American Indian Art

Now Seeking Consignments
for our
September 23rd American Indian and Western Art Auction -
Click to Consign


Results:
April 4, 2016 American Indian and Western Art Auction

Upcoming:
May 12 - 23, 2016 Timed Online American Indian and Western Art Auction

As a leader in the field of American Indian Art, Cowan's has sold over $21 million of Native objects. Auctions are held twice a year focusing on North American cultural and ethnographic material. Photography of the American Indian and works of art portraying a romantic West by artists such as Henry Farny, Charles Russell, and Joseph Sharp, create a well-rounded auction that attracts aggressive bidding by American Indian and Western art collectors.

Department Director

Danica M. Farnand
Specialist

Contact Information
Contact Danica at 513.871.1670 (ext. 215) or email indianart@cowans.com

Danica graduated from John Carroll University with a BA in Art History and continued on to earn her MA in Anthropology at the University of Cincinnati. After 12 years at Cowan's, she has developed the American Indian Art division, with two major auctions a year and sales totaling over $20 million since the department's inception.

Susan Labry Meyn
Susan is Cowan's consulting ethnologist. Author of Farny Paints the Far West and co-author of Rookwood and the American Indian, she holds a PhD in American Indian History and Anthropology.

***Press Release***

Major Collections Drive Interest and Strong Bidding in Cowan's September 25th American Indian and Western Art Auction

 CINCINNATI, Ohio – High interest from bidders demonstrated that exceptional collections were brought to market in Cowan's September 25th American Indian and Western Art Auction. The day was a success with sales totals reaching $911,000, an 87[%] sell-through rate and a lot average of $2,300.

 Pre-auction estimates were trounced all day at the auction. A large crowd on the floor coupled with active phone bidding throughout the entirety of the sale made for a veritable feeding frenzy for many of the lots. The highest selling lot in the auction was anExtraordinary Cheyenne Beaded Hide Tobacco Bag from the Glen-Isle Resort in Bailey, Colorado. After nearly five minutes of back and forth bidding between the floor and the phones, the bag eventually sold to a phone bidder for $72,000 over its $8,000/10,000 estimate.

 "The selection of items in this sale, as deep in quality as in variety, demonstrated that the market for American Indian art remains highly competitive at the upper levels," notes Danica Farnand, Director, American Indian Art. "The collections from Minnesota, the Hopewell Museum and then Glen Isle Resort lead the way throughout the auction, with over 30[%] of items selling for above the high estimate. I was thrilled with the results of the sale, and look forward to the next one!"

 The selection of items also included fresh-to-the-market Sioux, Northern Plains and Kiowa material. A Sioux Beaded Unborn Fawn Bag sold for $30,000 – thirty times its pre-auction estimate. A Northern Plains Beaded and Quilled Buffalo Hide Bowcase and Quiver with Bow and Arrows brought $27,600, and a Kiowa Beaded Hide Strike-a-Light Bag realized $12,000.

 Textiles played a noteworthy role in the auction. One of the highlights was a Sandpainting weaving by Manuelito (Navajo, 1893-1987). The weaving dates to about 1935 to 1940 and depicts, among others, Talking God and Black Calling God. Manuelito was the niece of Hosteen Klah, a Navajo medicine man and weaver, who encouraged her to weave sandpaintings and taught her the correct imagery. This example was de-accessioned from the Hopewell Museum in Hopewell, N.J., having previously been donated to that institution by Dr. David Blackwell Hill (1887-1979), who collected American Indian art long before it became fashionable. The weaving sold for $27,060. Additional highlights in the textiles portion of the auction included a Navajo Two Grey Hills Weaving that sold for $16,800 and a Navajo Third Phase Woman's Chief Blanket realized $15,600.

 Important tomahawks also hit the auction block in the September 25th sale. A Plains Pipe Tomahawk estimated to bring between $6,000/8,000 sold for $11,685, a Sioux Pipe Tomahawk realized $11,400, and a Western Plains Pipe Tomahawk from the Glen Isle Resort quadrupled its estimate of $2,000/4,000 and realized $9,600.

 Pottery and basketry exceeded expectations in the auction, generating strong interest from Internet and phone bidders. A frenzy of bidding surrounded a lot of California Mission Baskets depicting Reptiles and Insects. De-accessioned from the Hopewell Museum, the pair of baskets brought $9,000. An Apache Figural Basketry Olla realized $9,225, an Acoma Pottery Olla sold for $8,400, a Nampeyo of Hano Attributed Polychome  Polacca Pottery Bowl realized $5,400, and a Californian Open-weave Basket sold for $4,500.

 Beadwork was among the higher selling lots of the day in the sale. A Sioux Beaded and Quilled Hide Cradle Collected by Medal of Honor Recipient James M. Burns sold for $18,000. James Madison Burns enlisted in the West Virginia infantry in 1861. On May 15, 1864, at the Battle of New Market, Virginia while under heavy fire from the enemy he voluntarily assisted a wounded comrade from the field of battle, earning him the Congressional Medal of Honor. A Cheyenne Beaded Hide Tobacco Bag from the Collection of Monroe Killy of Minnesota sold for $6,000, and a Plains Beaded and Quilled Buffalo Hide Society Bag realized $5,400.

 The diversity of the auction continued with artwork and photography. A painting by John Nieto, titled "War Dance," sold for $9,000, a Karl Bodmer Hand-Colored Aquatint, titled "Bison Dance of the Mandan Indians in front of their medicine lodge in Mih-Tutta-Hankush," realized $6,600, an Oil on Canvas by Lajos Markos sold for $6,000, and a Silver Gelatin Photograph by Roland Reed, titled "Up the Cutback," sold for $2,640.

 The market for American Indian art remains highly competitive at the upper levels. Cowan's is now seeking exceptional consignments for our 2016 American Indian and Western Art Auctions. For more information, phone Cowan's Auctions at (513) 871-1670 or visit Cowans.com.

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Northern Plains Children's Items
Lot # 68 - Northern Plains Children's Items
lot of 4, including a single Sioux child's moccasin sinew-sewn elk and beaded in colors of pink, translucent green, red white-heart, dark blue, and white, length 6 in.; PLUS another single Sioux child's moccasin sinew-sewn and beaded in colors of greasy yellow, translucent green, light blue, and red white-heart, length 6 in.; PLUS a child's buffalo hide knife sheath sinew-sewn using colors of white, dark blue, red white-heart, and greasy yellow, length 5.5 in.; AND a lizard navel fetish also sinew-sewn and beaded in colors of eggplant, white, and amber, length 7.5 in.
fourth quarter 19th century - early 20th century
> Item Details
Sheldon Talas (Hopi, 1937 - 2010) <i>Koshare</i> and <i>Tsitoto<i> Katsina Dolls
Doug Hyde (20th-21st century) Bronze
Lot # 298 - Doug Hyde (20th-21st century) Bronze
signed with artist cipher towards base
numbered 15/35
ht. 8.5 in.
> Item Details
Sioux Beaded Hide Purse
Lot # 365 - Sioux Beaded Hide Purse
thread-sewn beadwork on hide panel using colors of greasy yellow, orangy-red white-heart, white, dark blue, pink, white, and pony trader blue; hide panel sewn to leather bag with metal clasp, overall height 8 in. x width 9 in.
second quarter 20th century
> Item Details
Navajo Red Mesa Weaving / Rug
Lot # 73 - Navajo Red Mesa Weaving / Rug
hand-spun wool woven using colors of red, orange, cream, and dark brown; designed with two rows of stacked serrated diamonds, 37.5 x 70.5 in.
second quarter 20th century
> Item Details
Paul Jones Navajo Cluster Turquoise Ring and Silver Dollar Cuff
Lot # 183 - Paul Jones Navajo Cluster Turquoise Ring and Silver Dollar Cuff
lot of 2.  Includes the Jones turquoise cluster ring stamped with P. Jones Sterling, size 8.25; AND the cuff stamped with Fred Harvey curio stamps and set with  Liberty Head silver dollar (date cannot be seen), size 5.25 in. x width 1.6 in. x opening 1.5 in.
ca 1980
Barton Wright, in his 1989 publication Hallmarks of the Southwest, gives a brief biography of Jones on page 68. 
  
> Item Details
Late Transitional Weaving
Lot # 390 - Late Transitional Weaving
hand-spun wool woven using red, cream, and dark brown; banded zigzag, 58 in. x 41 in.
first quarter 20th century
> Item Details
Jacob Pfeiffer (American, b. 1936)
Lot # 530 - Jacob Pfeiffer (American, b. 1936)
Out of Winter's Silence
lithograph
signed and dated 78 l.r.
signed and edition number 38/50 l.l.
29.5 x 23.25 in.
> Item Details
Tlingit Polychrome & Eskimo Imbricated Baskets
Lot # 161 - Tlingit Polychrome & Eskimo Imbricated Baskets
Lot of 2, including Tlingit with two bands of bright step designs, diam. 6.5 in. x ht. 6 in., PLUS an unusually shaped Alaskan lidded basket woven by Fanny John, diam. 7 in. x ht. 10 in.
Tlingit ca 1900; Alaskan ca 1940s
> Item Details
Martin and Marie Aguilar (Kewa [Santo Domingo], 20th century) Blackware Pottery Vase
R.C. Gorman (Dine, 1931-2005) Serigraph on Handmade Paper
Lot # 231 - R.C. Gorman (Dine, 1931-2005) Serigraph on Handmade Paper
Nicole
signed and dated lower left
with copy of certification on verso
(sight) 19 x 25 in.; (framed) 32 x 38 in. 1990
> Item Details
Navajo Concha Belt
Lot # 48 - Navajo Concha Belt
with one baroque turquoise set in each of thirteen hand-stamped conchas plus one turquoise on buckle, marked Sterling, length of concha 2.2 in.
fourth quarter twenty century
> Item Details
Hatty Navajo Hopi Bowl
Lot # 431 - Hatty Navajo Hopi Bowl
with feather and bird designs painted on body, signed Hatty N, height 4.5 in. x diameter 8 in.
third quarter 20th century
> Item Details
Marie Lopez Navajo Weaving
Lot # 337 - Marie Lopez Navajo Weaving
thickly woven in natural colors, 37 x 18.5 in.
20th century
> Item Details
Coushatta Saddle Blanket
Lot # 573 - Coushatta Saddle Blanket
woven of Spanish moss dyed black, probably with walnut shells, length 27" x width 29". Blanket with label stating it was woven by Cleason Baker in June 1976.
late 20th century
> Item Details
Moses Echalook (Inuit, b. 1931) Stone Sculpture
Lot # 11 - Moses Echalook (Inuit, b. 1931) Stone Sculpture
signed in syllabics with disk number
height 10.5 in. x length 10 in.
mid-20th century
> Item Details
Navajo Cluster Turquoise Bracelets and Pin
Lot # 256 - Navajo Cluster Turquoise Bracelets and Pin
lot of 3. Includes a bracelet with eight baroque turquoises set on split shank, inside 5.75 in. x width 2.5 in. x opening 1.25 in.; PLUS another bracelet with round stones surrounded by pear shaped stones, inside length 5.25 in. x width 1.5 in. x opening 1.2 in.; AND a turquoise cluster pin with oval center stone surrounded by small round turquoises and pear shaped stones on either side, length 2.5 in.
third and fourth quarters 20th century
> Item Details
Democratic Republic of the Congo Kongo <i>Nkisi Nkondi</i> Wood Carving
Northwest Coast Polychrome Wood Totem Pole
Lot # 28 - Northwest Coast Polychrome Wood Totem Pole
carved with four figures; date penciled on back, height 9 in.
ca 1932
> Item Details
Painted Beer Trays from the Shiprock Trading Post
Lot # 135 - Painted Beer Trays from the Shiprock Trading Post
Will Evans (1877-1954). Five polychrome painted beer trays with thunderbird and Yei figure motifs; Largest 13.5 in. dia.
Ca. 1930s
> Item Details