Pook & Pook held its fourth Native American Indian sale on March 24, and it exceeded expectations. Finishing far and above the high estimate, this sale has helped solidify the Downingtown, Pa., auction house as among the leading Native American arts and Ethnographic sellers in the region.
Native American Auction Results
Jewelry, Baskets, Rugs, Totem Poles, Pottery, Among Other Material, Excel
Drawing from several large collections and numerous other consignors, the sale featured a wide selection of fine Native American arts and collectibles of all kinds, ranging from Navajo weavings to Acoma and Hopi pottery to Apache baskets and everything in between. Right out of the gate, the sale opened with a beautiful collection of turquoise and silver jewelry, which never fails to draw the eye of the fashion-conscious collector. After that, the sale proceeded by region, taking the bidder on a tour around the North American continent as beautiful works of Native American craftsmanship and artistry were featured one after the other.
The standout star of the sale was a 19th century Northwest Coast whale totem pole that features a polka-dotted whale with a raven perched on its tail and a mans face at the base. A six-minute-long bidding war for the item waged as competing bidders obsessively pursued this black whale like so many Captain Ahabs chasing their figurative white whale. The totem, which bears a striking resemblance to the 40-foot-tall Kwanusila statue in Chicago, Ill., sold for $17,136. Prices include buyers premium.
Sharing the spotlight were two pieces of impressive Native American pottery. Two ollas, one made by Two Spirit artist Arroh-ah-och, both sold for over $6,000, well above the high estimate thanks to enthusiastic collectors. Not to be overlooked was a superb Maria Martinez example of Santa Clara black-on-black pottery realizing $3,690.
The sale also exhibited several outstanding pieces of basketry from many regions, from a Tlingit lidded basket with embroidered pattern that brought $1,700 to a very fine Pomo burden basket that ended bidding at an impressive $4,200.
Native American arts collectors were spoiled for choice when it came to the amount of fine beadwork that came across the block. Nearly 40 pairs of beaded moccasins all with extensive and uniquely beautiful beadwork decoration, as well as some with porcupine quills, were auctioned off to happy buyers, in addition to a great selection of Strike-A-Lite bags, including a Plains Indian Strike-A-Lite bag with geometric design and some remaining red quillwork that brought $781.
Other highlights from the sale were a selection of vibrant Germantown rugs, for instance Lot 220G, a show-stopping rug with serrated bands and stepped medallions that brought a total of $2,891, a headdress made by Jeff Bluewater, and some frankly adorable early kachina dolls like Lot 172 that went for $1,323.
Overall, this sale has proved that there is a strong emerging market for the Native American arts on the East Coast and Pook & Pook Inc. is the place to find it.
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