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Thread: Native American Lead Animal Effigy - A 300+ Year Old Duck and Other Finds

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  1. #1

    Native American Lead Animal Effigy - A 300+ Year Old Duck and Other Finds

    This find is a good reminder of the importance of proper identification. I recovered this carved piece of lead in a wooded area earlier in the year. Itís a flattened piece of lead in the form of a duck.

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    I had found a childís toy years ago in the form of tiny ax made from molded lead; accordingly, I dismissed the image of the duck as a toy as well ó a very old, interesting toy, but only a toy. Recently I was researching further on the cast pewter trade pipe that I posted back in May, and to my complete surprise, I came upon details of similar lead-shaped animal objects. It turns out that the lead duck is a 17th century Native American lead animal effigy, most certainly of the Narragansett Tribe of southern New England. I viewed online other effigy ducks made of stone recovered in neighboring Connecticut. Lead specimens representing many other animals have been recovered as well. See photos provided below. They are also referred to as totems or charms.

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    A few other recent finds ó a shoe buckle frame and a late 1800s clay tobacco pipe that I found on the shoreline of a cove. I donít often recover clay pipes intact. While the shoe buckle came from an area around the ruins of a barn, the main cellar hole is now buried underneath a modern home.

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    I will be posting a long overdue follow-up on a thread for one of my past banner finds, so keep a look out for an update if you're interested.
    got Mass Silver?

  2. #2
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    Great research on the effigy and killer find. So many may have thrown it away thinking it was a lead blob before giving is a proper look. Anyway, the duck looks great man. Your other finds are great as well, the intact pipe bowl is incredible considering where it was found. Still looking for my first intact one myself.

    Cheers


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  3. #3
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrappy View Post
    Great research on the effigy and killer find. So many may have thrown it away thinking it was a lead blob before giving is a proper look. Anyway, the duck looks great man. Your other finds are great as well, the intact pipe bowl is incredible considering where it was found. Still looking for my first intact one myself.

    Cheers
    Scrappy - I appreciate your reply. I'll be sending you a PM. You'll get that pipe sooner or late.
    got Mass Silver?

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    Outstanding finds. Glad you didn't just throw it away. I like that pipe. The closest I have come to finding a full one, is finding one with the bowl and half the stem. It was clay.
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  6. #6

    Feb 2009
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    Congrats on getting the ID on the lead effigy of the duck, it's always of a case of many times lead is way underrated. It really makes one think about the history that surrounds finds like these, and thank you posting it up.
    Nicely done on the recovery of the pipe, it's still on the want list to get one intact.
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    Congrats and thanks for sharing the info with us
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    Wow what a nice refind that is. Looks like I best be checking my blobs of lead. Congrats buddy on making such a cool discovery. Your research is always impressive
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  9. #9
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    Native American Lead Animal Effigy - A 300+ Year Old Duck and Other Finds

    Quote Originally Posted by Silver Tree Chaser View Post
    Scrappy - I appreciate your reply. I'll be sending you a PM. You'll get that pipe sooner or late.
    About three years ago I believe I found an Otter made of lead. It was a dead ringer so I kept it and submitted it to the museum on the property where it was found. Unfortunately I don't have a picture but I'll stop down there for a snapshot. I listed it as a possible lead child's toy ca. 18th century, but I didn't even consider it Native American. I looked at your reference and didn't see an otter listed, but I still think it's probable because it's a distinctive regional critter. If it is NA, it would certainly make it 17th century as well since the Native population was wiped out here by 1700.
    Last edited by Scrappy; Sep 13, 2017 at 11:25 AM.


    "Take the detecta-drama elsewhere - I'm just here to dig!"


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    Favourite Finds:
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    Revolutionary War stirrup
    1812 2nd Regiment Artillarists pewter button
    1695 Willam 3rd Halfpenny in excellent condition
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  10. #10
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  11. #11

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    Great finds and follow up research. Another reason to keep everything.

    That pipe may have been much longer originally. Some were quite long.
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  12. #12
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    Hard to describe that eureka moment when you stumble across an image when researching something completely unrelated. It's like digging it all over again - congrats on the proper ID and a nice pipe bowl as well
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  13. #13
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    Awesome job on the effigy identification, I would have had no idea.
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  14. #14
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    wow that duck is realy a great find ! i probebly melted it in to fishing lead .
    great job !

  15. #15

    Feb 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timfromholland View Post
    wow that duck is realy a great find ! i probebly melted it in to fishing lead .
    great job !
    This is one shining example of ones research can help others down the road in saving a piece of history. In this case it might of ended up as Duck Shot.

 

 
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