Bannerstone Collections

American Museum of Natural History

In the collection are 61 bannerstones selected from the 462 stones in the American Museum of Natural History. These 61 bannerstones represent the range of types, materials, and conditions of the stones. There are 580 photographs taken at various angles, which highlight sculpted form, scale, carving and drilling techniques, geologic details, and the current condition of these bannerstones. These images may be downloaded and used freely for teaching and personal use. Include the credit line “© Anna Blume, 2017, Courtesy of the Division of Anthropology, American Museum of Natural History” along with the object’s Catalog Number. Publishing of images is permitted with permission from the AMNH. For additional publishing questions, contact bannerstone@fitnyc.edu.

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National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution

The National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution (NMNH) is the second collection to be studied and added to the Archaic Bannerstone Project website. Of the 728 bannerstones in the NMNH collection, we have selected 32 that represent bannerstone types or materials not already included. Five of the bannerstones are plaster casts (A30224, A61057, A61508, A61509, A26977-1) that were meticulously shaped and painted in the late 19th or early 20th century. Three of the stones for these casts were temporarily loaned to the NMNH (A61057, A61508, A61509) by A.E. Douglass, who excavated them from a mound in southern Florida in 1871. Shortly after the casts were made, Douglass donated the original stones to the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York. NMNH cast A61057 represents a Wisconsin Wing from this excavation, the original of which is missing from any known collection, making the cast the only visual and physical record remaining of the original bannerstone. Only in the case of A26977-1 does the NMNH also have the original stone (A26977) providing us with a rare opportunity to study and photograph the original porphyry granite Wisconsin Wing side by side with its cast. Other notable rare inclusions in this extensive collection are a partially-completed crystal bannerstone A34419. The Archaic-era sculptor of this Quartz Butterfly bannerstone appears to have attempted to expand their range to include a significantly harder, more translucent material which may account for why it was not drilled or completed. Also of note is A317061, a diorite Southern Ovate with exceedingly elegant, thin wings and an unusual spine carved with two narrow grooves, which attest to the visual acuity and skill of the sculptor. We include in this collection 317 photographs of the 32 original stone and plaster cast bannerstones.

These images may be downloaded and used freely for teaching and personal use. Include the credit line “© Anna Blume, 2019, Courtesy of the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution” along with the object’s Catalog Number. Publishing of images is permitted with additional permission from the NMNH. For additional publishing questions, contact
bannerstone@fitnyc.edu.

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