Kiowa Cradleboard Showcases Native American Artifact Auction

This full-sized, all-original Kiowa cradleboard with beaded accents and original boards may beat its pre-sale estimate of $20,000 to $40,000.

SANTA FE, N.M.—A full-size, all-original Native American cradleboard with beaded accents and original boards will be the featured lot at an upcoming auction of Native American artifacts, art and related collectibles slated for Aug. 9 and 10.

The auction, billed as “Best of Santa Fe 2013,” will be conducted by Allard Auctions. Approximately 900 lots will come up for bid.

The museum-quality cradleboard, made in the early 1900s and attributed to the Kiowa nation of the Great Plains, was consigned by a man in his late 90s who still remembers playing with the piece as a toy when he was a boy. It was later given to him by his grandmother. The man has displayed the cradleboard in his home for the better part of the past 70 years.

The piece holds a pre-sale value of $20,000 to $40,000, but representatives of Allard Auctions suggest that it will likely blow past that mark.

In addition to the cradleboard, the auction will be packed with original Native and Western art, historic beadwork, vintage Indian jewelry, Pueblo and prehistoric pottery, Native American basketry, kachina carvings, Navajo rugs and weavings, antique trade beads, old photographs and Northwest Coast and Eskimo items.

“Sales and interest in beadwork and baskets is strong, as it is in other areas of American Indian artifacts,” said Steve Allard, owner of Allard Auctions. “The market is strong, and I see it getting even stronger.”

Two additional lots are valued in the $20,000-to-$40,000 range. One is a rare, circa-1900 full Cheyenne war dance outfit consisting of a shirt and matching leggings, with flat-beaded geometric strips, beaded chest shields and a nice contoured fringe. The other is a full Mandan war shirt set, with a painted hide war shirt with quilled strips and shields, human hair suspensions, matching leggings, moccasins and a belt. 

A full Cheyenne war dance outfit, including war shirt, matching leggings, circa early 1900s holds an estimate of $20,000 to $40,000.

A sinew-sewn and lazy-stitch beaded saddle drape, circa early 1900s, estimates at $4,000 to $8,000.

Another pair of lots could make or exceed the $20,000 mark. The first is a circa-1880s Germantown chief’s blanket, estimated at $12,500 to $25,000. The late classic second phase variant blanket is woven from Bayed, Churro and Germantown yarns. The second is a large San Ildefonso pottery jar by Popovi Da (1922-1971). The signed, double-necked black-on-black wedding vase, circa 1964, should hit $15,000 to $30,000.

A photograph by Edward Curtis (1868-1952), titled “At the Old Well of Acoma” is estimated to sell for $4,000 to $8,000.

A late 19th-century original gold-tone photograph by Edward S. Curtis (1868) titled “At the Old Well of Acoma,” signed and in the original frame with the original Curtis Studio label on the back, is expected to realize $4,000 to $8,000. Also, a signed original casein painting by Harrison Begay (1914-2012), depicting the Yei Bei Chai dancers below the invoked Yei deities, done around the mid-1900s, framed, should bring $2,000 to $4,000.

A rare sinew-sewn and lazy-stitch beaded saddle drape, executed in the early 1900s in the traditional style, in very good condition, carries a pre-sale estimate of $4,000 to $8,000. Also, a yellow cedar mask expertly carved by the high-end coast Salish carver Darryl Baker, titled “An Eagle’s Vision of Life and Death,” done circa 2002, should hit $3,000 to $6,000.

The auction is open to the public and admission is free. Previews will be held on Aug. 9, from 8 a.m. until the first gavel at noon and Aug. 10, from 8 a.m. until the 10 a.m. start time. Internet bidding will be facilitated by Phone and absentee bids will also be accepted.

The catalog can be viewed at the Allard Auctions website.

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