Height: 11 ⅜ in (29 cm)
Cottonwood, pigments, squirrel fur, tanned hide, fiber, turquoise
The turquoise pendant with an attached paper label inscribed in black ink: "Navajo Medicine Man Altar Idol-Little Fire Society/Zuni 1908 collected 24069 # Oct"
Very good condition for an object of this type and age, with wear consistent with use and handling. Minor nicks, chips, scratches, losses and abrasions scattered in places. The pigment well preserved, with minor fading and losses as visible in the catalogue illustration. The proper left arm broken at the elbow and glued. A tag attached to the necklace reading 'Navajo Medicine Man Altar Idol-Little Fire Society/Zuni 1908 collected 24069 # Oct'. Has base. Note that the feather seen in the catalogue illustration is no longer present.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
George Terasaki, New York, acquired in the 1970s
Andrea Portago and Barton Wright, Classic Hopi and Zuni Kachina Figures, Santa Fe, 2006, pl. 15 and p. 133
Alexandra Pascassio and George Terasaki, Kachina: George Terasaki Collection, Paris, 2008, n.p., cat. no. 10
This figure depicts Tasavu, not a kachina but rather a clown who appears as a caricature of the Navajo, the Hopi's neighbors. Wright notes that "when [Tasavu] appears it behaves in ways that present the worst attributes of the Navajo to the great amusement of the Hopi audience at the dance." (Wright in Portago and Wright, Classic Hopi and Zuni Kachina Figures, Santa Fe, 2006, p. 133).