The Collection of Claude Henry Withers and the John Baldwin Trust led the way in Hindman
s $1,185,656 April 15th Native American Art auction. Rare copper items from the Withers Collection received significant interest from bidders, packing Hindmans Cincinnati saleroom and achieving top prices. Revered collector and author John Baldwins collection also shone, with lots such as a Grizzly Bear Claw Necklace (lot 23) selling for $37,500 against a presale estimate of $20,000-30,000. Textiles from the Collection of Bruce and Claire Montgomerie also were among top performers.
Copper Dagger from the Collection of Claude Henry Withers
The Collection of Claude Henry Withers was highly sought-after, with bidders eager to compete for the exceptional prehistoric stone and copper items. The pace for the auction was set early on with the sale of an Exceptional Copper Dagger from the late Archaic Period (lot 5), which climbed well past its estimate of $10,000-15,000 to sell for $43,750. This symmetrically designed blade is one of the largest examples of this rare artifact type, measuring 11 1/2 inches. Two copper breastplates (lot 6 and 7) were also eye-catching lots from the collection, selling for $7,500 each.
John Baldwin Trust
Bidders recognized the value of celebrated collector and author John Baldwins collection. Baldwin is well-known in the collecting world and his books on Native American and Frontier Era Weaponry are considered essential reading for those serious about the category. A 19th Century Prairie Grizzly Bear Claw Necklace (lot 23) was the top lot of the collection, selling for $37,500 against a presale estimate of $20,000-30,000. The necklace features 27 claws spaced with hand-painted and padre beads, and was collected from the University of Iowas Theatrical Department. Other highlights from the collection included an 5-5/8 inch Adena Flint Ridge Blade (lot 22), which sold for $7,500, and an 18th century Eastern Pipe Tomahawk Blade (lot 25), with brass inlay tripled its estimate to sell for $8,750.
Textiles from the Collection of Bruce and Claire Montgomerie
Remarkable textiles from the Collection of Bruce and Claire Montgomerie were also among highly coveted lots, with a 19th Century Navajo Womans Second Phase Pattern Blanket (lot 169) seeing particularly passionate bidding and soaring past its estimate of $8,000-10,000 to sell for $37,500. A Navajo Moki Pattern Weaving (lot 229) was another noteworthy sale, realizing $18,750.
Record-Setting Beaded Moccasins & Additional Highlights
A heated bidding war led to a new auction record with the sale of Sioux Fully Beaded Buffalo Hide Moccasins (lot 80), which shattered their presale estimate of $1,000-2,000 to sell for $40,625, the highest price ever achieved for a pair of fully beaded moccasins. These vibrant shoes are sinew-sewn and beaded using colors of red white-heart, greasy yellow, translucent green, white, and light and dark blue.
Additional highlights included a Yankton Sioux Beaded Buffalo Hide Shot Pouch, with Powder Horn (lot 53), which emerged as the top lot of the auction and sold for $53,125, doubling its estimate of $20,000-30,000. The intricate pouch features fringe and is decorated with triangular elements beaded in colors of translucent burgundy, cobalt, marigold and sky blue against a white background.
Miniature gift baskets that descended through the family of Jessie Cavannaugh with labels identifying early basket makers was another standout selection. A group of 20th Century Pomo Miniature Gift Baskets (lot 143) was a strong example, selling for $7,500 against a presale estimate of $800-1,200.