Purchased in New Mexico in the 1930's this is a rare example of a Pueblo Governor's or Lieutenant Governor's presentation cane which was a symbol of the governor's authority and the respect due to the person holding that ceremonial position. The history of canes in Pueblo communities dates back to 1620, when the Spanish decreed that all Pueblo communities be ruled by Governors. The native Governors were given silver-headed canes to represent their authority under Spanish rule. When the Mexican government took over in 1821, the Pueblo land grants continued to be honored. The community Governors received canes from the Mexican government as recognition of their authority. Following the Mexican-American War, the Pueblo land grants were recognized by the United States government. In 1863, during Lincoln's administration, canes were given to 19 Pueblos to signify that the Federal government would honor the land grants as previously done by Spain and Mexico and recognize the Governors as the tribal authorities. The Lincoln canes were given in 1863 and featured engraved heads mounted on black ebony. This cane is not a Lincoln cane but of later manufacture. I've seen these in museums in New Mexico but have never seen one come up for sale. This cane has Indian made (Pueblo/Navajo) silverwork adorning the beautifully carved and heat branded Osage Orange wood that is capped by an almost 5" tall flared and fluted heavy gauge silver cane head. The silverwork has all the hallmarks of first phase production, the scalloped and pierced edges are reminiscent of early first phase concho belts as is the raised and stamped "braided wire" effect so characteristic of the early 1880's. Red, White and Blue French trade silk ribbons still adorn the silver button and loop attachment which hangs below the cane handle. The tip is made of equally heavy hammered coin silver with a small domed dime as the canes tip. Tested as 925 silver which is consistent with coins used at this period of silver working. This is an altogether one of a kind piece of history. Very displayable and visually commanding. Cane length is 37 1/2". Domed head 2" diameter. Ribbon length is 10". Silver tip almost 2 3/4".
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