Published: December 20, 2016
DALLAS, TEXAS – A flurry of bids drove a Sioux pictorial beaded hide war shirt to $32,500, topping Heritage Auctions’ American Indian art auction December 13. The circa 1890 shirt, made in traditional Plains style with open sides held together with hide tie laces, has sleeves decorated with strips of beads in classic Sioux colors and designs along the shoulders and sleeves – its edges are fringed with long locks of human hair.
“In theory, at least, a lock of hair was added for each recognized deed in war: as, coup, capturing a horse, taking prisoners, getting wounds, saving the life of a friend, etc, but eventually the fringed shirt became simply the conventional regalia of the four grand councilors and finally a style of dress for anyone,” said Heritage American Indian art director Delia Sullivan.
Headlining a collection of polychrome ceramic jars was one from San Ildefonso, circa 1890, that exceeded its estimate when it brought in $13,750. Other top jars included a Laguna four-color jar, circa 1900, that fetched $9,375; and three that each realized $8,750: a Socorro black-on-white storage jar, circa 1100-1250 CE, a Tonto polychrome bird effigy jar, circa 1250-1450, and a Zia polychrome jar, circa 1900.
“American Indian art is one of those categories that appeals to a wide array of collectors,” Sullivan said. “One of the great things about this auction was that, with the beaded hide items, the jars and bowls, rugs and baskets, collectors were able to find a variety of extraordinary American Indian pieces to add to their collections.”
Also among the top lots was a Haida carved argillite and abalone shell box signed by the artist, Christian White, which more than doubled its low estimate when it realized $10,625.
The prices reported include the buyer’s premium. For further information, www.ha.com or 877-437-4824.
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