Lince Collection Drives American Indian & Western Art Auction Above $1.25 Million

Eastern Plains three-bladed knife club realized $180,000.

CINCINNATI, OHIO — Cowan’s American Indian and Western art auction on April 5 realized $1,251,000. With almost 650 bidders on the floor, phone and Internet, the auction saw competitive bidding throughout the day. The sale offered the first portion of items from the Marvin L. Lince collection of American Indian art. Lince began his collection in the late 1980s. After focusing on historical firearms, Lince turned his attention to American Indian weaponry, assembling a collection known for its quality and rarity. Cowan’s items from the Lince collection sold for just over $670,000, amounting to more than half of the auction sales for the day.

The sale’s highest selling lot attracted considerable attention from both floor and phone bidders. After competitive bids, the Eastern Plains three-bladed knife club from the Lince collection eventually sold to a phone bidder for $180,000.

Other exceptional offerings from the Lince collection brought great interest and achieved stellar results in the auction. A Metis quilled hide knife sheath with dag knife realized $90,000. Two bidders on the phone battled against a floor bidder who made the trip to Cincinnati specifically for the Lince collection over a Central Plains bear claw necklace, which eventually sold to a phone bidder for $60,000. An Eastern Sioux painted and tacked gunstock club also realized $60,000. A Southern Cheyenne pictorial pipe tomahawk hammered down at $40,800, a Cheyenne beaded buffalo hide cradle sold for $48,000, and a Southern Cheyenne dog soldier mirror board attributed to Big Crow realized $30,000.

Beaded items performed particularly well in the sale. A Sioux beaded and quilled hide war shirt sold for $27,600. A Lakota Sioux beaded hide pictorial vest realized $20,400. A Cheyenne beaded hide doll cradle hammered down to an absentee bidder at $19,200.

Photography had a strong showing in the auction. Bidders on the phone and Internet competed back and forth for an Edward Curtis orotone titled “Land of the Cree” before finally selling to an online bidder for $10,450. Another Edward Curtis orotone, titled “The Vanishing Race,” sold to the phones for $4,560, and a silver gelatin image by Ansel Adams titled “A Man of Taos, Tony Luhan” realized $8,400.

Cowan’s offered a number of blankets, weavings and basketry items in the auction. A Navajo Second Phase chief’s blanket sold for $8,300. A Navajo Third Phase chief’s blanket hammered down at $8,400. An Yvonne Chester Round Rock Navajo Yei weaving sold for $6,000. A large Apache polychrome figural basket sold for $4,500, and an Apache olla realized $4,800.

Other notable lots in the auction included a Tlingit Wrangell raven totem pole, which realized $13,200, and a watercolor by Edgar Samuel Paxson that realized $6,600.

Prices reported include the buyer’s premium.

Cowan’s next American Indian and Western art live salesroom auction will be conducted on September 13. For information, or 513-871-1670.

The Metis quilled hide knife sheath with dag knife brought $90,000.


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