This large French Acheulean Lower Paleolithic side scraper was fashioned out of golden Le Grand-Pressigny flint by Homo erectus (H. heidelbergensis), the first humans to occupy Europe. European Acheulean flake tools are quite scarce on the market and this is a beautiful, supreme example of sizable proportions! A tool such as this would have been necessary to butcher large hunted game such as horse, mammoth, rhino and bison. The broad cutting surface would have been ideal for primary butchering tasks such as de-fleshing hides for use as shelter and clothing. Some of the original flint cortex remains on the cutting edge which somewhat camouflages the wonderful, original intact prehistoric flaking on the edge.
This specimen dates back to the Acheulian Period of Europe. The Acheulian Tradition was the predominant tool technology of the Homo erectus people in Europe currently dating back as far as 900,000 years ago. From an old former Dutch private collection formed in the early 1980's. Today, digging for artifacts like this is forbidden and has been for decades with most of the best pieces being found in the first half of the last century. Finding an exquisite piece like this ONLY comes from coveted old collections in Europe that usually move from one collection to the next in private collector circles, rarely making it out of the country. No Paleolithic collection should be without representative tools of Europe's first humans!
Fine quality European Acheulian flint tools are far more rare than their African Saharan counterparts and often move swiftly, from one private collection to the next as many sites are now destroyed, built over or protected. In the past decade, European auctions have routinely set records for the highest prices realized on spectacular examples of Prehistoric European artifacts like this. Finest grade specimens are so few in number while the buyer market continues to expand and chase after the best material with no apparent price ceiling in sight. Nevertheless, the prices STILL, are a paltry comparison to much of the more mature rare collectibles on the market and Paleolithic artifact prices still really don't reflect the substantially higher rarity of these artifacts. As ever-increasing buyer demand continues to pursue the best pieces, the actual number of this material is sobering and we are likely to see prices easily rise ten-fold on top-grade specimens, in the next several years. The words "undervalued" and "collectible" are seldom found together in today's world but the realm of European and African Paleolithic artifacts is one where you can still find an emerging market and one of the greatest promises for future appreciation.
WARNING: This specific specimen possesses a fine prehistoric patina and mineral deposits. Such traits are missing in the fake tools being passed off as genuine tools by fraudulent and/or uninformed dealers selling in auctions, online, at shops and shows. The market is currently awash in fakes and ancient debris rock shards sold as genuine Paleolithic tools. Make sure you get an unconditional certificate of authenticity and know your dealer is knowledgeable AND informed.