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home : news : news Friday, December 15, 2017

12/6/2017 Email this articlePrint this article 
Auctioneers Russ and Shawna Hayward (above) of Midwest Auctions of Miles display a few of the rare items in the Keil collection, which will be sold at auction this Thursday and Friday in Low Moor
Family plans artifact sale
Native American items offered through auction of Keil family collection

By David Namanny

LOW MOOR - A rare collection of Native American artifacts that has been passed down through generations of a Jackson County family since the late 1800s will be sold this week at a two-day auction in Low Moor.

The Keil family Native American collection, which was viewed by hundreds of Bellevue students during field trips in the 1960s, '70s and early '80s, will be sold at an auction Thursday and Friday at Low Moor Community Center.

The collection contains about 9,000 items, including arrowheads, ax heads, breast- plates, pipes and moccasins. Many pieces in the collection were found in the area south of Bellevue just off the Preston Highway, where the Keil family farmed. Other items came from Illinois and Wisconsin.

Auctioneers for the event will be Russ and Shawna Hayward of Midwest Auctions in Miles. He is a compensated instructor and appraiser of Native American items for the state of Illinois and Wisconsin Auctioneers Association and is recognized as one of the Midwest's leading authorities on Native American Artifacts. 

Not only is he recommended by Sotheby's for his knowledge, he is also a contributor to "Warman's Native American Collectibles," a 1998 resource book available in public libraries across the country.

Unusual public sale

According to Hayward, the history of Native Americans is reflected in handmade weapons and tools. The oldest artifacts in the Keil Collection date back 14,000 years and span the Paleo-Indian Era (Stone Age culture) and the Clovis and Folsom cultures.

"This is a massive private collection that was started by a member of the Keil family back in the late 1800s and was passed down through the generations," said Hayward, who noted that the items would be sold in 300 lots each day. All are being stored now in a secure location in the Quad Cities.

 "This collection will now be passed on to the public and will hopefully start the next generation of family collections," Hayward added. "It is important that the prehistoric history of the Native American be preserved and passed on through our museums and collectors.

"Very seldom does a massive and diverse collection of this magnitude come on the market. Collections like this are usually passed on to museums and other private collectors."

Hayward said the Keil family also had kept a diary of where and when many of the artifacts were found. A copy of that information will be available to serious buyers.

A complete list with photos of each Native American artifact in the collection can also be seen at the Midwest Auction website, www.mwauctions.com. For more information, call 563-357-1849.

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