Im­por­tant works with in­cred­i­ble his­to­ries hit the auc­tion block at Cowan’s in Cincin­nati, Ohio.

Native American Art - - AUCTIONS -

Im­por­tant works with in­cred­i­ble his­to­ries hit the auc­tion block at Cowan’s in Cincin­nati, Ohio.


A Blackfoot shirt given to a United States gov­ern­ment pho­tog­ra­pher a cen­tury ago and a North­east­ern ball club that dates back to 1666 are just two of the high­lights of Cowan’s Auc­tions’ spring Amer­i­can In­dian & Western Art sale in Cincin­nati on April 6.

The sale will fea­ture nearly 400 lots of au­then­tic Na­tive Amer­i­can and Western ma­te­ri­als, which are prized by a grow­ing num­ber of col­lec­tors who are en­am­ored with their his­toric sig­nif­i­cance and ex­pert crafts­man­ship. “Over the past year, we have had an in­crease in both the num­ber of bid­ders and buy­ers in our Na­tive Amer­i­can art auc­tions,” says Dan­ica M. Far­nand, di­rec­tor of the Amer­i­can In­dian de­part­ment. “Al­though the prices for mid­dle­mar­ket ma­te­rial may not be as strong as they once had been, I be­lieve that the mar­ket is com­ing back. There is a strong in­ter­est in both older ma­te­rial and con­tem­po­rary Na­tive art.”

One of the ex­pected top lots is a Blackfoot So­ci­ety shirt, es­ti­mated at $50,000 to $70,000, which once be­longed to United States gov­ern­ment pho­tog­ra­pher Wal­ter Mc­clin­tock (1870-1949). “[He] spent four years on the Blackfoot Reser­va­tion and over this time, was adopted by Chief Mad Wolf. Mc­clin­tock recorded his ex­pe­ri­ences and ul­ti­mately pub­lished The

Old North Trail. Through a tale told by Brings-down-the-sun, Mc­clin­tock records the ori­gin story of the So­ci­ety, and places the So­ci­ety’s im­por­tance within the larger Blackfoot com­mu­nity. This shirt is pub­lished on Page 458 of The Old North Trail. The Brave Dog So­ci­ety was com­posed of for­mer chiefs and high-rank­ing war­riors, who had a rep­u­ta­tion for keep­ing or­der. This group helped en­force the rules and de­ci­sions made by the chiefs,” Far­nand says, adding that the lot is in won­der­ful shape con­sid­er­ing its age. “The con­di­tion of the shirt is very good. The

hide is sup­ple and there have been no re­pairs.”

An­other lot with a fas­ci­nat­ing prove­nance is the North­east­ern ball club. The club, es­ti­mated at $40,000 to $60,000, has de­scended from Ply­mouth Colony founders Gov­er­nor Wil­liam Brad­ford (1590-1657) and his son Ma­jor Wil­liam Brad­ford (16241703). “The club has been car­bon dated to 1666 which also places it in prox­im­ity of King Philip’s War (1675-1676), a bloody con­flict be­tween English Colonists and the Wam­panoag and Nar­ra­gansetts,” Far­nand says. “This un­der­stated, util­i­tar­ian club, is an early piece of his­tory which re­minds us of the ini­tial con­tacts and con­flicts be­tween the Na­tive peo­ple and early colonists nearly 343 years ago.”

Other lots are an elon­gated slate long neck bird­stone from Mon­roe County, Michi­gan, es­ti­mated at $8,000 to $10,000; a North­east­ern quilled hide knife sheath, es­ti­mated at $6,000 to $8,000; and a gold turquoise ring, es­ti­mated at $3,000 to $4,000, from Hopi jew­eler Charles Loloma.

1. North­east­ern ball club col­lected by Gov. Wil­liam Brad­ford Es­ti­mate: $40/60,000

2. Elon­gated slate long neck bird­stone from Mon­roe County, Michi­gan Es­ti­mate: $8/10,000

4. Charles Loloma (Hopi,

1921-1991), gold and turquoise ring Es­ti­mate: $3/4,000 4

5. North­east­ern quilled hide knife sheath Es­ti­mate: $6/8,000 5

3. Blackfoot So­ci­ety Shirt Es­ti­mate: $50/70,000 3

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