Possibly unique this thick mahogany panel depicts a European in late 16th or early 17th century costume with plumed hat brandishing a tomahawk on a background of punch work. The Algonquin Indians, pre-European colonization, developed the tomahawk, a stone attached to a wooden handle with rawhide, as a weapon that was also used for domestic purposes. Europeans introduced the metal blade, improving its effectiveness as a weapon, but it was the Native Americans who developed the “Tomahawk’s poll,” a hammer, spike or pipe opposing the blade. An enormous number were ultimately produced by both Europeans and early colonists for trade and diplomatic gifts to the tribes. The style of this tomahawk is a simple metal blade opposed, possibly, by a hammer head. The present piece is difficult to place or date with certainty but the style of dress and the punch-work to the background suggest a date no later than 1660-1680 and probably earlier. Although this piece could most certainly be English or continental European it has been suggested that because of the use of timber the panel may well be Spanish colonial.
English, European or Spanish colonial 1660-1680