Skinner

Auctioneers and Appraisers of Objects of Value

Tribal Art

Tribal Art at Skinner features rare objects of cultural and historical significance from Africa, Polynesia, the Northwest coast, the early Americas, and the American West.

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Tribal art tells the story of our shared human history. From the earliest pre-Columbian relics, to Native American trade materials, these objects take us back to another time and place, while at the same time possessing a simple beauty that fits into the most sophisticated modern design aesthetic. Skinner handles these valuable cultural artifacts with the greatest of care and respect for the people and cultures who created them.

The earliest and most valuable tribal art was made to be used. People wore tribal masks in ceremonial dances, women carried their babies on cradle boards, and hunters scraped hides with carved elk antlers. Collectors prize this material for its authenticity, and Skinner excels at bringing rare and desirable examples to auction. In 2011, Skinner sold an early Navajo weaving for $213,300.

Though these artifacts were crafted hundreds of years ago, the designs still speak to a modern eye. The diamonds, stripes, and bold colors of the American Southwest feel right at home with modern furniture and artwork. Now is the perfect time for new collectors and home owners to step into the world of tribal art and take home a piece of our cultural heritage.

Douglas Deihl, director of American Indian & Ethnographic Art at Skinner, is a world-renowned expert with a special interest in American Indian plains material and pre-Columbian artifacts. His passion for tribal art stems from a lifetime of appraising and collecting. Through his relationships with museums, cultural institutions, and respected dealers in the field, Douglas Deihl ensures that tribal art sold through Skinner reaches the audience it deserves. Learn more about consigning with Skinner.

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