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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Crow Beaded Hide Moccasins From the Collection of John O. Behnken, Georgia
Lot # 353 - Crow Beaded Hide Moccasins From the Collection of John O. Behnken, Georgia
thread and sinew-sewn softly tanned, thick hide; with beadwork in colors of pink, medium blue, greasy yellow, red white-heart, and translucent green, length 10.25 in.
ca 1900
> Item Details
Navajo Pin and Turquoise Cluster Ring
Lot # 85 - Navajo Pin and Turquoise Cluster Ring
lot of 2.  Includes a pin with single oval turquoise, length 1.25 in.; AND a cluster ring, size 5.75.
ca mid 20th century
> Item Details
Navajo Eastern Reservation Weaving / Rug
Lot # 248 - Navajo Eastern Reservation Weaving / Rug
hand-spun wool and woven using a natural palette; designed with two stepped diamonds with hooks extending from corners, 88 x 48 in.
second quarter 20th century
> Item Details
Attributed to Julius Rolshoven, (Michigan, 1858-1930)
Lot # 81 - Attributed to Julius Rolshoven, (Michigan, 1858-1930)
Kit Carson and John Freemont Scouting Ahead of the Wagon Train
oil on canvas
unsigned
29.5 in. x 39.15 in.
> Item Details
Edward S. Curtis Photogravure <i>Awaiting the Scout's Return - Atsina</i>
Lot # 108 - Edward S. Curtis Photogravure Awaiting the Scout's Return - Atsina
plate no. 181 from portfolio 5 of The North American Indian; 1908 copyright and produced by John Andrew & Son, image 15.75 in. x 11.75 in.; framed 24 in. x 21.5 in.
> Item Details
Cherokee, Ottawa, and Serpent River First Nation Baskets
Lot # - Cherokee, Ottawa, and Serpent River First Nation Baskets
lot of 3, includes a Cherokee river cane basket with handle, height 14.5 in. x diameter 8.25 in.; PLUS a quilled birchbark basket by Dona Bouford Hair (Ottawa, 20th century), height 2.25 in. x diameter 4.25 in.; AND a lidded split Black Ash basket by Aunelda Jacobs (Serpent River, 20th century), height 5.75 in. x diameter 7.5 in.
20th century
> Item Details
Contemporary Northeastern Quilled Knife Sheaths with Knives From the Collection of Jim Ritchie (1938 - 2015), Toledo, Ohio
Navajo, Hopi, and Zuni Silver and Turquoise Bracelets Collected by Virginia Doneghy (1900-1981)
Lot # 216 - Navajo, Hopi, and Zuni Silver and Turquoise Bracelets Collected by Virginia Doneghy (1900-1981)
lot of 3. Includes a Hopi bracelet, (marked Hopi on inside of cuff) with seven stones across top; inside length 5.6 in. x width .6 in.; PLUS a Zuni row bracelet with eleven stones, each with a "knob" of silver on outside, inside length 5 in.; AND the last a Navajo bracelet with seven oval stones across the top, inside length 5.5 in. x width .75 in.
ca 1930s

Virginia Doneghy (1900-1981) was a lifetime collector of Native Southwestern jewelry. Her passion begun in the late 1930s on a trip to Santa Fe where she caught a glimpse of … the most beautiful necklace in the window of La Fonda Hotel (1982:182). From that point forward, her collection blossomed. Doneghy developed an interesting and comprehensive group of jewelry which ranged from everyday use to special occasion pieces. The collection is published by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in, Southwest Indian Silver from the Doneghy Collection, 1982.
> Item Details
Navajo Western Reservation Weaving / Rug
Lot # 262 - Navajo Western Reservation Weaving / Rug
lot of 2, both hand-spun wool woven in a similar palette of red, cream, gray, and brown; includes one with a serrated diamond pattern, 39 x 27 in.; AND a larger textile with serrated and nesting diamonds, 54 x 34 in.
first - second quarter 20th century
> Item Details
Zuni Silver and Turquoise Cluster Bracelet
Lot # 210 - Zuni Silver and Turquoise Cluster Bracelet
with 70 tiny turquoise stones forming a large center medallion finished with a short spray of stones on each side, inside length 4.75 in. x width 2 in. x opening 1 in. ca 1980
> Item Details
Kiowa Beaded Hide Man's Leggings
Lot # 245 - Kiowa Beaded Hide Man's Leggings
sinew-sewn; soft hide is delicately beaded along edges in white, pony trader blue, rose, and dark blue; hide is coated in yellow, green, and orange pigment; fringe is tinted blue, length 31 in.
ca 1870
> Item Details
Northwest Coast Polychrome Totem Poles
Lot # 27 - Northwest Coast Polychrome Totem Poles
lot of 2, heights 15.75 in. and 11.25 in.
mid-20th century
> Item Details
Navajo Concha Belt with Turquoise
Lot # 91 - Navajo Concha Belt with Turquoise
Eight traditional style conchas, each one with intricate stamping and a single turquoise. Conchas strung on old leather, however there is no buckle, concha length 2.75 in.
second quarter 20th century
> Item Details
Navajo Buttons and Beads
Lot # 158 - Navajo Buttons and Beads
lot of 50.  Includes five sets of buttons, all with stamping.  One set with a turquoise stone in each button.  Lot includes beads with grooves and a few flat bezels, diameter 1.2 in to .5 in.
ca third quarter 20th century
> Item Details
Navajo First Phase Concha Belt
Lot # 119 - Navajo First Phase Concha Belt
eight thick, hand-wrought circular conchas with scalloped edge plus buckle; diamond-shaped center opening; stamped designs of crescents, circles, and lines; mounted on original leather strap, concha diameter 3.5 in., total length 42.25 in.
early 20th century
> Item Details
African Amber Large Bead Necklace
Lot # 361 - African Amber Large Bead Necklace
of genuine amber carved into large fat beads, largest 2.25 in. diameter.  Necklace consists of 27 beads strung on cotton string and measures approximately 26 in. 
uncertain due to age of amber. popular for the last 100 years  
 
> Item Details
Reg Davidson Haida Argillite Totem Pole
Lot # 39 - Reg Davidson Haida Argillite Totem Pole
two figure totem of a beaver topped with a raven; signed and dated on back, height 7.75 in.
1974
> Item Details
Navajo Rug-Within-Rug Weaving
Lot # 144 - Navajo Rug-Within-Rug Weaving
hand-spun wool woven using colors of red, gray, cream, and tan; central rug surrounded by modified waterbug motifs, squares with crosses, and arrows, 63.5 x 41 in.
second quarter 20th century
> Item Details
Mono Miniature Burden and Winnowing Baskets Deaccessioned From the Hopewell Museum, Hopewell, New Jersey
Lot # 32 - Mono Miniature Burden and Winnowing Baskets Deaccessioned From the Hopewell Museum, Hopewell, New Jersey
lot of 3, includes a burden basket with bands of zigzag decorations, length 11 in. x diameter 9 in.; PLUS a winnowing tray designed with zigzags, length 7.25 in. x width 6.75 in.; AND a handled utilitarian winnowing basket, length 12 in. x width 6 in.
early 20th century
> Item Details
[General] Museum Exhibitions and Collections, From the Library of Richard Pohrt Jr.
Lot # 471 - [General] Museum Exhibitions and Collections, From the Library of Richard Pohrt Jr.
lot of 7, includes:

Acevedo, Alexander. Akicita: Early Plains and Woodlands Indian Art from the Collection of Alexander Acevedo. The Southwest Museum: Los Angeles. 1983.

Casagrande, Louis and Melissa Ringheim. Straight Tongue: Minnesota Indian Art from the Bishop Whipple Collection. The Science Museum of Minnesota. 1980.

Mercer, Bill. Lena Taku Waste: These Good Things: Selections from the Elizabeth Cole Butler Collection of Native American Art. Portland Art Museum: Portland. 1997.

Peterson, Harold (ed.) I Wear the Morning Star. Minneapolis Institute of Arts. 1976.

Porsche, Audrey. Yuto 'keca: Transitions - The Burdick Collection. State Historical Society of North Dakota: Bismark. 1987.

Wardwell, Allen. Of Pride and Spirit: North American Indian Art from a Private Collection in Hawaii. Honolulu Academy of Arts. 1981.

Walton, Ann, John Ewers, and Royal Hassrick. After the Buffalo Were Gone: The Louis Warren Hill, Sr. Collection of Indian Art. Northwest Area Foundation: ST. Paul. 1985.
> Item Details