Cowan’s American Indian Art September, 2005 Auction Generates Sales of $832,140
(September 19, 2005 – Cincinnati, OH) Cowan’s Auctions’ September 7-8, 2005 American Indian Art Auction
generated $832,140 from nearly 1,000 lots of American Indian art and artifacts. The highest selling item was a Tlingit Chief’s Hat by Don Lelooska that tripled its pre-auction estimate selling for $16,675. Other highlights included an Acoma olla attributed to Acoma Mary, a Canadian Montagnais-Naskapi girl’s mask given by noted artist Charles M. Russell to Carl Moon, and a Santa Clara storage jar attributed to the Tafoya family, purchased in 1971 from the pastor of St. Francis Seraph in Cincinnati, OH.
Cowan Auctions founder Wes Cowan, star of the PBS television series History Detectives
and a featured appraiser on Antiques Roadshow
, was pleased with the auction results. "Our Eskimo and Arctic material did extremely well as did our Northwest coast art." Danica Farnand, Cowan’s American Indian Arts specialist, concurred, "We were especially pleased to have attracted over 300 bidders from all over the world including Canada, France, England and Belgium."
Highlights of the American Indian Art Auction, held September 7-9, 2005 at the Business Club of Montgomery in Cincinnati, OH include (all prices include 15% buyer’s premium):
TLINGIT CHIEF’S HAT BY DON LELOOSKA TRIPLES ORIGINAL ESTIMATE SELLING FOR $16,675
Carved of cedar, with an eagle emerging from the front--fish in claws. The eagle’s wings stretch to the back of the hat transforming into two whales and a man’s face. Copper and abalone detail the animals and blue cordage, copper bands, and two ermine drops top the hat. Signed inside "Lelooska," height 13" x diameter 15".
MISSOURI WAR AXE-STYLE PIPE TOMAHAWK SELLS FOR $11,500
Ash handle with tack decorations under steel-cast head, and remnants of tacks at grip, total length 21", length of head 9" x width of blade 3.5".
SANTA CLARA STORAGE JAR SELLS FOR $6,900
ca 1900-30, Potted with globular form, constricted neck, and sharply flared rim. Decorated with four bear paws around shoulder and "raindrop" indentations under neck, height 16" x diameter 16". The bear paw is a classic motif used at the pueblo, and in Santa Clara folk lore, a story is told of a bear that helped the people find water during a drought. The motif is also used by the Tafoya family and may have been created by Margaret Tafoya.
Included are correspondences between the consignor and Jonathan Batkin, Director of the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, discussing the date, origins, and motifs of this storage jar.
$5,175 PAID FOR CANADIAN MONTAGNAIS-NASKAPI GIRL’S MASK GIVEN TO CARL MOON
This by the famous artist Charles M. Russell. The mask is made of caribou skin with painted red lines and leather lacings on eye-holes and around mask, which was worn during a girl’s first menstrual period. This mask is illustrated in Driebe’s In Search of the Wild Indian
EAST GREENLAND ESKIMO HARPOON & ATLATL FETCHES $8,050
Composed of a driftwood shaft with narwhale foreshaft and whale bone socket piece attached using thick hide thongs. Opposite end phallic carved of two-piece narwhale secured with two ivory pegs. Atlatl, with a tapering form and detailed with whale bone, attaches snuggly to harpoon with two bone hooks, length of harpoon 88", length of atlatl 20.25".
ACOMA POLYCHROME OLLA ATTRIBUTED TO "ACOMA MARY" GARNERS $4,887.50
Red and black-on-white, potted with steep sides, elongated neck, and concave base. A band of checkers and hatches zigzag around neck and lower body. Red parallelograms wrap around shoulder separating the repeating motifs, height 11.5" x diameter 12".
ESKIMO WALRUS IVORY BOW DRILL DOUBLES ORIGINAL ESTIMATE SELLING FOR $2,185
Bow drill with beveled edge, paired holes at ends with incised design of polar bear, seven seal skins incised on inner side, length 13.5".
$2,415 PAID FOR ATHAPASKAN VOLUTE-HANDLED KNIFE, TRIPLING ORIGINAL ESTIMATE
Knife with forked top resembling wings, length 10.5". One side of blade with raised central rib and sharpening of blade on that side only.
TUPILAK CARVED WALRUS IVORY TRANSFORMATION FIGURES SELLS FOR $2,300
Includes a man with a sinister toothy grin, flared nostrils, and furrowed brow. A bird emerges from his crown as he holds a mask depicting an almost mirror image of his face, eyes of bird, man, and mask made of baleen, height 5.75"; AND another figure with an attenuated body, extended reptilian hands, and an open mouth dragging along the ground. Another creature emerges from under his tongue (perhaps directed at someone who talks too much...) Height 3.75".
Cowan’s Auctions, Inc.
Cowan’s has been helping individuals and institutions build important collections for more than 10 years. Cowan’s specialists in Historical Americana, American furniture, paintings, folk and decorative arts, and American Indian Art hold auction sales throughout the year, catering to a worldwide clientele.
Cowan’s holds semi-annual sales of Historic Americana including important 19th century photographs, manuscripts and autographs, flags and patriotic textiles, political campaign ephemera, Civil War memorabilia, and items relating to the opening of the American West. Each sale attracts bidders from throughout the United States, generating over $1 million in sales.
American Indian Art is highlighted in two annual auctions that attract the nation’s top collectors and dealers. American and other furniture, fine paintings, folk art and other decorative arts are offered three times annually in special cataloged offerings. In recent years, Cowan’s has established record prices paid for Midwestern furniture and other decorative arts.
Through its extensive mailing list of more than 10,000 collectors, dealers and institutional clients, each Cowan’s Auction attracts bidders from throughout the United States, South America, Europe, the Middle East and Japan. More than 1,000 bidders typically participate in each sale.
Editors: High resolution images of the auction items listed above are available for your use. Please go to http://www.historicamericana.com/press
and click on the "Downloadable Image Gallery." Any problems, call or email Danica Farnand at 513-871-1670, email@example.com.