DoneMon, Nov 01, 2004 12:00 PM EST
Alameda, CA, USA
Fine Art and Furniture & Decorative Arts Auction
On November 1, Auctions by the Bay will offer a sensational selection of tribal art from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, plus ancient art from Mesoamerica, South America, and Asia. First up is a selection of handsome pottery, rugs, and carvings from the native people of the American southwest, and Alaska. “Godzilla in the Arctic” is a startling narrative scene made from whalebone and ivory in the Eskimo style (circa 1950-1960) depicting the giant dragon with a harpoon in its side engaged in a bloody battle with two men wearing parkas (lot 7, estimate $1000/1500). This unusual scene, and other vintage ivory scrimshaw items, comes to us from the estate of Irena Narell whose large collection of folk art from around the world to be sold in this and other upcoming sales. One of the most decorative items in the sale is the richly beaded Cree Metis “Octopus Bag”, so-called for the eight tentacle-like flaps that hang from the pouch (lot 31, estimate $3000/5000). Both sides of this 19th century bag are covered with floral designs of vines and flowers in tiny vividly colored beads on red velvet. On the auction block is an extensive collection of ancient Ecuadorian stone artifacts excavated in 1965 and brought back to the United States in 1968 by the archeologist Colonel William R. Cameron. More than two thousand years ago, the ancient people of the area mounted delicately carved, vividly colored stone blades on ceremonial axes. The stone they selected was like jade, it usually is a deep sea-green color with a high polish. Most of the axe heads in this sale were exhibited in 1977 at an important exhibition of Ecuadorian artifacts at the Monterey Museum of Art in California.Rounding out the November 1 sale, Auctions by the Bay is offering masterpieces from ancient India, China, and Southeast Asia. Highlights include two large stone carvings (called stele) of Hindu gods and goddesses from ancient India. The 11th century stele of Vishnu (god of preservation) surrounded by goddesses is carved from a dense black stone (lot 266, estimate $8000/12000). An engaging glimpse into the love life of Hindu divinities is found on the other (lot 265, estimate $6000/8000).