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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Collection of Baskets from a Minnesota Collection
Lot # 21 - Collection of Baskets from a Minnesota Collection
lot of 6, includes two Northeastern birchbark baskets, one with blue beads and hide thong, length 12.25 in.; AND length 8 in.; PLUS a Tohono O'odham basket, height 5.5 in. x diameter 7.5 in.; PLUS a pouch made of yucca, length 5 in.; PLUS a Penobscot lidded basket, height 2.5 in. x diameter 4 in.; AND height 3.25 in. x diameter 6 in.
20th century
> Item Details
Cheyenne Beaded Hide Tobacco Bag from the Collection of Monroe Killy (1910-2010), Minnesota
Lot # 95 - Cheyenne Beaded Hide Tobacco Bag from the Collection of Monroe Killy (1910-2010), Minnesota
thread and sinew sewn, with attenuated throat made of deer hide and lower of buffalo; delicate beadwork designs are executed in dark blue, light blue, greasy yellow, and red white-heart; throat coated in yellow pigment; quilled slats and finished with fringe, overall length 34 in.
fourth quarter 19th century 

Monroe P. Killy (1910-2010)

Monroe P. Killy was born in Minneapolis, MN. His passion for anthropology began when, as a teenager, he built an Indian encampment in the back yard of his father’s photography studio. Killy’s keen interest in all things Indian led him to dedicate his life to learning about and understanding Native American culture. He is respected for the fine quality and exquisite detail of his photographs and films documenting Indian life and culture.

Throughout his life Killy worked primarily for Eastman Kodak in Minneapolis, first as a sales person and then as a manager. Killy’s avocation, studying Indians, prompted him to found the Minnesota Archaeological Society, where he was considered to be one of the most influential collectors in Minnesota. His collection grew as he purchased artifacts directly—either from the original owners or from Indian artisans. Today, Killy’s photographs, films, and portions of his collection are housed at the Minnesota Historical Society, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and the Science Museum of Minnesota.
> Item Details
Tohono O'Odham Baskets
Lot # 309 - Tohono O'Odham Baskets
lot of 2, both cylindrical forms and decorated with geometric designs, height 9 in. x diameter 11.25 in. AND height 11 in. x diameter 11 in.
mid-20th century
> Item Details
Gary Kapp (American, b. 1942) Gouache on Paper
Lot # 260 - Gary Kapp (American, b. 1942) Gouache on Paper
Untitled
Signed Gary Kapp / © l.r.
Housed in a wood frame with a band of geometric inlay
15.5 in. x 11.5 in. (sight).
> Item Details
Zia Dough Bowl
Lot # 194 - Zia Dough Bowl
large form with floral and geometric devices, height 9.25 x diameter 17.5 in.
ca 1900

A similar example is illustrated in Francis Harlow and Dwight Lanmon's The Pottery of Zia Pueblo (2003: Fig. 13.28).
> Item Details
Menagerie of Santa Clara Blackware Figures Deaccessioned from a Midwestern Museum
Lot # 137 - Menagerie of Santa Clara Blackware Figures Deaccessioned from a Midwestern Museum
lot of 7, includes figures of a coyote, lamb, skunk, bear, frog, rabbit, and beaver; frog signed Celestisia / Sta. Clara Pueblo, lengths range from 3.25 in. to 4.75 in.
third quarter 20th century
> Item Details
Copper Pipe Bowl from the Collections of Augustus T. Wherle, Clem Caldwell, and Jim Ritchie (1938 - 2015) Toledo, Ohio
Lot # 302 - Copper Pipe Bowl from the Collections of Augustus T. Wherle, Clem Caldwell, and Jim Ritchie (1938 - 2015) Toledo, Ohio
with Wherle's inked collection number and notation; Caldwell's collection number Pi:14; found in Auglaize County, Ohio, length 2 in.
> Item Details
Navajo Redware Pottery Jar
Lot # 77 - Navajo Redware Pottery Jar
signed on underside Navajo, height 8 in. x diameter 8 in.   
fourth quarter 20th century
> Item Details
Group of Puebloan Pottery
Lot # 435 - Group of Puebloan Pottery
lot of 4, includes two colorful Jemez jars, heights 5.25" and 2.75"; PLUS a Cochiti storyteller with four children by Joanne Trujillo, height 2.75"; AND a snoozy kitten by M. Chino, height .75".
contemporary
> Item Details
Sioux Beaded Hide Hair Drop
Lot # 81 - Sioux Beaded Hide Hair Drop
sinew-sewn and beaded using colors of red, blue, white, pea green, and marcasite; quilled rawhide slats terminating with red horsehair filled tin cones.  Drop ends with hank of brown horsetail, total length 33 in. x width 3 in.
early 20th century
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Johnny Secatero Navajo Watercolor of Katsinas
Lot # 353 - Johnny Secatero Navajo Watercolor of Katsinas
signed lower right, framed 24 in. x 35.5 in.
late 20th century
> Item Details
Around-the-World Necklaces
Lot # 460 - Around-the-World Necklaces
lot of 3.  Includes a necklace with fifty strands of jet glass beads, possibly from Nagaland in northeast India.  Necklace terminates with bone beads and button clasp, length 23 in.; PLUS a Southwestern Indian necklace with four strands of turquoise disks that meet in back in fat silver tubes, length 10 in.; AND a carnelian bead necklace with silver floral ornaments surrounding a large oval carnelian.  This necklace probably was made in Indonesia, length 16 in. 
ca fourth quarter 20th century
> Item Details
Blackfoot Pony Beaded Knife Sheath with Dag Knife From the Collection of Marvin L. Lince, Oregon
Lot # 291 - Blackfoot Pony Beaded Knife Sheath with Dag Knife From the Collection of Marvin L. Lince, Oregon
thread and sinew-sewn on thick hide; beadwork executed in pony bead black and white and smaller glass beads of amber, pony trader blue, and opalescent create hourglass designs; tip of sheath rawhide lined; twisted hide thong loops through back of sheath and is decorated with a carved wooden spool, length 21.25 in; knife with an unmarked blade and wooden handle; handle secured to tang with brass and copper rivets, length 15 in.
mid-19th century
> Item Details
Anna Yazzie (Dine [Navajo], 20th century) Tumbling Block Weaving / Rug
Hopi Koshari Katsina Dolls
Lot # 84 - Hopi Koshari Katsina Dolls
lot of 3.  Each carved of wood and painted with traditional black and white striped clothing.  Each laughs and exhibits its own personality.  Includes one dancing with a hatchet and a chicken, signed Tewa Clown Theron Huma Hopi, height 8.75 in.; PLUS another clown who carries a rattle and a dance staff, signed Lar Chapella Hopi Tewa Clown Ko-Ya-La, height 8.5 in.; AND another group of three clows sitting on a log demonstrating see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil, unsigned, height 6 in.
fourth quarter 20th century
> Item Details
Navajo Regional Weaving / Rug
Lot # 139 - Navajo Regional Weaving / Rug
woven with a serrated design in colors of black, red, cream, and pale blue, 47 x 31.5 in.
mid-20th century
> Item Details
Sioux Beaded Hide Vest
Lot # 296 - Sioux Beaded Hide Vest
thread and sinew-sewn; beaded using colors of red white-heart, dark blue, medium blue, pony trader blue, pea green, and white; elongated and dotted forked devices decorate front of vest while the busy motif continues on reverse; lined with patterned red cotton, length 18 in. x chest 32 in.
late 19th century
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Fannie Nampeyo Hopi Bowl
Lot # 276 - Fannie Nampeyo Hopi Bowl
painted with a rhythmic migration pattern around rim, signed on base, height 4.25 in. x diameter 9.25 in.
mid-20th century
> Item Details
Nuu-chah-nulth Wooden Rattle
Lot # 67 - Nuu-chah-nulth Wooden Rattle
assembled of two pieces and painted with a raven on one side and killer whale on opposite; inked accession numbers on handle and rattle, length 8 in.
late 19th century
> Item Details
Cheyenne Beaded Hide Moccasins
Lot # 63 - Cheyenne Beaded Hide Moccasins
thread-sewn on softly tanned hide; beaded using colors of bottle green, dark blue, pea green, greasy yellow, and rose, length 10.5 in.
ca 1900
> Item Details