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Earl Townsend, Jr

pointy birdstone and others: birdstone%20red%20slate.jpg Popeye birdstone (well known) ********* Townsend, who died in 2007, was a passionate collector and historian of prehistoric North American artifacts. His storied collection of prehistoric stone artifacts remains one of the largest and best collections ever assembled. Hubert C. Wachtel, author of Who’s Who in Indian Relics called Townsend’s collection “one of the finest in the United States.” Earl Townsend, Jr. was a highly-regarded attorney, philanthropist, patron of the arts, collector, author and historian. He was a pioneer in the early days of broadcasting as the original televised voice of the Indy 500. He was a graduate of DePauw University. He received his degree in Law from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor where he was roommates with late President Gerald Ford. There were many well deserved accolades received over the course of his lifetime. He was named to the Council of Sagamores of the Wabash in 1960, and inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1981. Townsend started collecting artifacts in 1920. Over the decades, he actively sought out the finest examples of North American prehistoric artifacts, placing a special emphasis on birdstones. He is featured in Wachtel’s Who’s Who in Indian Relics No. 1, No. 5, No. 6, No. 7, and No. 9, as well as numerous archaeological publications. As an author and historian, he is widely recognized as the preeminent authority on Native American birdstones. At one time, Townsend had over 600 birdstones in his collection. Birdstone, Hardstone, Porphyry, Popeye. Estimate $20,000-$30,000 Townsend's landmark book, Birdstones of the North American Indian, originally published in 1959, remains the premier reference book for birdstone study among collectors. Eager to share his passion with fellow collectors, Townsend was a founding member of The Genuine Indian Relics Society and the first president of the Indiana Archaeological Society. While birdstones were his particular passion, Townsend also counted outstanding examples of flints and bannerstones among his treasures. A highlight of the December 3 auction will be the large quartz butterfly bannerstone, listed in Watchel’s Who’s Who in Indian Relics No. 1 as the world’s finest bannerstone. Townsend purchased the piece from well-known Ohio artifact collector A.T. Wehrle. Wehrle had acquired it from the F. P. Hill collection in the 1930s. It was Hill who christened this prized quartz “Sunset Glory.”


  • Harielle C., 2010: La "Grande Grotte" ou grotte de Queylou (Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil), Spéléo-Dordogne 190 (2e trimestre 2009, dépôt légal: Octobre 2010):31-47, 1 pl. avec 7 ph. coul., 7 fig., 1 dépliant non paginé (entre les pages 36 et 37, topographie), 1 dessin.

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