Sotheby's sale of American Indian Art in New York will present an exceptional range of artwork spanning two centuries, and from more than twenty tribes. Drawn from a number of important private collections, this auction will showcase extremely rare works that are fresh to the market.
Among the offerings are two exceptional baskets from a California Collection, a large Yokuts gambling tray and a NutuNutu Yokuts coiled pictorial storage jar attributed to Lucinda Hancock; the latter is one of only six known to be made by this celebrated weaver who was also one of the last of her tribe. This basket, which has provenance that dates to the early 20th Century, last sold publicly in the landmark Greene Sale at Sotheby's Parke-Bernet in 1971 when it realized a record price.
Another highlight of the sale is a Nez Perce beaded hide shirt that belonged to the famous warrior and medicine man Talking Water. Composed of mountain sheep skin and brightly decorated in glass beadwork from Venice, the shirt is emblematic of the power and prestige of its owner. This shirt has been extensively published and toured internationally as part of the exhibition Sacred Encounters.
Finally, Sotheby's is pleased to offer the Van Zelst Collection of contemporary Native artwork which features paintings and sculptures from the leading artists of the 20th Century including Allan Houser, Helen Hardin and Dan Namingha. The visions of these artists had a lasting impact on contemporary Native art and inspired future generations.