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.

don't miss

an opportunity to bid. You can't win if you're not in.

sign up to bid

what's it worth?

ask the experts

sell your item

start selling
Teresita Naranjo Santa Clara Carved Blackware Jar
Lot # 277 - Teresita Naranjo Santa Clara Carved Blackware Jar
carved with an undulating Avanyu and bird along the shoulder; signed Teresita Naranjo "Apple Blossom" Santa Clara Pueblo, height 7.5 in. x diameter 6.5 in.
mid-20th century
> Item Details
Great Lakes Inlaid Tomahawk Head From the Collection of Jim Ritchie (1938 - 2015), Toledo, Ohio
Lot # 328 - Great Lakes Inlaid Tomahawk Head From the Collection of Jim Ritchie (1938 - 2015), Toledo, Ohio
tear-drop eye and decorated moldings; inlaid with single spread-winged eagle on one side and two thunderbirds and horse heads on opposite; both sides of blade with geometric silver inlay and rocker engraved detailing, length 7.25 in. x width of blade 2.75 in.
mid-19th century
> Item Details
Zia Jars From the Collection of Dr. Kent and Karen Vickery, Colorado
Lot # 328 - Zia Jars From the Collection of Dr. Kent and Karen Vickery, Colorado
lot of 2, including an unsigned jar painted with Zia birds and butterflies, height 4 in. x diameter 7 in.; AND another unsigned jar painted with Zuni-like motifs, height 6.75 in. x diameter7.5 in.
second quarter 20th century
> Item Details
Annette Romero (Cochiti, 20th century) Storyteller and Marianne Navasie (Hopi, 20th b. 1951) Pottery Bowl PLUS
Lot # 188 - Annette Romero (Cochiti, 20th century) Storyteller and Marianne Navasie (Hopi, 20th b. 1951) Pottery Bowl PLUS
lot of 4, includes a storyteller figure with five children by Annette Romero; signed on base, height 8.25 in.; PLUS a Hopi bowl by Marianne Navasie, height 2 in. x diameter 4.25 in.; PLUS two older and larger Hopi bowls, height 4.5 in. x diameter 6.75 in. AND height 2.75 in. x diameter 5.25 in. 
second half 20th century
> Item Details
Yokuts Polychrome Basket
Lot # 85 - Yokuts Polychrome Basket
woven with bracken fern and redbud to create two wide bands of diamonds representing gopher snakes, height 9.5 in. x diameter 21 in.
early 20th century
> Item Details
Iroquois Beaded and Quilled Hide Moccasins
Lot # 291 - Iroquois Beaded and Quilled Hide Moccasins
Thread-sewn thick hide decorated with delicately twisted red, blue, yellow, and cream quillwork on vamp; green silk augmented with small white seed beads along cuff edge, length 10.25 in.
mid 19th century
> Item Details
Southern Plains Saddle
Lot # 71 - Southern Plains Saddle
wooden framed with flared pommel and cantle; covered with rawhide and long fringe coated with yellow pigment, length 19 in. x width 9 in. x height 13.25 in.
late 19th century
> Item Details
Charles Bradford Hudson (American, 1865-1939) Oil on Canvas
Plateau Beaded Hide Saddle Bags From the US Children's Museum on the 19th Century
Lot # 73 - Plateau Beaded Hide Saddle Bags From the US Children's Museum on the 19th Century
thread and sinew-sewn with panels decorated using faceted beads; long, thick fringe and hawk bells hang at sides, overall length 105 in. x width 13 in.
ca 1900
> Item Details
Pablita Tafoya Chavarria Santa Clara Blackware Bowl
Lot # 414 - Pablita Tafoya Chavarria Santa Clara Blackware Bowl
With round body and square opening, painted with rain clouds, lightning bolts, and stepped floral imagery, signed Pablita/ Santa Clara, height 3 in. x diameter 5.25 in.
mid 20th century
> Item Details
Zia Pottery Jar
Lot # 306 - Zia Pottery Jar
traditional form and designed with three Zia birds situated between feather elements, height 7.5 in. x diameter 10 in.
second quarter 20th century
> Item Details
Kiowa Beaded Hide Strike-a-Lite
Lot # 164 - Kiowa Beaded Hide Strike-a-Lite
sinew-sewn on harness leather and beaded using rose, white, dark blue, and pony trader blue; tin cones hang from closing flap and lower hem of pouch; German silver ornament hangs from strap, length of pouch 5.5 in.
fourth quarter 19th century
> Item Details
Pomo Basket with Clam Shell Beads
Lot # 24 - Pomo Basket with Clam Shell Beads
coiled of willow over one rod in an oval shape and embellished with dark brown motifs that continue onto underside, length 11.25 in x height 2.75 in.
ca 1900
> Item Details
Western Great Lakes Catlinite and Steatite Pipe Bowl with Wooden Stem
Lot # 109 - Western Great Lakes Catlinite and Steatite Pipe Bowl with Wooden Stem
L-shaped catlinite and steatite bowl with pewter inlay, length 3.75 in.; AND a cylindrical wooden stem, length 23 in.; overall length 25.5 in.
early 20th century
> Item Details
Ottawa/ Chippewa Beaded Wool Leggings
Lot # 328 - Ottawa/ Chippewa Beaded Wool Leggings
thread-sewn on green wool and delicately beaded in white along edges; silk ribbon-work colorfully enhances lower hem and outer seam; separate garter made of red wool and also decorated with ribbon-work is threaded through at knee, length 26 in.
early 19th century

Illustrated:
John Painter.
2002 A Window on the Past. C.J. Krehbiel Co.: Cincinnati (p. 13, fig. 4).
> Item Details
Karl Bodmer Etching: Tab. 19, <i>The Interior of the Hut of a Mandan Chief</i>,
Lot # 192 - Karl Bodmer Etching: Tab. 19, The Interior of the Hut of a Mandan Chief,
Das Innere der hutte eines Mandan hauptlings and Interieur de la cabane d'un chef Mandan, with Bodmer's blindstamp, published by Ackermann & Co. 96 Strand
plate 10.75 in. x 15.75 in.
> Item Details
Navajo Squash Blossom Necklace with Turquoise
Lot # 127 - Navajo Squash Blossom Necklace with Turquoise
necklace creates bold effect with large stones, each bezel surrounded by simple twisted wire, length 24 in.
ca 1970s
> Item Details
Navajo Pawn Silver Salad Service Sets
Lot # 166 - Navajo Pawn Silver Salad Service Sets
lot of 2 pairs, including one pair of hand-rolled and cut ingot which has been heavily stamped with a floral/ geometric pattern; hallmarked on reverse of a bent arrow, length 9 in. and 8.5 in.; AND another more delicate pair set with oval turquoise cabochons, both lengths 9.5 in.
early 20th century
> Item Details
Navajo Silver Combs
Lot # 286 - Navajo Silver Combs
lot of 12, 5 pairs and 2 large single combs. All but one pair have swirling silver bars attached to the comb, widths vary from 2 in. to 4 in.
fourth quarter 20th century
> Item Details
Navajo Western Reservation Weaving
Lot # 311 - Navajo Western Reservation Weaving
hand-spun wool; central field filled with five serrated hourglasses, 71 x 46 in.
first quarter 20th century
> Item Details