Silver in the Fur Trade was very prominent with the native Americans as well as with the Europeans such as the French-Canadian Voyageur. Many pounds of silver brooches, earwheels & trade crosses were crafted and exchanged for furs, minoomin (wild rice), maple sugar and other native harvested materials. Such items were made by independent artisans, but purveyed by large trade companies such as Canada's Hudson's Bay Co., the NW Co., or the XY Co. These items were traded from the far reaches of the arctic in northern Canada to Prarie Du Chein, WI,(The second oldest settlement in Wisconsin) and settlements further south. Some prominent makers of late 18th century British North America include Robert Cruichshank 1767-1809 *Montreal*,Charles Arnoldi 1779-1817 *Montreal*.
Now about me. For some of you that already know me & those who don't my name Tim Timmerman, known as Otter to most for the past 15 years of fur trade re-enacting. I too am a maker & purveyor of trade silver brooches,earwheels & crosses. I spend most of my summers at fur trade re-enactments & rendezvous dotted across the upper Midwest, sometimes venturing as far south and east as "Mississinewa" in Indiana. I have been handcrafting Trade brooches since the fall of 1995 after a coveted *Canoe Trip* down the Mississippi river from the Sibley house (original residence of a share-holder of the American Fur Co.) in St. Paul, MN, to Prairie Du Chien, WI, to the original home of Jean Joseph Rollette, American Fur Co. district director. My interest in the history of the colonial fur trade era as well as the trades and crafts associated with the period has deep roots. The pieces I craft are based on original pieces and extensive research including sources by historians of both the US and Canada. What began as a meager favor for a few close friends has flowered into a personal passion and prospering business. In 1997 I was commissioned & honored to make the brooches for the upper leg of the Mississippi canoe trip from Grand Rapids, to St. Paul, MN. These pieces are few & well cherished by the wearers. After the commissioned pieces I started producing many period pieces for sale or trade. My pieces are made from sterling 925.
Pictured above is another one of my hobbies *lamp Work Beads* This a Growing talent Thanks to my Daughter Tiffany. She & I were introduced to this Craft by a fine & very talented young lady *thanks Emmy*