American Indian & Tribal Art Auction in Marlborough

Sale features a selection of African weapons and Pre-Columbian pottery from the collection of Louis Renault

Marlborough, Mass. – June 7, 2013 – Skinner, Inc. will host an auction of American Indian & Tribal Art on June 19th in its Marlborough gallery. This eclectic sale is ideal for both advanced and novice collectors alike, and features a variety of affordable items including a selection of African weapons and Pre-Columbian artifacts from the collection of Louis Renault.

Ngombe ‘Executioners’ Sword (Estimate $250-$350)

African Weapons

More than 50 lots of African weaponry include swords, axes, and ornate ceremonial knives. The cover lots clearly show the sculptural and decorative qualities of these weapons: a Tetela dagger (lot 5, estimated between $250 and $350), a Nbaka throwing knife (lot 10, $250 to $350), a Ngombe “Executioner’s” sword (lot 14, $250 to $350), and a Mangbetu ivory-handled knife (lot 28, $250 to $350).

A Songe prestige axe with a copper-wrapped wood handle (lot 8, $250 to $350), a Yoruba bronze ceremonial sword depicting a human figure holding a fish (lot 12, $250 to $350), a Kuba prestige knife with brass inlays (lot 20, $250 to $350), and a Dahomian carved wood and metal ritual axe with a stylized animal head (lot 26, $250 to $350) round out an excellent selection of weapons.

Tribal Material

A fine grouping of African and tribal material includes a Trobriand Islands polychrome carved wood dance shield (lot 77, $200 to $250), a Sepik River carved wood ancestral mask with red and white pigments, cowrie shell eyes, and boar tusks (lot 74, $200 to $250), and a 19th century Polynesian carved wood club from Fiji (lot 84, $400 to $600).

Pre-Columbian Material from the Collection of Louis Renault

A selection of Pre-Columbian material collected in the 1950s by the late, famed National Geographic photographer, Louis Renault (1915-1960), includes a Nasca polychrome bowl with two fish painted on the interior (lot 103, $250 to $350), three Nasca pottery vessels (lot 98, $250 to $350), and a Nasca polychrome pottery beaker painted with an elaborate abstract deity (lot 99, $250 to $350).

Plains Indian Material

Great Lakes Loom-Beaded Cloth Bandolier Bag (Estimate $800-$1,200)

Notable offerings from the Plains Indians include a pair of Lakota beaded hide moccasins (lot 137, $600 to $800), a pair of Cheyenne beaded hide moccasins (lot 140, $800 to $1,200), and an unusual pair of Woodland cloth and hide beaded moccasins (lot 190, $500 to $700). A pair of Cheyenne beaded saddlebags (lot 163, $600 to $800) and a Great Lakes floral beaded cloth bandolier bag (lot 186, $1,000 to $1,500) will also be available.

Southwest Pottery

Southwest pottery highlights include an Acoma pottery jar (lot 275, $600 to $800), a Zia polychrome pottery olla (lot 276, $400 to $600), and a Navajo wedding basket and Maricopa vase (lot 285, $200 to $250).

Eskimo Art

A group of Eskimo items features a cribbage board with a carved scrimshaw decoration (lot 211, $200 to $300). Another lot contains 10 Eskimo ivory items: two small boxed sets of dominos, two bears, a container with a walrus face, and a miniature kayak and sailboat (lot 209, $300 to $500).

Totem Poles

The June auction presents a large grouping of totem poles – both native-made and folk art – including two large carved wood totem poles with metal tags on the back reading “made by O.B. O’Dell, Lake George N.Y.” (lot 227, $400 to $600) and four carved wood folk art totem poles (lot 223, $250 to $350).

Weavings & Textiles

Examples of beautiful weavings available include a Navajo Two Grey Hills weaving (lot 258, $600 to $800) and a Mexican Saltillo serape (lot 267, $600 to $800). A small selection of basketry will also be offered.

Previews, Catalog, and Bidding

Previews for the auction will be held on Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 12 p.m.-7 p.m., and Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 9 a.m.-10 a.m.

An illustrated catalog for sale # 2662M is available by mail from the subscription department at 508-970-3240. It is also available at the gallery.

The Skinner website allows users to view all lots in the auctions, leave bids, order catalogs, and bid live in real-time through SkinnerLive!. Visit and “like” Skinner on Facebook at

About Skinner

Skinner auctions draw international interest from buyers and consignors alike, with material regularly achieving record prices. The company’s auction and appraisal services focus on fine art, jewelry, furniture, and decorative arts from around the globe, as well as wine, fine musical instruments, rare books, clocks, Judaica, and more. Monthly Skinner Discovery auctions feature a breadth of estate material. Widely regarded as one of the most trusted names in the business, Skinner appraisers have appeared on the PBS-TV series, Antiques Roadshow, since the show’s inception. Skinner has galleries in Boston and Marlborough, Massachusetts with an international audience of bidders participating in person, by phone, and online through the SkinnerLive! online bidding platform. For more information and to read our blog, visit the website at, find us on Facebook at, or follow us on Twitter @Skinnerinc.



Douglas Deihl
Director of American Indian & Ethnographic Art

Kate de Bethune
Director of Marketing

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