Our 21 May sale of American Indian Art brought in $2.3 million. Leading the sale was A Rare and Important Pair of Haida Polychromed Wood Shaman's Rattles that soared above high estimate to $1.2 million, shown here. Also performing strongly was an Important and Rare Yup'ik Wood Mask.
Important Northwest Coast American Indian Art from A Private Collection Owned by a New York Charitable Trust features eleven superb examples of Native art from the Tlingit, Nuxalk (Bella Coola), Haida and Eskimo. Amongst the highlights is a Tlingit headdress in the form of a raven. Animals such as bears, birds and wolves figure prominently into the culture of the Northwest Coast and relate to their mythology and establish symbolic ties to ancestors. Another is the Nuxalk (Bella Coola) headdress, or frontlet, depicting a raven with a voracious bear emerging from between its ears, the corona inlaid with brilliant plaques of hand cut abalone shell. This particular headdress would have been worn like a crown.
Masks, rattles and totems from the Northwest Coast are known for their intensity and complexity and were highly prized possessions that conveyed power and status within the tribe. This collection provides a rare and unsurpassed glimpse into that world.