Note To Counterfeiter’s of “Ancient Indian Relics”..Don’t Shape Them Like Sauropod Dinosaurs!

Posted by Chris Parker
Jul 17 2010

Photo:Counterfeit Relics? Click for Higher Resolution

Note to counterfeiters indeed!

If one is going to create a market for ancient “Indian” relics (back in the mid-late 1800′s and early 1900′s) by cleverly making the artifacts in question, one must be smart enough Not to make them in the shape of a creature that those “Indians” could never have either seen or imagined (according to Darwinist’s).

That would be like counterfeiting $1 million dollar bills or Cleveland Indian World Series tickets today.

Clearly counterfeit bears, fish, horses or buffalo would have been better received, particularly by the scientifically literate. When one realizes that a counterfeiter of those times would have to take the needed time to shape and polish stones into various shapes, then artificially ‘age’ them and then after all that work to sell them for .50., 75 or $1.50 each it hardly makes sense.

Photo:Counterfeit Relics? Click for Higher Resolution

That kind of criminal enterprise would seem to be its own punishment. In fact, if one was convicted of such a crime in those days, a sentence of forced labor making animal shapes from stones would no doubt be both ironic and appropriate.

But then, to be unsmart enough to carve them into the shape of a dinosaur?….The third piece appears to be a side view of a sauropod with a neck frill of some kind…like maybe Miragaia, but dude seriously!

The American Archaeologist Magazine of 1898; for Scientist and Student-A Monthly Journal Devoted to Archaeology and Ethnology was having none of it and editorialized strongly against the counterfeiters.

The Magazine noted:

“We have commenced in this number of The Archaeologist to give our opinion of relic counterfeiters in language that cannot be misconstrued; and we will continue the crusade against the scoundrels until their swindling is suppressed. Let us hear from our readers now”._-Editor

Photo:Counterfeit Relics?
Click for Higher Resolution

We must assume that their readers were also against counterfeiting “Indian relics”.

The editorial pulled no punches, naming the Robinette family of Hancock County Tennessee as one of the chief malefactors although they carefully noted that they also did a brisk trade in genuine “Indian” artifacts.
Clearly, the relics that appeared with the editorial arguably in the shape of prehistoric animals were in the class “fakes” and the very items which could have confused the public.

One of the Robinette family’s chief competitors chimed in and amazingly enough agreed wholeheartedly with the American Anthropologist in the matter. They also perhaps unwittingly identified the primary issue with respect to the ‘fake” relics in question:

A very honorable and reliable dealer in curios, in Ohio, writes us, under recent date, as follows:” I have in my possession one of J.T. Overstreet pipes which I can send you for examination if you wish. It is the best counterfeit pipe I have yet seen, and is well calculated to deceive anyone.

Don’t fail to show up these pipe fraud fiends, for I consider some of their pipes far more dangerous to our business and Your Science than the flint crooks.”.

From this time and distance we cannot comment as to the “fakeness” if any of the artifacts in question. No doubt, counterfeiting these artifacts was a serious problem. But where did these “counterfeiting fiends” get the idea to create fake artifacts in the shape of a sauropod?

One Response

  1. Chris Parker says:

    From Rigby:

    Hello,

    The artifacts that appear to resemble sauropods (labeled 1, 2 and 3) appear to me to be flint skinning hooks or “gut hooks”. I don’t see a specific reference as to what they are being called although there is a vague reference to pipes in the article. I don’t believe those are pipes.

    There are obvious shanks and notches for attaching and binding (presumably) wooden handles. I think their shape is coincidental – form follows function; that’s what a gut hook would look like if it were made of flint.

    Of course, it’s also just a facsimile and I have no idea what they are made of or what the scale is. They may also be a sort of scythe-type tool.

    Just thought I would share that with you. I love the web site, been following it for years. Keep up the good work and God bless you.

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