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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Zuni Heartline Ollas
Lot # 238 - Zuni Heartline Ollas
lot of 2, including a red-body jar by Anderson and Avelia Peynesta, signed and dated on base, height 5.5 in. x diameter 6 in.; AND another unsigned white-body jar height 6.25 in. x diameter 8.25 in.
Peynesta jar 2009, other mid-20th century
> Item Details
Ace Powell (American, 1912-1978)
Lot # 203 - Ace Powell (American, 1912-1978)
Western Landscape with Log Cabin
oil on board
signed l.l.
29.5 in. x 17.25 in.
> Item Details
Sioux Quilled Hide Moccasins From the Collection of Jim Ritchie (1938 - 2015), Toledo, Ohio
Lot # 353 - Sioux Quilled Hide Moccasins From the Collection of Jim Ritchie (1938 - 2015), Toledo, Ohio
thread-sewn and fully quilled in colors red, blue, yellow, purple, and white, length 10 in.
ca 1900
> Item Details
Apache Beaded Hide Moccasins From the US Children's Museum on the 19th Century
Lot # 160 - Apache Beaded Hide Moccasins From the US Children's Museum on the 19th Century
sinew-sewn and beaded in color of amber, white, and light blue; hide coated with orange and blue pigment; angled cuff with pinked edges, length 10 in.
ca 1900
> Item Details
Plateau Beaded Hide Wrist Cuffs, Child Moccasins, and Snake Fetish
Lot # 67 - Plateau Beaded Hide Wrist Cuffs, Child Moccasins, and Snake Fetish
lot of 3, includes a pair of plateau wrist cuffs, composted of softly-tanned hide; panel beaded using colors of light blue, dark blue, and rose and edged with red wool, length 8.25 in. x width 8.5 in.; PLUS a pair of Blackfoot child's soft-soled moccasins, length 6.25 in.; AND a thread-sewn beaded hide snake fetish, length 6 in.
early 20th century
> Item Details
Tlingit Basket
Lot # 18 - Tlingit Basket
large, finely woven example with decorations of vertically stacked hourglasses and diamonds connected by a horizontal band, height 8.25 in. x diameter 11 in.
early 20th century
> Item Details
Hopi Third Mesa Wicker Storage Baskets Deaccessioned from the Hopewell Museum, Hopewell, NJ
Lot # 119 - Hopi Third Mesa Wicker Storage Baskets Deaccessioned from the Hopewell Museum, Hopewell, NJ
lot of 3, height 10 in. x diameter 12.25 in., height 10.25 in. x diameter 13 in., AND height 11 in. x diameter 16.75 in.
first quarter 20th century
> Item Details
Eskimo Seal Gut Belt Collected on the USRC Bear with Photographs
Lot # 18 - Eskimo Seal Gut Belt Collected on the USRC Bear with Photographs
lot of 5. Seal gut belt with fine leather cut into abstract designs and appliqued to belt; commercial metal buckle, length 40 in. Belt is accompanied by three photographs of Inuits posing with sailors who were aboard the US Revenue Cutter Bear on its 1911 voyage to Point Barrow, Alaska.
ca 1911
> Item Details
[American Indian - History] Books on Indian - White Relations
Lot # 271 - [American Indian - History] Books on Indian - White Relations
lot of 5 books including:

Berkhofer, Jr., Robert. The White Man's Indian. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1978.

Champagne, Duane. Native America: Portrait of the Peoples. Detroit: Visible Ink Press, 1994.

Highwater, Jamake. Indian America. New York: David McKay Company, Inc., 1975.

Josephy Jr., Alvin M. The Patriot Chiefs: A Chronicle of American Indian Leadership. New York: Viking Press, 1961.

Weatherford, Jack. Native Roots: How the Indians Enriched America. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1991.
> Item Details
Hopi <i>Kwikwilyaqa</i> Mocking and </i>Ahote</i> Katsinas From the Collection of Dr. Kent and Karen Vickery, Colorado
Lot # 142 - Hopi Kwikwilyaqa Mocking and Ahote Katsinas From the Collection of Dr. Kent and Karen Vickery, Colorado
lot of 2, includes Kwikwiyaqa with tied grass hair and holds a rattle and staff, height 9 in.; AND Ahote carved by D. Lomatska, height 10.25 in.
mid-20th century

Dr. Kent Vickery (1942 - 2011) grew up with parents who were avid collectors of Native American Southwest arts and crafts. Kent started developing his own collection in the 1950's while on family vacations. Summer excursions to various Pueblos and to the Gallup Ceremonials sparked a true love in Kent and spurred him to earn his PhD from Indiana University in Anthropology/ Archaeology where he specialized in Ohio Valley archaeology. He taught at the University of Cincinnati in the Anthropology Department for almost 34 years and on retirement, he and his wife, Karen, moved to Woodland Park, CO.

Kent had a wide range of interests and collections including Native American art, both contemporary and ethnographic, Tribal art, and American antiques. He and Karen continued to collect until 2011.
> Item Details
Northeastern Birchbark Baskets
Lot # 396 - Northeastern Birchbark Baskets
lot of 2, including one decorated with a scene of a man on snowshoes, mother and child, tipi and animals, height 5.5 in. x diameter 9.5 in.; AND a lidded cylinder with geometrics, height 10.75 in. x diameter 10.5 in.
ca 1900 - early 20th century
> Item Details
Sioux Painted Pipe Stem with Catlinite Bowl
Lot # 71 - Sioux Painted Pipe Stem with Catlinite Bowl
made for sale; painted in blue, green, red, and white; beveled edge; bowl with concentric circle lead inlay, total length 29 in.
ca 1930s
> Item Details
Zia Bird Pottery Olla
Lot # 116 - Zia Bird Pottery Olla
painted with three large Zia birds situated within floral and geometric arbors, height 10.5 in. x diameter 10.75 in.
ca 1900
> Item Details
Navajo Banded Weaving
Lot # 390 - Navajo Banded Weaving
hand-spun wool woven using red, cream, yellow, and brown, 86 in. x 46 in.
first quarter 20th century
> Item Details
Northern California Baskets
Lot # 38 - Northern California Baskets
lot of 4, includes a hat with stacked parallelograms, height 3.75 in. x diameter 7 in.; PLUS a bowl also designed with stacked parallelograms, height 4 in. x diameter 6.5 in.; PLUS another bowl with a variety of stacked triangles, squares, and rectangles, height 3.5 in. x diameter 6.5 in.; AND a basket with a gently tapering lid, height 6 in. x diameter 5 in.
early 20th century
> Item Details
Haida Carved Wooden Bowl
Lot # 15 - Haida Carved Wooden Bowl
Eagles with abalone eyes flank sides of bowl; bone disks decorate rim, length 12 in. x width 7 in.
ca 1900
> Item Details
Apache Beaded Hide Strike-a-Light Bag From a Minnesota Collection
Lot # 115 - Apache Beaded Hide Strike-a-Light Bag From a Minnesota Collection
thread and sinew-sewn; beaded using color of red white-heart, pea green, white, and dark blue; tin cones hang from hide fringe along lower edge of bag, length 8.5 in. x width 5.25 in.
late 19th century 
> Item Details
Northeastern Ball Head Club
Lot # 450 - Northeastern Ball Head Club
possibly hickory and carved of a single piece; with elegant form of flattened and tapered grip widening to ball, length 22.5 in.
mid-19th century
> Item Details
Northwest Coast Model Wood Totem Poles
Lot # - Northwest Coast Model Wood Totem Poles
lot of 3, includes a three-figure pole carved with a bear, raven, and frog, height 18.75 in.; PLUS a thin four-figure pole topped with an eagle, height 21 in.; AND another unmarked tourist pole, height 18.5 in.
mid-20th century
> Item Details
Pueblo Branch Coral Necklaces
Lot # 338 - Pueblo Branch Coral Necklaces
lot of 2, both with short branches strung together; one constructed of pale peach colored branches and with tag marked Les Bernard, Inc., length 30 in. AND the other of red/orange colored branches, length 42 in.
late 20th century
> Item Details