Skinner to Host Auction of American Indian & Tribal Art in Marlborough

Marlborough, Mass. – August 31, 2012 – Skinner, Inc. will host an auction of American Indian & Tribal Art on September 14th in its Marlborough gallery. Beginner and advanced collectors alike will enjoy the beautiful designs and rich cultural traditions of the material on offer. Now is a great time to jump into the market for American Indian art; a large amount of collectible, affordable material is becoming available. Highlights of the September auction include a nice selection of pre-Columbian textile fragments, a large Southwest kachina collection, and an assortment of Eskimo and Northwest Coast material from The Bear Totem Store of Wrangell, Alaska.

Pre-Columbian and Tribal Art

Complementing the pre-Columbian textiles on offer is a pre-Columbian Chancay multicolored fringed carrying bag decorated with vertical stripes and an abstract lizard design (lot 17, estimated between $500 and $700). An excellent assortment of tribal material is highlighted by a Shipibo pottery jar depicting a human face (lot 27, $300 to $500) and a Yoruba carved wood Gelede Society mask (lot 36, $250 to $350).

Northwest Coast and Eskimo

A collection of affordable Eskimo and Northwest Coast material from The Bear Totem Store of Wrangell, Alaska will be on offer, including three carved wood totem poles (lot 262, $600 to $800). Walter Waters opened the Bear Totem Store after arriving in Alaska during the gold rush in 1898. During his travels, he established many contacts with Indian artists from whom he purchased material for his personal collection and later his store.

Kachina Dolls

The Pueblo tribes made kachina dolls to teach young people their pantheon of gods. The September sale features dolls dating from the 1940s through the 1980s. Highlights include a polychrome carved wood kachina (lot 130, $200 to $250), four Hopi carved wood kachinas (lot 144, $400 to $600), and a Hopi carved wood Hemis Kachina by White Bear Fredericks (lot 153, $500 to $700).

Southwest Textiles, Jewelry, Pottery, Baskets and Weavings

Many fine Navajo and Pueblo textiles will be offered. Pieces of note include a traditional Navajo two-piece dress with variegated brown center and various shades of red and indigo (lot 289, $1,500 to $2,000) and a San Felipe buffalo dance shirt with beaded bag (lot 161, $600 to $800). A collection of 68 miniature pictorial textiles (lot 318, $1,000 to $1,500) is also on offer.

A fine assortment of American Indian jewelry will be offered, including a unique turquoise Navajo bracelet adorned with various stampwork and foliate designs with three oval turquoise settings (lot 175, $200 to $250) and a Southwest Spondylus shell inlaid necklace composed of heishi, coral, imitation coral, silver beads and freshwater pearls (lot 186, $300 to $400).

Southwest pottery is well represented at the sale. Notable lots include a 19th century Zuni bowl painted with classic curvilinear designs (lot 336, $800 to $1,200), three Southwest canteens (lot 340, $300 to $400), and a black-on-black bowl decorated with a classic serpent design and signed, “Maria Popovi 1260” (lot 358, $600 to $800).

A fine selection of Southwest basketry includes an Apache basket olla (lot 379, $400 to $600), a Pima coiled basketry bowl with a concentric three-point design (lot 376, $400 to $600), and a Cherokee storage basket by Rowena Bradley (lot 371, $500 to $700). The basket includes the original certificate from the Indian Arts and Crafts Board.

Previews, Catalogue, and Bidding

Previews for the auction will be held on Tuesday, September 11, 2012, 12 p.m.-7 p.m., Wednesday, September 12, 2012, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Thursday, September 13, 2012, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Friday, September 14, 2012, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

View the catalogue for #2612M online at Prices realized will be available online during and after the sale. Skinner’s site also allows users to leave bids, order catalogues, and bid live in real-time through SkinnerLive! Like us on Facebook at

About Skinner

Skinner, Inc. is one of the world’s leading auction houses for antiques and fine art. With expertise in over 20 specialty collecting areas, Skinner draws the interest of buyers from all over the world and its auctions regularly achieve world record prices. Skinner provides a broad range of auction and appraisal services, and it is widely regarded as one of the most trusted names in the auction business. Skinner’s appraisal experts regularly appear on the PBS-TV series, Antiques Roadshow, and its specialty departments include American Furniture & Decorative Arts, American & European Works of Art, European Furniture & Decorative Arts, 20th Century Design, Fine Ceramics, Fine Silver, Fine Jewelry, Couture, Fine Musical Instruments, Asian Works of Art, Fine Wines, Rare Books & Manuscripts, Oriental Rugs & Carpets, American Indian & Ethnographic Art, Fine Judaica, Antique Motor Vehicles, Toys, Dolls & Collectibles, Discovery and Science, Technology & Clocks. Skinner galleries are located in Boston and Marlborough, Mass. For more information on upcoming auctions and events, visit Skinner’s web site



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