Pomo basket delivers $23,000 top bid at Allard’s Santa Fe sale

The top lot of the auction was this exceptional and large traditional-shaped Pomo burden basket, which sold for $23,000. Allard Auctions Inc. image.

The top lot of the auction was this exceptional and large traditional-shaped Pomo burden basket, which sold for $23,000. Allard Auctions Inc. image.

SANTA FE, N.M. – A large, museum-quality Pomo burden basket with beautiful fine geometric designs done in red fern sold for $23,000 at the Best of Santa Fe auction, an event held each year by Allard Auctions Inc. This year’s auction, held Aug. 16-17, featured 900 lots of Western and Native art, American Indian artifacts and related collectibles.

The twined, conical-shape traditional Pomo burden basket was in remarkable condition and was a huge example – 21 1/4 inches by 25 1/2 inches. It was made circa 1890 and was easily the top lot of the auction, one that grossed $464,000 including the buyer’s premium. The sale was packed with baskets, prehistoric pottery, dazzling hand-crafted jewelry and wonderful artworks.

“Overall we were very pleased with the auction,” said Steve Allard of Allard Auctions Inc., based in St. Ignatius, Mont. “Baskets, pottery, rugs and especially jewelry items all either met or exceeded our expectations, which were high to begin with. The only downside was that so many events were happening in Santa Fe at the same time. I hope this won’t be an issue next year.”

Between 150 and 200 people attended the auction live over the course of the two days, many of whom wer repeat customers from past sales. Absentee and phone bidding was so brisk it combined for about half the gross, said Allard. LiveAuctioneers.com provided Internet live bidding.

Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.

A beautiful hand-wrought Hopi belt buckle by Charles Loloma (circa 1980s), with raised and carved stones and a silver back, was the auction’s second top lot, fetching $6,325. A finer weave earth-tone storm-pattern Navajo rug, or weaving, with many feathers in the traditional design, 48 inches by 79 inches, circa mid-20th century, sold for $3,738.

A finely woven Karuk “catch basket,” or flour tray, made from bear grass, maidendhair fern and woodwardia fern, circa 1925, by Florence Jacobs Harrie, and considered her life’s masterpiece, garnered $5,750. A historical Yokuts basket made by Waysheemlet in the early 1900s, featuring a deep bowl with a beautiful arched black arrow points design, rose to $4,312.

A finer weave ceremonial Yokuts serving basket – large at 8 1/4 inches by 26 3/4 inches – with elaborate polychrome designs, including cornstalk and rattlesnake bands, circa late 1800s, went for $3,738, and an important Wasco tall lidded soft weave Sally bag, loaded with traditional figures including condors, deer or elk and sturgeon, circa 1880, commanded $4,312.

In the pottery category a scarce Hopi jar by the renowned maker Fannie Nampeyo, a larger size, low-profile polychrome example done with her famous “migration” pattern, hammered for $4,888; and 12 1/2-inch-tall prehistoric Anasazi pottery jar – a Soccoro black-on-white water olla with checkered medallions, partially restored and in good condition – brought $3,738.

Artwork wowed the crowd, led by a signed original gouache work by Helen Hardin, a.k.a. Tsa-Sah-Wee-Eh, 1943-1984, depicting stylized tortoise and hare figures in the desert, which finished at $3,738, while a signed sand and paint on board work by Hardin’s father, Pablita Velarde (1918-2007), depicting desert roadrunners, sailed past its $300-$600 estimate to command $2,588.

Many other lots went roaring past their estimates. A fantastic and large finer weave ceremonial Yokuts serving basket, circa late 1800s, expected to bring $500-$1,000 realized $3,738; and a classic strand of dark blue, Dutch-made faceted “Russian” trade beads in very good condition, 22 inches long, made in the 19th century, expected to reach $75-$150, ended up selling for $431.

Jars outperformed expectations, too. A rare, prehistoric Anasazi Tularosa black-on-white pottery jar with inward curved rim and elaborate encompassing design (est. $600-$1,200) topped out at $3,163; and a Cochiti early globular pottery jar with short neck and interesting floral design, in very good condition, 8 3/4 inches tall, circa early 1900s (est. $400-$800), ended strong at $1,955.

Returning to artwork, two pieces expected to bring $500 each realized $1,380. One was a signed sand texture painting by Pablita Velarde, done in the late 1900s and measuring 10 1/2 inches by 11 3/4 inches minus the frame. The other was a signed limited edition (#3/50) bronze free-form sculpture by Bill Worrell (b. 1936), titled The Eternal Guardian, 21 1/2 inches tall, circa 1995.

A signed, original acrylic on canvas by David P. Bradley (b. 1954), depicting an encampment with a tepee, apple trees, cattails and a dog, rendered circa 1979 (est. $200-$400), achieved $920. Also, a rare, hand-wrought silver Navajo necklace with fylfot crosses and adorned with miniature conchos and round turquoise stones, 27 inches long (est. $500-$1,000), hit $2,588.

Allard Auctions Inc. has been selling exclusively American Indian artifacts and art at auction since 1968. The firm is always in the market for quality merchandise. To inquire about consigning call toll-free: 888-314-0343, or email the company at info@allardauctions.com.

Click here to view the fully illustrated catalog for this sale, complete with prices realized.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


The top lot of the auction was this exceptional and large traditional-shaped Pomo burden basket, which sold for $23,000. Allard Auctions Inc. image.

The top lot of the auction was this exceptional and large traditional-shaped Pomo burden basket, which sold for $23,000. Allard Auctions Inc. image.

Beautiful hand-wrought Hopi buckle by Charles Loloma, with raised and carved stones. Price realized: $6,325. Allard Auctions Inc. image.

Beautiful hand-wrought Hopi buckle by Charles Loloma, with raised and carved stones. Price realized: $6,325. Allard Auctions Inc. image.

Low-profile Hopi polychrome pottery jar by Fannie Nampeyo, done in her famous ‘migration’ pattern. Price realized: $4,888. Allard Auctions Inc. image.

Low-profile Hopi polychrome pottery jar by Fannie Nampeyo, done in her famous ‘migration’ pattern. Price realized: $4,888. Allard Auctions Inc. image.

Wasco tall lidded, soft weave Sally bag, loaded with traditional figures such as condors, deer and sturgeon. Price realized: $4,312. Allard Auctions Inc. image.

Wasco tall lidded, soft weave Sally bag, loaded with traditional figures such as condors, deer and sturgeon. Price realized: $4,312. Allard Auctions Inc. image.

Fantastic finer weave Navajo rug in an earth-tone storm pattern with feathers, circa mid-1900s. Price realized: $3,738. Allard Auctions Inc. image.

Fantastic finer weave Navajo rug in an earth-tone storm pattern with feathers, circa mid-1900s. Price realized: $3,738. Allard Auctions Inc. image.

Signed original gouache painting by Helen Hardin, a.k.a. Tsa-Sah-Wee-Eh (1943-1984), circa 1980s. Price realized: $3,738. Allard Auctions Inc. image.

Signed original gouache painting by Helen Hardin, a.k.a. Tsa-Sah-Wee-Eh (1943-1984), circa 1980s. Price realized: $3,738. Allard Auctions Inc. image.