Tongan war clubs are weapons usually known by the term ‘akau, which means stave. Tongan clubs are one of the few instantly classic and easily identifiable artifacts from Polynesia. They were widely collected from the period of James Cook’s voyages in the 1770s onwards, and reflect the militaristic collecting interests of sailors and traders, as well as a vigorous demand for non-western weapons in the European curiosities markets.‘Akau, along with spears, were the principal weapons of war in Tonga up until the middle of the 19th century, despite the introduction of firearms from western sailors and traders from the late 18th century onwards.… Read More
Tag Archives: American Indian & Ethnographic Art
BOSTON, MA – November 25, 2019 – Auctions, in quick succession, of American Furniture & Decorative Arts, Historic Arms & Militaria, American Indian & Ethnographic, and Fine Wines & Rare Spirits Art resulted in a $4.6M week for Skinner with over 3,900 registered bidders vying for material across many collecting categories. Skinner is recognized as a source for fresh to market estate material.… Read More
MARLBOROUGH, MA – July 5, 2018 – Skinner, Inc. is pleased to announce a Tribal Art online auction, with bidding open through July 11, 2018. With a breadth of material spanning the globe; tribal cultures from American Indian, pre-Columbian, African, Oceanic, South-East Asian, and more are available for bidding in an online auction format.
The Tribal Art online auction includes significant artifacts from including Inuit and Northwest Coast tribal groups; from the Amazon; a large number from Africa ranging from ceremonial face masks, figures, weapons and jewelry; a large Oceanic contingent of material from New Guinea jewelry to Polynesian pre-contact stone tools and weapons; and a group of Pre-Columbian ceramic figures and vessels.… Read More
BOSTON, MA – April 15, 2016 – Skinner, Inc. will host an auction of American Indian & Ethnographic Art at 10AM on May 6 in its Boston gallery, featuring a wide range of art from Africa and Oceania; American Indian material culture from the American Plains, Northwest Coast, Woodlands and Southwest; and related photography, paintings, and other artwork.
“In this auction, Skinner will be presenting some of the finest Native American cultural artifacts ever offered in the company’s history,” said Douglas Deihl, Director of American Indian & Ethnographic Art at Skinner.… Read More
In 1855, the Burr family traveled out west along the Oregon trail to Utah. The father, David H. Burr, had been appointed the first Surveyor General to the state of Utah. Burr was a lauded cartographer who had previously been named both “Topographer to the Post office” and “Geographer to the House of Representatives of the United States.” His works included an atlas of New York state, maps of New York city, and a 1839 map of the United States considered to be one of the most significant mappings of the American West.… Read More
Now is a good time to buy Southwest pottery. A large amount of material is coming onto the market, and for that reason you can easily find great, affordable pottery from the American Indian pueblos. Before you buy, it’s best to study the material and determine what appeals to you. Some people collect for rarity; others collect to decorate their Southwest-themed abodes.
Finely decorated pottery that was used by the people themselves is always very desirable. The rarest historic pottery is from Santa Ana. Because of their innovative designs and the fact that their pottery tradition ended at about the turn of the 20th century, a large Santa Ana olla could bring $100,000 or more.
Many Plateau tribes made flat beaded handbags, vests, and other items in the last quarter of the 19th century. The earliest known examples show horse imagery and floral designs as well as other subjects from the natural world. These designs were generally arranged in a simple fashion on light backgrounds.
American Indian Plains material is one of the most popular and consistently available collecting areas in American Indian art. Plains Indians, including the Blackfeet, Cheyenne, Lakota, Sioux, Crow, Kiowa, and Comanche, populated the continent from Texas to Canada, from west of the Missouri River to the Rocky Mountains. While some Plains Indian material was made for the tourist market, many examples were worn and used by Indians themselves, making them all the more desirable.
A Penobscot woman nicknamed Mary Molasses sits staring at the camera, a tall, pointed cap on her head and a large silver brooch adorning her neck. This 1860 photo is a relic of a time when the Penobscot Nation in Maine still spoke its own language and wore traditional clothing made almost entirely from European trade goods.
I realized the minute I first saw the weaving, with the variegated wool, the browns, all this great character, that this had to be a really early third phase Chief’s blanket. The consignors didn’t have a clue what they had. I told them, “Don’t worry, you’ll be happy.” When they saw the price realized online, they told me they had to look it up five or six times. They didn’t believe it.