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Engraved woodblock titled "Shell Gorget - The Cross"

Engraved woodblock titled "Shell Gorget - The Cross"

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This engraved woodblock of “Shell Gorgets – the Cross” was prepared by the Government Printing Office in Washington, D.C.; the print was published in 1883 as Plate LI.1 (p.268) in an article by William H. Holmes (1846-1933) entitled “Art in Shell of the Ancient Americans” in the Second Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian, 1880-81.
A gorget is a piece of shell that has been engraved and perforated so that it can be worn as a pendant; in this case, it has been engraved with a cross insignia. The caption beneath the image reveals that the gorget was found in Union County, Illinois.
In a footnote to his article, Holmes identifies “Kate C. Osgood” as an accompanying artist on his collecting expedition.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Object Type
Wood Engraving
date made
Government Printing Office
Bureau of American Ethnology
Holmes, William Henry
place made
United States: District of Columbia, Washington
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
engraving (overall production method/technique)
overall: 8.9 cm x 8.8 cm x 2.3 cm; 3 1/2 in x 3 7/16 in x 7/8 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Native Americans
See more items in
Work and Industry: Graphic Arts
Cultures & Communities
Science & Mathematics
Wood Blocks for early Bureau of American Ethnology Publications, Graphic Arts Collection
Wood Engravings, Graphic Arts Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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