The auction house is located in Denver’s Golden Triangle, 960 Cherokee St., situated just blocks away from the Denver Art Museum and the new Clyfford Still Museum. The collection includes over 300 lots of Pueblo pottery, Navajo weavings and Southwestern jewelry. Mr. and Mrs. Clay were active members of the Douglas Society at the Denver Art Museum. Over the years the Clays made donations from their collection to the Denver Art Museum and the Wheelwright Museum in Santa Fe and loans to other institutions in the area.
Mr. and Mrs. Clay began collecting on a trip to New Mexico where they gained a lifelong appreciation of Native American Art. They emerged as enthusiastic collectors with a devotion to the modern masters of Pueblo pottery, Navajo weavings and Southwestern jewelry. As their collection became more sophisticated, they developed strong relationships with respected curators, dealers and artists in the Southwest. The couple faithfully attended and volunteered at the Indian Market in Santa Fe for 30 years. Several of the items in the collection are works commissioned directly from artists they met personally and have never been seen by the public.
The Clay Collection includes pottery by acknowledged 20th century master potters such as Tony Da, Margaret Tafoya, Helen Cordera, Helen Shupla, Grace Medicine Flower, Helen Naha and Nathan Youngblood to name a few. Among the highlights of the pottery grouping is a San Ildefonso Pueblo plate, buff ground having heart line deer in sgraffito with three turquoise inlay cabochon stones, by Tony Da, 10 inches diameter ($12,000-$15,000), and a Santa Clara, undecorated olla storage jar, signed Margaret Tafoya ($8,000-$10,000). Also included in this single-owner sale is a nice selection of works by artists such as Rose Mike, Julia Jumbo, Clara Sherman, Ruby Manuelito, Daisy Taugleche and Elsie Jim.
Examples of available weavings are a Two Grey Hills, in geometric design with butterflies on brown ground, two shades of grey, black, white and tan, by Clara Sherman, measuring 35 inches by 62 nches ($2,000-$2,500) and a sand painting depicting Whirling Log design with four sacred plants and Yei figure in natural and analine dyes, by Ruby Manuelito measuring 42 inches by 41 inches ($4,000-$6,000).
Featured among the over 100 lots of fine Southwestern jewelry being offered are works by Charles Loloma, Harvey Begay, Mark Chee, Julian Lavato, Marie Lovato, Jimmy King Jr. and many more. Highlighting the jewelry are several works by famed Hopi spiritual leader, jeweler and artist Charles Loloma (1921-1991). Among these important offerings are a Hopi, sterling silver bolo tie, inlaid with gold accents, coral, ivory, turquoise, wood and lapis, signed “Loloma” ($6,000-$8,000), a Hopi sterling silver bolo tie, in a Kachina mask design, inlaid with wood, turquoise, coral, lapis, ivory and silver accents with silver tips signed “Loloma” ($5,000-$7,000), a Hopi sterling silver belt buckle inlaid with ironwood, turquoise, coral, lapis and ivory, signed “Loloma” ($6,000-$8,000), and a Hopi, lady’s 18-karat gold sand cast ring, with large turquoise stone in a prong setting, signed “Loloma.” Also of note is a Navajo, 14K gold tufa cast bracelet, with undulating edges, set with oval shaped cabochon turquoise, signed HB for Harvey Begay ($5,000-$7,000).
The exhibition will open be to the public on Wednesday, March 7, noon-4 p.m., Thursday, March 8, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday, March 9, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday, March 10, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. For details regarding this sale, call 303-825-1855 or visit Hindman’s website at www.lesliehindman.com.
ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE