CINCINNATI – Building on the momentum from the sale of Part I, Hindman will present Part II of the collection of a fabled figure, Forrest Fenn, on Thursday, September 8. Through a stunning 172-lot selection of Native American art, The Lifetime Collection of Forrest Fenn, Part II will spotlight Fenn’s passion for Native American art, highlighted by his celebrated collection of strike-a-light bags and beadwork. A spectacular selection of dolls and monumentally-sized pottery and baskets are also among highly anticipated lots. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
“Throughout this process of handling Forrest’s collection, it’s been a joy to hear the stories of the legacy he shared and left,” said Hindman’s Vice President for Native American Art Danica Farnand. “To be able to offer even more from his collection of Native American art is an honor.”
Fenn was an avid collector from an early age, and went on to establish Arrowsmith-Fenn Gallery, among the first galleries in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his partner Rex Arrowsmith, which eventually became Fenn Gallery. The gallery developed into an incredibly successful institution for collectors, offering a range of Native American art such as artifacts, paintings and bronze sculptures, and attracting legendary names. Following Fenn’s recovery from cancer, he went on to write a memoir in 2010 titled The Thrill of the Chase, in which he mentions a treasure he hid somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. The public and media alike became mesmerized by “Fenn’s Treasure,” and it was found shortly before his death in 2020.
While Part I offered a glimpse at Fenn’s collection of Southern Plains beaded strike-a-light bags, Part II will shed additional light on one of the more notable collections of its kind ever assembled. A range of sizes will be offered, and standouts include a selection of Kiowa strike-a-light bags, such as one from the late 19th century featuring a geometric design on an hourglass form, which is estimated at $6,000-$8,000. Additional vibrant examples include a Kiowa beaded strike-a-light bag in bold colors, estimated at $5,000-$7,000, and a Cheyenne-Arapaho beaded strike-a-light bag featuring triangular designs, estimated at $5,000-$7,000.
“Every serious collector knew of Forrest’s wall of strike-a-lite pouches in his den. I doubt that anyone had as extensive of a collection,” commented Hindman Vice Chair Wes Cowan. “They were a source of pride, and as a Texan, a remembrance of his early life on the Southern Plains.”
After the strong performance of Fenn’s dolls in the June sale, additional Native American dolls from the robust selection will be offered. Fenn was an expert on this category, having written Historic American Indian Dolls, which featured a number of the dolls being offered in the sale.
Highlights will include a Sioux doll, including one with a tooth necklace, estimated at $6,000-$8,000, and a second with a muslin body, estimated at $3,000-$5,000. Both are from the late 19th century.
Additional Apache and Cheyenne dolls on offer include an Apache doll with cactus kicker moccasins, estimated at $6,000-$8,000, and a Cheyenne doll with a painted dress, estimated at $3,000-$5,000. A Hidatsa doll with a beaded and quilled dress, estimated at $8,000-$10,000, is another highly-anticipated lot.
Impressive shields will also be among sale highlights, such as a Southern painted hide shield from the late 19th century, estimated at $40,000-$60,000, and a Pueblo painted hide shield estimated at $15,000-$25,000. Cheyenne beaded hide leggings from the collection of celebrated Western painter Joseph Henry Sharp are also expected to be among particularly in-demand lots. The leggings have an estimate of $6,000-$8,000.
Pottery in extraordinary sizes will also be featured in the September 8 sale, including several Cochiti pottery storage jars.
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