American Indian art in spotlight at Cowan’s sale April 12

Northwest Coast Kwakwaka'wakw ceremonial feast bowl. Estimate: $70,000-$120,000. Image courtesy Cowan's Auctions Inc.

Northwest Coast Kwakwaka’wakw ceremonial feast bowl. Estimate: $70,000-$120,000. Image courtesy Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

CINCINNATI – Cowan’s Auctions Inc. will conduct an American Indian Art Auction on Thursday, April 12. The 330-lot sale will be held at Cowan’s Auctions salesroom and will begin at 10 a.m. Eastern. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.

The sale will feature a collection of Northwest Coast material, a variety of Eskimo artifacts, concha belts, Karl Bodmer etchings, beautifully designed beadwork from the Plains, and Southwestern jewelry from the collection of Virginia Doneghy. Doneghy was a lifetime collector of Native Southwestern jewelry. Her collection is published by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in Southwest Indian Silver from the Doneghy Collection, 1982.

Highlighted in the sale is a Northwest Coast Kwakwaka’wakw ceremonial feast bowl estimated to bring $70,000-$120,000. Carved of cedar to depict Dzunuk’wa, a mythological creature who is prominent in the traditional narratives of Kwakwaka’wakw noble families. This feast illustrates a style of carving that predates “classic” Kwakwaka’wakw sculpture of the late 19th and early 20th century, with its overall painted surfaces and northern-like, two-dimensional design elements. The absence of overall painting and it’s deeply carved features connect this ceremonial feast dish to its ancient Old Wakashan sculptural roots.

Other Northwest Coast items in the sale include a Tsimshian mask of a woman estimated at $10,000-$15,000, and a Heiltsuk wooden ghost mask, also estimated at $10,000-$15,000.

Southern Plains items will also be featured in the auction. A Comanche child’s doll cradle is estimated at $8,000-$10,000 and a Fort Berthold quilled war shirt is expected to bring $15,000-$25,000.

Also offered in the sale is a Yupik Eskimo plaque mask, which is expected to fetch anywhere between $40,000-$60,000. Similar examples of this mask can be found at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

A number of belts, necklaces and bracelets from the collection of Virginia Doneghy will be featured in the auction. A Navajo silver and concha belt and a Navajo silver and turquoise bracelet are both estimated at $1,000-$1,500. An Al Nez Navajo gold, lapis and turquoise necklace is expected to sell for $2,500-$3,500.

“This auction contains a variety of ethnographic material which I know collectors will be excited by,” said Danica Farnand, director, American Indian art at Cowan’s. “I am honored to be able to offer the Virginia Doneghy collection of jewelry for the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.”

For more information about the auction or preview events, please visit cowans.com or call 513-871-1670, ext. 15.

View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Northwest Coast Kwakwaka'wakw ceremonial feast bowl. Estimate: $70,000-$120,000. Image courtesy Cowan's Auctions Inc.

 

Northwest Coast Kwakwaka’wakw ceremonial feast bowl. Estimate: $70,000-$120,000. Image courtesy Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

Tsimshian mask of a woman. Estimate: $10,000-$15,000. Image courtesy Cowan's Auctions Inc.

 

Tsimshian mask of a woman. Estimate: $10,000-$15,000. Image courtesy Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

Yupik Eskimo plaque mask. Estimate: $40,000-$60,000. Image courtesy Cowan's Auctions Inc.

 

Yupik Eskimo plaque mask. Estimate: $40,000-$60,000. Image courtesy Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

Comanche child's doll cradle. Estimate: $8,000-$10,000. Image courtesy Cowan's Auctions Inc.

Comanche child’s doll cradle. Estimate: $8,000-$10,000. Image courtesy Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

Fort Berthold quilled shirt. Estimate: $15,000-$25,000. Image courtesy Cowan's Auctions Inc.

Fort Berthold quilled shirt. Estimate: $15,000-$25,000. Image courtesy Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

Al Nez Navajo gold, lapis and turquoise necklace. Estimate: $2,500-$3,500. Image courtesy Cowan's Auctions Inc.

Al Nez Navajo gold, lapis and turquoise necklace. Estimate: $2,500-$3,500. Image courtesy Cowan’s Auctions Inc.