The leather-bound Sharp/Hauser albums titled Sioux and Apache and Pueblos of New Mexico, estimated to sell for $15,000-$25,000, is the first substantial group of visual material to help shed light on the life of Cincinnati artist John Hauser, a prolific artist of the American West. Until recently, Hauser has been an obscure figure in the Western Art genre, often in the shadow of Joseph Henry Sharp and Henry Farny – powerhouses within the field.
“From the little documentation we have regarding Sharp and Hauser’s journey to the Southwest in 1893, the evidence is compelling that the albums presented here document a part, or all, of this trip, at least from John Hauser’s perspective,” said Wes Cowan.
Cowan’s will offer a collection of engravings by Karl Bodmer that are expected to inspire competitive bidding. The first, titled Noapeh and Psihdja-Sahpa is estimated to sell for $3,000-$5,000. Two others, titled Missouri Indianer, Oto Indianer and Chef der Puncas, are also both estimated to sell for $3,000-$5,000. Even more rare, an engraving with its original coloring, titled Mato-Tope is expected to bring $12,000-$15,000.
Graydon Sikes, director of Paintings at Cowan’s said, “Bodmer was Swiss, and he was the first person along with an American artist named George Catlin to travel up the Missouri river. During the 1830s journey, he painted pictures of American Indian tribes, many whose numbers were diminishing. Bodmer and Catlin’s works were later made into etchings and prints.”
A painting by Eanger Irving Couse, titled Whitman Massacre is estimated to sell for $20,000-$30,000.
“Couse was one of the foremost painters of the Taos society of artists in the early 20th century,” Sikes said.
A pair of Kiowa beaded hide boot moccasins and a Sioux beaded hide cradle, both fourth-quarter 19th century, from the Fraser-Douglass collection, are estimated to sell for $6,000-$8,000 respectively. Fraser-Douglass had a lifetime interest in American Indian Art and taught classes on Native American art and design at the University of Cincinnati. His knowledge on the material allowed him to appraise the collections at the Cincinnati Art Museum and Museum of Natural History.
Eastern Woodlands carved burl pieces are also highlights of the auction. Effigy ladles are a core element in the Woodlands woodworking tradition and exemplify the quiet sophistication that defines their most successful works. An Iroquois figural burl feast ladle is estimated to bring $15,000-$25,000. Personal ladles exhibiting representational and abstract effigies are relatively scarce; feast ladles are exceptionally so.
Danica Farnand, director of American Indian Art at Cowan’s noted, “The burl pieces are early and the ladle is extremely large. They are ethnographic pieces and the woodworking tradition of the Eastern Woodlands style is a true art form in itself.”
A monumental Western mono basket, 12 inches in height and 28 inches in diameter, is estimated to sell for $40,000-$60,000. This impressive basket, woven of deer grass, sedge root and bracken fern root was published in Otis Tufton Mason’s Aboriginal Indian Basketry, Bureau of American Ethnology Report for the year 1902 and George Wharton James’ Indian Basketry, 1903.
“This basket has great provenance. It is fairly rare to have that kind of documented history with an item like this,” said Farnand.
An early Navajo classic serape with great color is expected to bring anywhere from $10,000 to $12,000. The serape is handspun from woven wool in natural white and indigo blue.
Three Sioux carved smoking pipes should also gather interest in the auction. A Sioux catlinite pipe with Sitting Bull provenance is estimated to sell for $1,500-$2,000. A Sioux pipe stem and catlinite bowl is expected to bring $5,000-$7,000 and a Sioux carved puzzle pipe with catlinite bowl is also estimated to sell for $1,500-$2,000.
An Eastern Plains gunstock club is estimated to bring $20,000-$25,000. The club is delicately carved with a serrated butt and a gracefully carved stock.
To learn more about Cowan’s visit the Web site www.cowans.com or call 513-871-1670.
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