Friday, July 9, 2021

2021 CLA Live Auction: Nineteenth Century War Club by Gordon Barlow

Authentic war clubs are perennial favorites for collectors of Early American arms and art, and attendees at this year’s CLF Live Fundraising Auction have some excellent pieces from which to choose. Virginia artist and collector Gordon Barlow’s donation to this year’s auction is a truly fearsome piece that will nicely round out any collection.


This robust club is patterned after an original Teton Sioux war club from the early nineteenth century. Barlow built his club from a finely figured plank of Appalachian tiger stripe maple harvested from the hills of West Virginia. The entire club was crafted with the use of period appropriate hand tools, an immensely laborious process which resulted in a finely made authentic reproduction.


Adorned with multiple rows of original square shank brass tacks, the club is likewise fitted with an antique steel blade. The entire piece was finished with a stain made from sassafras root and black walnut hulls, as well as coloring provided by green, yellow, and red ochre pigment powders. As a final protective finish, the club was given multiple coats of hand rubbed beeswax.

For more information on the work of Gordon Barlow, contact the artist directly:


Photography by David Wright

Text by Joshua Shepherd

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