Monday, October 27, 2014


There is an item in our sale which you might call emblematic of the Pilgrim history.  It's inspiration stands on Cole's Hill looking over the harbor where the Mayflower lay at anchor Three Hundred and Ninety Four years ago. A larger than life bronze statue of the Wampanoag Chief Massasoit, by American Artist, Cyrus Edwin Dallin, (1861 - 1944). The statue was erected for the Pilgrim Tercentennial Celebration of 1920.  The figure is beautifully and gracefully executed, depicting Massasoit holding a peace pipe as if demonstrating his friendly intentions to the Pilgrims. 

Massasoit was indeed the truest and most constant friend to the first settlers of Plymouth colony.  The Wampanoag tribe under his leadership aided and protected the Pilgrims during their first tenuous years.  The natives taught the settlers New World farming techniques and educated them about the alien world they now inhabited.  In addition, Massasoit signed a military alliance with Governor Carver in 1621, ensuring his neutrality during the Pequot War in 1636.  He had a close tie to Edward Winslow, who nursed him while he was gravely ill.  One could say that early Plymouth Colony would have certainly failed without this native champion.

This bronze of Massasoit is quite rare.  It is a miniature of the statue on Cole's Hill and is signed at its base by the artist.  These beautiful works of art were sold to raise funds for the Tercentennial project and were given as gifts to dignitaries and supporters.  This example is in beautiful condition and is truly something to behold.  It has been deaccessioned by the Mayflower Society,  and will be offered without reserve at auction at our November 8th sale. Until then I'll see you at the auction!