Published: June 12, 2012
Native American art amassed beginning in the 1930s by a dedicated Connecticut collector held center stage at Caddigan Auctioneers’ May 19 sale. Jeremy and Joan Caddigan said the collection was displayed in one relatively small room, given the amount of material †all of which was on view. The room was furnished only with a lounge chair and a television so the owner could enjoy his entire collection.
The sale was the first in which the Caddigans had Internet bidding, which accounted for many sales.
A cased Plains Indian breast plate with bone, quill and blue beads with sinew and hide fringe sold in the gallery for $2,070.
A Plains Indian dance shield with tin cones and retaining the medicine pouch with a bear claw brought $1,495. An early Seminole dance paddle with a wrapped handle was incised and decorated with alligator teeth or vertebrae and was $431, while a ghost dance war shield with a trade cloth wrap and decorated with a spread-wing blackbird sold in the gallery for $518.
Fetching $1,438 online was a Sioux pair of squaw leggings with beaded bands below the knees, and a classic bandolier bag with a beaded decoration of flowers and hearts sold in the gallery for $575. A pair of Plains turquoise beaded moccasins with buckskin uppers and rawhide soles sold for $460. A Sioux hide vest with beaded decorations on a white ground attracted $1,840.
A muslin ghost dance shirt decorated with a bold spread-wing black bird and fringed, with tin cones sold for $1,035, while an early Northern Plains beaded shirt with buckskin fringe and decorated with hair locks and tin cones was also $1,035. A Plains Indian buckskin war shirt was fringed and decorated with red, white and blue beading and realized $891. Another Plains example, also beaded and fringed, exhibited wear marks, including stab and slash marks, and summoned $719. A Plains beaded buckskin shirt with two floral beaded breast pockets and a beaded front placket sold for $518.
The full beaded and feathered headdress of turkey feathers was in exceptional condition and sold in the gallery for $489.
A US Army Indian scout’s hat with the crossed silver metal arrows and the red and white braided cord trim, along with a scout’s jacket realized $1,610, and a US Cavalry canteen with a geometrically beaded strap sold for $1,150. Going for $489 was a US Seventh Cavalry hat with the badge and the red and white braided band, while a reservation top hat adorned with feathers brought $115. A Bureau of Indian Affairs police badge and a hat also realized $115.
Wrapped and beaded, a Kiowa medicine rattle drew careful inspection by many previewers and sold for $1,150.
A trade knife and antler handle and a beaded sheath sold on the phone for $690, and a hunting knife with a handle made from an antler and with an oxbow sheath with beaded and studded decoration sold online for $201. A rare Indian trade knife with a bear jaw handle covered with hide and the original hide sheath also went online for $633.
Accompanied by two arrows and the parfleche quiver with the original hide shoulder strap, a Plains Indian recurve bow went online for $805. A business-like ball war club decorated with brass tacks went to an Internet buyer for $920. A Plains Indian rawhide quiver and bow that dated from before 1900 sold to the Internet for $460.
Other weaponry included a late Nineteenth Century Colt-style revolver with a leather cartridge belt and a beaded holster decorated with a heart decoration that fetched $978 from an online buyer. Two early Indian trade black powder percussion pistols decorated with brass tacks, and with horsehair and braided buckskin fringe, went for $518, also online. An early Native American owned flintlock rifle with a fringed parfleche case went in the gallery for $431.
A group of tomahawks included a Hudson Bay example that sold on the phone for $863, and a pipe tomahawk with a forged iron head inlaid with a brass crescent moon and marked chevrons that may have been made by Quebec-born Joseph Jourdain sold for $748. An early pipe tomahawk with a file branded haft sold online for $575.
Retaining its bold color and patina, a Sioux-style parfleche fetched $748.
Many people admired the oil on canvas Kickapoo Indian Salve sign, circa 1900, decorated with a landscape and two gnomes that opened at $250 and sold for $3,164. The salve was advertised as a remedy for “cuts, burns, ulcers and all skin diseases.”
Choice lots from other collections and estates also found favor.
The choicest was a Philadelphia Queen Anne side chair that included in its provenance the Carl Peterson of Bridgewater, Mass., and it went to a dealer online for $8,050.
A lot of two paint-decorated pantry boxes from a local estate brought $1,955 each from separate buyers. One was marked “Fish, Hooks” and the other “Spermaceti.” Jeremy Caddigan said he found them in the subfloor of the eaves of the home. A Nantucket lightship basket that retained the label of Nantucket maker William D. Appleton went to a Cape Cod dealer for $1,840. Joan Caddigan had discovered it on an appraisal day.
A Georg Jensen silver flatware service for 12 in the cactus pattern had seven pieces in each place setting and went to a collector for $8,050.
An early Nineteenth Century mahogany tall clock by John Osgood of Haverhill, N.H., with brass works and a dial painted spandrels with pink flowers sold for $5,175. It contained some material relating to the Osgood family inside the waist door.
Painted tin toys of interest from one estate were a Comet Railroad four car tin train that sold online for $3,220 and a tin rocking horse and rider that was $2,070.
The most unusual lot observed at a sale in some time was a frontier buffalo hunter’s tongue scale that had been made in Germany around 1860 and sold online for $173.
All prices reported include the buyer’s premium. For information, www.caddiganauctioneers.com or 781-826-8648.
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