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Southwest weavings, pottery and baskets highlight June Native American art auction
A Rio Grande ikat blanket. Est. $15,000-25,000. Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- Bonhams announced its Native American Art Auction, June 2 in San Francisco, featuring Southwest weavings from the collection of Alexandra and Sidney Sheldon of Malibu, Calif.

The collection will highlight blankets from the classic and late classic periods of Navajo weaving, the star attraction of which will be a woman's blue field manta (est. $40,000-60,000). It will also include Mexican Saltillo serapes from as far back as the 18th century and Rio Grande blankets from the 19th century. The rarest on offer will be an ikat blanket that is one of a handful to exist (est. $15,000-25,000).

Also from the collection will be Moki blankets and serapes, imbued with the rich indigo stripes that were a particular predilection of the Sheldons. One example is estimated at $20,000-30,000 and another at $12,000-18,000.

Bonhams has been chosen to offer these connoisseurs' collection. Alexandra, a former actress, model and advertising executive, married the late Sidney Sheldon in 1989. Sidney won an Academy Award® in 1947 for screenwriting, created hit television shows "I Dream of Jeannie" and "The Patty Duke Show," and became the seventh best-selling fiction writer of all time, authoring 1973’s No. 1 best-seller "The Other Side of Midnight."

Also noteworthy within the sale will be part two of the Ruth K. Belikove Collection, featuring a fine selection of weavings, largely comprised of 'Teec Nos Pos' rugs of varying estimates. Many of the examples to be offered have appeared in museum exhibitions and a number of them have been featured in a published catalogue of the collection.

Of great interest to basket fanciers will be the first portion of the John Bowers Collection from the San Francisco Bay Area, featuring baskets from California, the Great Basin and Northwest. A portion of Southwest baskets from the collection will be on offer in December. The Bowers' collection is truly remarkable, including examples Mr. Bowers purchased at auctions dating back to the early 1980s at Butterfield & Butterfield, and elsewhere prior to that. His taste is impeccable and he only purchased fine quality baskets after careful examination. Two examples on offer will include a large and rare Yokuts polychrome oval bottleneck basket (est. $6,000-8,000) and a brilliantly visual Apache polychrome bowl (est. $8,000-12,000).

Also in the basketry portion of the sale will be a private collection out of Tucson, Ariz., consisting of about 80 Apache, Pima and Chemehuevi baskets. All offerings included were purchased by the present owner's father between 1910 and 1920. Examples include a substantial number of Apache trays, Chemehuevi ollas and Pima miniatures of superb craftsmanship.

The sale is further highlighted by its pottery section. From the John Bowers Collection will be a historic, 12.5," Hopi polychrome jar by Nampeyo, a brilliant example featuring her classic eagle tail pattern (est. $25,000-35,000).

There will a sizable group of antique pots, the great majority of them Zuni, on offer from the estate of Robert Peters of New York City. Included will be a Zuni polychrome jar (est. $6,000-9,000); a Zia polychrome storage jar (est. $5,000-7,000) and a Santa Clara blackware storage jar (est. $4,000-6,000).

Twentieth century, signed pottery examples will also be offered, such as a large black and redware sgraffito jar by Tony Da (est. $30,000-50,000); a polychrome plate, showing opposing lion figures, by his grandparents Maria and Julian Martinez (est. $30,000-50,000); as well as major works by Margaret Tafoya, Nancy Youngblood, Al Qoyawayma and others.

Rounding out the sale will be a very large painting by Fritz Scholder, from a Southern California estate (est. $15,000-25,000); several jewelry examples by Charles Loloma, whose work is ever popular in today's market; and an assortment of earlier necklaces and bracelets. There will also be selections of kachina dolls, Northwest Coast and Eskimo items, beadwork and related material.

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