Glacial Kame Culture / Late Archaic Period, 4000-1000 B.C. Kalamazoo County, Michigan 6-1/2 inches
Made from green banded slate, with the banding forming a concentric circle “eye” on the right side of the head. The prehistoric sculptor used the natural slate to help determine the final form of this great birdstone. Note how the bands gracefully flow from the tip of the beak down the neck, across the body and upward at the tail. Townsend notes that this is one of the few examples of authentic birdstones where the tail is higher than the head.
This remarkable birdstone has resided in only four collections since its discovery about 180 years ago. Townsend (1959:171-173) completely documented its discovery in Kalamazoo, Michigan in the 1830s by The Hon. Nathaniel Aldrich Balch. It was retained in the Balch-den-Bleyker Collection in Kalamazoo for around one hundred years until it sold to Donald O. Boudeman, also of Kalamazoo, in the 1930s. Townsend collected it from Boudeman.
Collection History: Balch den-Bleyker Collection, Kalamazoo, MI Donald O. Boudeman, Kalamazoo, MI Earl C. Townsend, Jr., Indianapolis, IN Jan Sorgenfrei, Findlay, OH
Publications: Illinois State Archaeological Society, Vol. 6, No. 3, Jan. 1949, Front Cover Ohio Indian Relic Collectors’ Society, Bulletin No. 26, Jan. 1951, Inside Front Cover Birdstones of the North American Indian, Townsend, Earl C., 1959, pg. 172 and 495-C Legends of Prehistoric Art, Vol. 2, Onken, 2011, Pg. 539 and 132 Prehistoric American, Vol. 43, No. 4, 2009, (Birdstone Special Issue), Pg. 39 and 81 (4 o’clock)
Provenance: Ex Balch den-Bleyker Collection, Kalamazoo, MI;
Ex Donald O. Boudeman, Kalamazoo, MI;
Ex Earl C. Townsend, Jr., Indianapolis, IN;
From the Collection of Jan Sorgenfrei, Ohio