SANTA FE, N.M. – A pair of Sioux beaded war shirts combined to sell for $50,000 and were the top two lots at Best of Santa Fe, an annual auction hosted by Allard Auctions Inc. of St. Ignatius, Mont. Over 800 lots came up for bid in the Aug. 12-14 sale that grossed just under $500,000.
Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.com.
Top lot honors went to a late 1800s sinew sewn hide Sioux war shirt with lazy stitched beaded geometrics, arm and shoulder strips and several American flags. The shirt was in good condition, with reinforced shoulders, and measured an impressive 65 inches by 41 inches. Pulled from the Doug Allard collection and purchased in 1999 for $28,000, the shirt sold for $27,500.
The runner-up lot was a beautiful, circa 1900 traditionally made buckskin Sioux warrior’s shirt (below), with sinew sewn and lazy stitched beaded geometric panels and collar tabs, quill wrapped bound hair suspensions and fringed trim. Previously owned by Joseph O’Leary, a curator at the Peabody Museum in the 1990s whose collection was sold at Christie’s in 1994, the shirt went for $22,500.
The auction was packed with American Indian artifacts, art and related collectibles, to include historic war shirts, cradleboards, Germantown weavings, beadwork from two major private collections, California and Southwestern baskets, Northwest Coast and Eskimo items and Native American paintings.
Following are additional highlights of the auction. All prices quoted are hammer, exclusive of a sliding scale buyer’s premium of 15-25 percent.
A traditional white buckskin Sioux women’s dress (below), made around 1900 with sinew sewn and lazy stitch beaded yoke strips, finished at $11,000. The size medium dress, featuring a yellow ochred top, lots of cut-in fringe, a scalloped abdomen and pretty beaded hem with rare red ochring, had also been once owned by O’Leary. It was in very good condition with minor bead loss.
A star lot of the Native American jewelry category was an exquisite teardrop shadowbox Lander Blue turquoise necklace, made in the late 20th century by the Lee Yazzie and strung on a simple silver bead and nugget necklace, with delicate silver blossoms. The 19-inch pendant, in excellent condition, was snapped up for $7,500. Yazzie is a renowned Navajo designer and craftsman.
A finer weave, circa 1890 Navajo Germantown blanket (below), large at 56 inches by 91 inches, gaveled for $7,000. The blanket was in excellent condition after some professional restoration and showed a rare pattern that was a hybrid of both Ganado and Crystal J. P. Moore period designs. It also boasted a positive/negative meandering border and full fringe at both ends.
An oil on linen depiction of a famous scene from the TV movie Lonesome Dove, showing Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones (as Gus and Woodrow), done in the 1990s by Dave Powell (American, b. 1954) and titled Just Once I Would Like to Shoot a Educated Man, 30 inches by 40 inches (in the frame), commanded $6,000. The purchase price included full rights to all print reproduction.
Allard Auctions Inc. has been selling exclusively American Indian artifacts and art at auction since 1968. To inquire about consigning a single piece or an entire collection call them at 406- 745-0500 or toll-free: 888-314-0343 or email email@example.com.