sold to Irvin Dougherty of Fremont, Indiana. It is
shown in Whos Who #1, published in 1960, on page 30. Mr. Dougherty valued the
frame at $1200. He sold the frame to Richard K. Meyers of Peoria, Illinois. The
frame later sold to Tony Stein of Kansas City, Missouri. Pieces from the frame are
now known to be in the collections of Tony Stein, Steve Granger, Steve Lyons, Roy
Hathcock, Rodney Fant, Kent Patterson and others. Several points from this frame
can be seen in the Prehistoric American Volume XXXVII Number 3, 2003.
The twenty Tribute (Craig) points that make up the center design of the frame
are part of a cache of maybe 25 points. One other example is located on the outside
circle of points in this frame, at the bottom of the picture near the middle. Two
other Tribute points have been shown in Figures 9 and 10, thereby accounting for 23
of a reported 25 examples. These are large, thin, well-made tri-notched points with
serrations common around the base. They are certainly some of the finest bird
points from Spiro or anywhere else. The first picture taken of this frame by Robert
Bell was in spring, 1934. That means the Tribute points were recovered early in the
digging and had to come from the lesser cones of The Spiro Mound and not the
Hollow Chamber of the Main Cone (the Great Temple Mound). Tribute points have
been named Craig points after the Craig Mound (The current name for The Spiro
Mound) by Gregory Perino in Volume 3 (2002) of his Projectile Points and Preforms
hardback books. We like the old name Tribute points and will continue to use it in
spiromound-0015- Figure 14: Braecklein Photograph
This picture was taken December
8, 1935, in J.G. Braeckleins Indian Store at 1906 and 8
Main Street, Kansas City, Missouri. It was
featured in an article by A.B. MacDonald in the Kansas City Star, dateline Spiro, Oklahoma, appearing on December 15, 1935, under the
headline, A King Tut Tomb in the Arkansas Valley. The text of this article appears in Brown (1996) and is recommended reading. The
material is reported to be in the Joe Balloun/John Hobbs collection. Joe Balloun gave this copy of the photograph to Dr. Robert E. Bell. Since
the Pocola Mining Company lease terminated on November 27, 1935, this photograph was taken after their digging and tunneling into the
mound was completed.
A list of the artifacts shown in the photograph include: the Big Boy pipe, a small canine effigy pipe, two large decorated conch
shells, three conch shell core pendants, seven maces of both chipped and polished varieties, three strands of freshwater pearl beads, a large
columella core bead, seven spherical columella beads, a strand of beads, and a piece of matting or fabric. The four polished maces and the
Big Boy pipe can be seen in color in the Prehistoric American Volume XXXVII Number 3, 2003.
A copy of this photograph in the University of Arkansas Museum has the following note on the back which was written by Harry
Trowbridge of Bethel, Kansas: Spiro Mound Artifacts were originally sold to E. Lee Renno, St. Charles, Missouri, by J.G. Braecklein on a
commission basis, by taking the extreme left Mace. Renno paid $1200.00 for the 6 Maces, $500.00 for the Effigy Pipe made from Bauxite,
brown color. (Ed. note: Emerson, et. al. (2003) have determined that the material is actually Missouri flint clay quarried near St. Louis,
Missouri.) The engraved shells brought $5.00 each; The Pearl Necklaces brought $10.00 each. These Relics were found December 3, 1935.
(Ed. note: This date appears to be unlikely since the Pocola Mining Company lease expired on November 27, 1935.) My (Trowbridge) Mace is
in The Kansas City Museum. Three Maces are in the Gilcrease Foundation, Tulsa, Oklahoma. The extreme right Mace is in The Stephens
Collection in Quincy, Illinois. The Pipe is in The Museum of the University of Arkansas. Braecklein to Renno, thence to Fain King, who sold
them to various collections. The Finest Relics ever found In the United States.
A copy of this photograph appeared in Bobby Onkens Legends of Prehistoric Art, Volume 1, page 5. Onken states: The extreme left
ceremonial mace is made of translucent hornblende (Ed. note: This material has been identified as Alibates). The next two maces were
made from gray Tennessee (Dover) chert and the next four are a more brown to fawn color (Kaolin), ground and polished. (Ed. note: The
center piece is identified as being Mill Creek chert in the Prehistoric American referenced above.) Notice the Big Boy human effigy
pipe... The workmanship on this masterpiece is as fine as you will ever see. The Big Boy pipe is described in detail in Figure 16. The
maces are described in Figure 15 and 16.
The small catlinite pipe with canine head on prow, with a length of 6 5/16, is shown in Hamilton (1952), Plate 22B. Hamilton says,
A raised serpent design is on the sides of a well-made catlinite pipe and a dog-like head projects past the bowl at the front end. The figure
of a rattlesnake is engraved on the bottom. According to John O. Hobbs, one side of the bowl of this pipe was cut off by the shovel and lost
during excavation. The piece has been restored by the Smithsonian Institute.
In a manuscript on file, Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History on artifacts from the Craig Mound at Spiro,
Oklahoma, Sievert, discussing this pipe, states that Braecklein purchased some objects from John Hobbs, an original member of the Pocola
Mining Company team. Sievert continues that Braecklein was the first to bring materials from the Craig Mound to the attention of the
Smithsonian Institute. In 1936 Braecklein loaned a catlinite pipe to the Smithsonian. Braecklein then transferred the pipe to Harry Trowbridge
who later sold it to the NMNH. Therefore, the catlinite pipe (#42315) returned to the museum.
Trowbridge (1958) records that John Hobbs excavated the pipe in November 1935 and Hobbs wife sold it to Braecklein. He, in turn,
sold it to Trowbridge on December 11, 1935. Additionally, Trowbridge says it is of an effigy style that would be irregular for Caddoan pipes.
The head of the canine has an open mouth with teeth and a well-carved tongue. It has drilled eyes and is also drilled through the ears. The
style may represent a later time than the Great Mortuary of the Central Chamber.
The engraved conch shell on the right is shown in Hamilton (1952) Plate 108 A four-bodied rattlesnake (height, 12 3/4). The other
engraved shell showing the Green Corn Ceremony (13 3/8) is shown in Hamilton (1952) as Plate 94B. They were in the Trowbridge
collection at that time. Currently in the Smithsonian collection, they are shown in Phillips and Brown (1985) Plates 232 and 320.
Figure 15: Braecklein
Photograph: close-up of maces
This figure is a close up of the maces in Figure 14. The picture has been split
with the left half above and the right half below. The seven maces shown in this
picture will be referred to from left to right, as in the original photograph, using the
Plate numbers from Hamilton (1952), for identification, followed by the length given
by Hamilton: Mace 41, (10 7/8); Mace 40, (13 7/8); Mace 39, (14 1/16); Mace 38,
(15 3/4); Mace 37, (15); Mace 36, (13 3/4) and Mace 35, (13 3/8). All seven of
the maces shown here are reported to have been found inside the Central Chamber.
They were brought to J.G. Braecklein of Kansas City, Missouri, by Joe Balloun who
represented John Hobbs, one of the six members of the Pocola Mining Company.
Braecklein sold maces 35-40 to E. Lee Renno of St. Charles, Missouri, for $1200 and
kept Mace 41 as his commission. Braecklein sold his mace to H.M. Trowbridge of
Bethel, Kansas, who sold it to the Smithsonian Institute. Maces 39 and 40 were sold
to the Museum of the American Indian. W.G. Tilton of Topeka, Kansas bought Maces
36-38 and sold them to the Gilcrease Museum. Mace 35 was sold to B.W. Stephens of
Quincy, Illinois, who also sold his mace to the Gilcrease Museum. Five of the seven,
all except Mace 41 and Mace 36, are also shown in Figure 16 of this report. The four
polished Maces (35-38) can be seen in color in the Prehistoric American Volume
XXXVII Number 3, 2003.
Mace 41 has a similar history to the dog pipe discussed in Figure 14. Hamilton
(1952) describes it as . . . a chipped stone mace made of jasper and retains a red
paint decoration. It is also shown in Sun Circles and Human Hands (1957) Plate 92.
Sievert (manuscript on file, Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural
History) reports it had been loaned by Braecklein to the Smithsonian Institute to
make a cast. Then it was returned to Braecklein, who sold it to Trowbridge, who
then sold it to the NMNH (#423198). This is a large crown-type mace with pointed
projections at the top of the crown, one of which has fractured off, and a button
projection at the top. There are a pair of large ears in the medial section with two
unusual, short, downward-pointing barbs below the ears. The mace is reported to
be made from high quality cryptocrystalline material with a waxy luster. The raw
material is characterized by subtly shaded concentric bands in gray, yellowish-brown,
and red. Sievert identifies this material as Alibates.
Maces 40 and 39 are shown in the Heye Foundation Report (1945), Plate XVI,
and are described in detail in Figure 16 of this book.
Maces 38, 37 and 36 were still in the E. Lee Renno collection in 1952. They
were sold to Willis G. Tilton and are shown in his collection in Whos Who #1, published
in 1960, on page 106. They were sold to the Gilcrease Museum sometime prior to
1960, along with the two Garfish Effigy Axes and approximately 950 ceramic, shell,
wood, copper, and stone objects from The Spiro Mound. In Whos Who #1, Mace 38
(6125.18905) is in Mr. Tiltons right hand and Mace 37 (6125.18906) is in his left hand.
Mace 36 (6125.20842) is on his chest and is also shown in Brown (1996) Figure 2-76a.
Mace 35 (6125.4157) is also shown in Whos Who #1 (1960), but on page 96, in
the B.W. Stephens collection. Therefore, this piece went from John Hobbs through
Joe Balloun to J.G. Braecklein who sold it to E. Lee Renno, then to B.W. Stephens.
The Stephens collection was sold to Dr. T. Hugh Young in 1953, and, ultimately, this
piece was obtained by Thomas Gilcrease. This piece is shown in the Young collection
in Bobby Onkens Legends of Prehistoric Art, Volume 1, page 252. It is now in the
Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Figure 16: Big Boy Pipe and five
All of the pieces in this photograph are shown in the Braecklein photograph taken December 8, 1935, when in the Balloun/Hobbs
collection (Figure 14). The centerpiece of this photograph is the famous Big Boy effigy pipe. This piece was one of the first objects
encountered when the diggers penetrated the Central Chamber of the large cone of The Spiro Mound. John Hobbs was reported to be the
owner of the pipe. This piece appears in Hamilton (1952) Plates 9 and 10. H. M. Trowbridge reports this was sold by Braecklein for
Hobbs to E. Lee Renno of St. Charles, Missouri, an editor, postmaster, and collector, for $500. Renno then sold it to Fain White King. The
University of Arkansas obtained this piece from King. (It is collection # 47-2-1.) The pipe is pictured in Brown (1996) Figure 2-99 and
Brown includes a detailed discussion of the features of the pipe. Hamilton lists its height as 10 3/4 and its weight as 11 pounds, 8
ounces, probably being made of bauxite. (Ed. note: Emerson, et. al. (2003) have determined that the material is actually Missouri flint
clay quarried near St. Louis, Missouri.) It is shown in Ancient Art of the American Woodland Indians (1985) on page 139, Plate 98 (catalog
number 92) where it is listed as being 9 wide and 11 high. The pipe shows a male figure sitting cross-legged with a hand on each knee
and leaning forward. He is adorned with four heavy strings of beads and shell long-nosed God Maskett ear ornaments. He has braided
hair, a hair knot at the back, and a headdress cap with an eye design set forward on his head. He is wearing a cape or mantel which
appears to have a feather or spade design in relief. The workmanship and detail on the artifact can only be described as incredible. The
Big Boy Pipe and the three polished maces shown in this photograph are shown in color in the Prehistoric American Volume XXXVII
Number 3, 2003.
This photograph shows five chipped stone maces, three of which have been ground and polished. These are reported to be from
the Central Chamber, according to Hamilton (1952). The materials of manufacture are reported to be Kaolin chert for the two outside
polished examples on the left, Mill Creek for the middle piece on the left and Dover chert for the two chipped pieces on the right. All of
these pieces appear in the Braecklein photograph. In a note attached to the photograph in the University of Arkansas Museum collection,
Trowbridge reports six maces, including the five shown here, were sold by Braecklein for John Hobbs to E. Lee Renno for $1200. These are
all pictured in Hamilton (1952). They are, left to right, using Hamiltons plate numbers as identification, Mace 35 (13 3/8 high), Mace
38 (15 3/4), Mace 37 (15), Mace 39 (14 1/16) and Mace 40 (13 7/8).
At the time of Hamiltons 1952 book E. Lee Renno still owned Numbers 35, 38, and 37. Later he would sell Maces 38 and 37 to
Willis G. Tilton. Tilton pictured them in his collection in Whos Who #1, on page 106. Mace 35 was sold to B.W. Stephens of Quincy,
Illinois, and is shown in Whos Who #1, on page 96. The Stephens collection was sold to Dr. T. Hugh Young in 1953, and ultimately this piece
was obtained by Thomas Gilcrease. This piece is shown in the Young collection in Bobby Onkens Legends of Prehistoric Art, Volume 1, page
252. All three of these maces are currently in the Gilcrease Museum Collection. (Mace 35: 6125.4157, Mace 37: 6125.18906 and Mace 38:
Hamilton (1952) reports that Maces 39 and 40, the two pieces on the right, are attributed to the Museum of the American Indian
in New York. They are shown in the Heye Foundation Report (1945), Plate XVI, chipped stone maces. Mace 39, located second from
the right, is catalog # 18/9334 with greatest length listed as one foot 2 1/8 inches, greatest width, 5 3/8. The Heye report states: A
flint mace showing considerable remains of red, and traces of white, paint. This decoration covers the shaft and head on both surfaces.
The handgrip is unpainted.
Mace 40, far right, is catalog # 18/9335, length one foot 1 7/8, width at upper points, 4 3/8. The Heye report states: A flint
mace not showing the fine secondary chipping found on . . . . its companion on this plate. This specimen has traces of red and black paint
on both surfaces. Red is fairly constant through the head and upper half of the shaft with only slight traces of black. The handgrip is not
painted red, but traces of black are found on it.
spiromound-0022- Figure 22:
Blade and mace cache: Part 1
This photograph shows ten of the long narrow blades from the Wehrle Cache. These were purchased from Lear
Howell of Glenwood, Arkansas by A.T. Wehrle of Newark, Ohio and later donated to the Ohio Historical Society. See
Figures 20, 21 and 23 for additional photographs.
The cache was found in August 1935, at The Spiro Mound and Lear Howell took these pieces to Ohio. Unable to
sell them to Dr. Bell and his father, he sold them to Mr. Wehrle who was not told that they had been restored. (See
Figure 20 for details of their history.) There were a total of 17 blades plus three maces in the group sold to Mr.
Wehrle. There may have been other pieces originally in the cache and sold elsewhere. Six out of this group of blades
are shown in Hamilton (1952), Plate 46. The longest is 22 long and is included in the Hamilton picture. Since they
are restored, the original length may have been different. There is some concern that the restorations were not
faithfully carried out. Although the restoration is less than perfect, we believe these blades properly represent a
class of artifacts present at Spiro. The remainder of the cache is pictured in Figure 23.
In the letter proposing the donation of the Wehrle Spiro Collection to the Ohio Historical Society the collection
is described as part of a small group of artifacts from The Spiro Mound Group in La Flora (sic) County, Okla.. The
collection was presented as a gift from The Wehrle Foundation on March 23, 1956. The Ohio Historical Society agreed
to the following: . . . the material acquired will be maintained as a unit and be known as the A.T. Wehrle Collection.
Some of the mound specimens will be exhibited (selection at the discretion of the Curator of Archaeology) in the
proposed new museum at the Mound Builders State Memorial (Ed. note: in Newark, Ohio) and at the Ohio State
Museum; the valuable data associated with this material to be published in one of the national professional
anthropological journals. The senior author was able to visit the Ohio Historical Society and, with the kind assistance
of the museum and the staff, was able to view the material firsthand. The inventory for the A.T. Wehrle Collection
only lists 12 long chipped flint blades of the original 17. It is unknown what happened to the other five blades, but
they may have been the ones that fell apart when Mr. Wehrle washed them. Therefore, the pictures shown here are
probably the only record of the complete cache.
During the visit to the Ohio Historical Society,11 of the 12 blades in the collection were identified by catalog
number. In Figure 22 the blade on the right is item 3490.256.3. (The 3490 identifies the item as part of the A.T.
Wehrle Collection, the 256 identifies the item as being part of the cache of 12 blades and 3 identifies the specific
blade. When the item is in fragments, each fragment has the same inventory number marked on it.) The piece to the
left of the yardstick is on display at the Newark facility and the inventory number was not visible. It was the longest
blade at 22 and is in the same restored condition as shown in the photograph. The fifth blade down from the right
is blade number 10. It was in three pieces which appeared to fit together to form a complete, faithfully restored
blade. When pieced together, it was 21 1/2 long. To the left of it is blade number 12, which is on display in
Columbus, Ohio. It is complete in its original restored condition. The second blade from the left is blade number 6,
which is now in two pieces, but not complete. The piece on the left is marked blade number 14. Since the inventory
only indicates 12 blades in the group, this number seems inconsistent. It is 18 long and complete.
spiromound-0023- Figure 23:
Blade and mace cache: Part 2
This photograph shows the remaining items from the Wehrle Cache shown in Figure 22. These two photographs
show a total of twenty artifacts found in a cache at Spiro in August 1935. There may have been a few additional
pieces in this cache not included in this collection. This photograph shows seven of the long narrow blades, also
called swords, and the three chipped chert maces that were purchased by A.T. Wehrle from Lear Howell. The longest
blade in this photograph is 17 long and the longest mace is 16 3/8 long. These maces are pictured in Hamilton
(1952), Plate 43, and six of the swords from the cache, not any of the examples shown in this photograph, are shown
in his Plate 46. This material is now at the Ohio Historical Society. The captions for Figures 20 and 22 give a more
detailed history of the collection and the cache. Since only 12 of the 17 original blades in the cache are shown in the
A.T. Wehrle Collection inventory in the museum, Figures 22 and 23 may be the only photographic record of the
During a visit to the Ohio Historical Society in May 2003, most of the Wehrle Cache material was identified by
inventory number. The second blade from the right in the picture was identified as item 3490.256.1 (The 3490
identifies the item as part of the A. T. Wehrle Collection, the 256 identifies the item as being part of the cache of 12
blades and 1 identifies the specific blade. When the item is in fragments, each fragment has the same inventory
number marked on it.) The second piece from the right is blade number 4. The fifth blade from the right is blade
number 7. It was in four pieces. The irregular right edge appeared to be the original condition of the blade and not
a result of the restoration. The blade to the right of the yardstick is blade number 2. To the left of the yardstick is
mace number 3490.255.1. The middle mace was not available for viewing at the museum but would have been mace
number 3490.255.3 and the mace to the far left is mace number 3490.255.2. (Note the maces do not carry the same
item group identification number as the blades.) The piece at the far left is blade number 5 and it was in two pieces.
We believe the pieces are made of Mill Creek chert. (See discussion Figure 20.)
spiromound-0030- Figure 30:
This photograph shows eight matched pairs of perforated pulley-shaped earspools. Hamilton (1952) shows
various examples in his Plates 79, 80, and 81. Hamilton (1952) says some estimates are that as many as four hundred
pulley-shaped earspools were found. Brown (1996) has an excellent discussion of this artifact type in his Chapter 35.
Of the examples shown here, the set with small perforations and raised areas, called bosses, are less common. Some
of these were in the Harry T. Bell collection which sold to Earl C. Townsend, Jr. in 1956.
All of the examples shown appear to have been covered with a thin sheet of copper and most are made of
sandstone. Several of the many designs found at Spiro are featured here. The earspool is shown being worn in the
ear lobes on copper and shell art found at Spiro and other sites. This use also appears on some effigy pieces. In
burials, they have been found near the skull, on either side of the head, where the ears would have been. They may
be quite large, some over 3 in diameter. They were often heavy since most were made of stone, although wooden,
pottery, and shell earspools are also known.
The Ohio Historical Society has three sets of earspools with concentric circles like those seen in the upper right
hand corner: one set in Newark and two sets in Columbus. The pieces were obtained with the A.T. Wehrle collection
which included 18 pairs of earspools and two odd pieces. It was not possible to determine if any of the pieces shown
here are the ones in the Ohio Historical Society collection.
spiromound-0040- Figure 40:
Copper-covered wooden knife
This is one of an unusual group of artifacts found at Spiro. There were 62 of
these elliptical wooden blades or knives found carved from red cedar. They were
covered with sheet copper on the front face that overlapped onto the back edge to
secure the copper to the wood. Slightly off-center is a depressed area wrapped with
cord. Most have a design that simulates the flaking pattern that would be found on
a chipped stone blade. This example is roughly 11 1/2 in length. There is a leather
thong tie that passes from the rear through a hole in the upper left hand corner of
the blade, as viewed in this photograph. This photograph dates from April 1935.
Similar examples are shown in Brown (1996), Figure 2-80, and Hamilton (1952), Plate
78 and Hamilton, et. al.: Spiro Mound Copper (1974), Figure 107. The Ohio Historical
Society has 54 of these in their collection as part of the A. T. Wehrle collection which
was donated to the Museum in 1956. (See Figure 20 for a discussion of the Wehrle
Collection.) They vary in length up to 17 long. There are a couple of examples
where there is an eye design instead of simulated flaking. Most of the examples
seem to be in matched pairs. This piece did not appear to be in the Ohio Historical
spiromound-0044- Figure 44:
Copper sheet hair plume ornamentserpentine form
Another example of the serpentine form of the copper sheet hair plume. It
may still have a quill attached. It is part of a cache of eight copper feathers that
also included the copper Human Head Effigy shown in Figure 46. See Figures 41, 42,
43 and 45 (left) for other items in the cache. This piece was originally in the A.T.
Wehrle Collection of Newark, Ohio, which is now at the Ohio Historical Society.
Upon his death in 1954, A.T. Wehrle left his entire artifact collection to the St.
Josefina Catholic School near Columbus, Ohio, to be sold for the benefit of the
school. The school contacted Mr. Ray Baby of the Ohio Historical Society for help in
auctioning off the collection. In return for his help, the Ohio Historical Society
received a donation of all the Spiro material in the Wehrle Collection. This material
was described as part of . . . a small group of artifacts from The Spiro Mound Group
in La Flora (sic) County, Okla. which was presented as a gift from The Wehrle
Foundation on March 23, 1956. The Ohio Historical Society agreed . . . the material
acquired will be maintained as a unit and be known as the A.T. Wehrle Collection.
spiromound-0046- Figure 46:
Repousse male profile in copper with two earspools
This picture shows an 11 cutout copper sheet human head effigy with repousse
designs. Below it are shown two stone earspools with copper coverings.
The figure in the cutout can be seen wearing such an earspool. Also, from the
occipital hairknot is a copper feather that curves up over the head. It is clear that
this is not simulating a real feather but that it is intended to show a sheet copper
plume hair ornament such as those seen in Figures 41 and 42. The eyes are almond-
shaped and are within a forked or weeping eye design. This eye design is like the
marking of the peregrine falcon. This piece is shown in Ancient Art of the American
Woodland Indians on page 142, plate 100 (catalog number 95). It is also shown in
Hamilton (1952) Plate 73, and Hamilton, et. al. Spiro Mound Copper (1974), Figure
88. This piece is now at the Ohio Historical Society, the result of an exchange with
Robert Bell and Robert Phelps of Marion, Ohio, arranged by Henry C. Shetrone, Director,
Ohio State Museum. This piece is listed as inventory item 1393.1A. This profile was
part of a cache that included eight copper feather pieces. See Figures 41, 42, 43, 44
and 45 (left) for other items in the cache.
spiromound-0079- Figure 81:
Human effigy T-shaped pipeThis is a very unusual human effigy
T-shaped pipe. It is the only one of its kind known from Spiro.
It has been
restored. The reverse side also shows an effigy face, as seen in Figure 82. This piece is shown in Whos Who #8 on page
82, in the D. R. Gehlbach collection of Columbus, Ohio. Mr. Gehlbach obtained this piece from Ensil Chadwick of Mt.
Vernon, Ohio. Mr. Chadwick had purchased it at the Kentucky Lake show from an individual who had inherited the piece
from Tom Jevas of Marion, Ohio. Mr. Jevas passed away on June 30, 1966. Dr. Bell was also from Marion, Ohio and knew
Mr. Jevas. Dr. Bell says it is without question a Spiro piece and Jevas may have obtained it through him.
Mr. Gehlbach provided the following information about the pipe: The T-shaped double effigy (human) pipe was
listed by Chadwick as made of Ironstone (as I would describe it a reddish brown fine grained compact material).
Dimensions are as follows: 3 3/8 high, 6 1/2 long (including 1 7/8 restored section), greatest bowl width 2 1/4,
bowl opening 1 diameter and has depth of 3 1/4, stem hole 3/8 by 7/16 in diameter.
He continues, The faces on opposing sides of the bowl are human cameos (outlined by circling groove). Facial
features (similar on both faces) include oval deeply incised eyes, a long deeply incised three-dimensional squared off
nose, an oval recessed mouth with rounded three-dimensional lips, and a semi-oval tongue. A faint line circles the top
of the bowl. The stem is semi-round, flat on the bottom, oval on top, and the restored section tapers to a blunt end.
spiromound-0080- Figure 82:
Human effigy T-shaped pipe (reverse)
This is the backside of the pipe shown in Figure 81. This is a very unusual human effigy T-shaped pipe. It is the
only one of its kind known from Spiro. It has been restored. The reverse of the pipe is shown in Whos Who #8 on page
82, in the D. R. Gehlbach collection of Columbus, Ohio. Mr. Gehlbach obtained this piece from Ensil Chadwick of Mt.
Vernon, Ohio. Mr. Chadwick had purchased it at the Kentucky Lake show from an individual who had inherited the
piece from Tom Jevas of Marion, Ohio. Mr. Jevas passed away on June 30, 1966. Dr. Bell was also from Marion, Ohio
and knew Mr. Jevas. Dr. Bell says it is a without question a Spiro piece and Jevas may have obtained it through him.
Mr. Gehlbach provided the following information about the pipe: The T-shaped double effigy (human) pipe
was listed by Chadwick as made of Ironstone (as I would describe it a reddish brown fine grained compact material).
Dimensions are as follows: 3 3/8 high, 6 1/2 long (including 1 7/8 restored section), greatest bowl width 2 1/4,
bowl opening 1 diameter and has depth of 3 1/4, stem hole 3/8 by 7/16 in diameter.
The faces on opposing sides of the bowl are human cameos (outlined by circling groove). Facial features
(similar on both faces) include oval deeply incised eyes, a long deeply incised three-dimensional squared off nose, an
oval recessed mouth with rounded three-dimensional lips, and a semi-oval tongue. A faint line circles the top of the
bowl. The stem is semi-round, flat on the bottom, oval on top, and the restored section tapers to a blunt end.
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