Navajo first phase blanket expected to see $500,000 at Cowan's


2015-06-26 13:13:11


Navajo first phase blanket expected to see $500,000 at Cowan's

A Navajo first phase chief's blanket stars in the American Indian Art Auction

A Navajo first phase chief's blanket is expected to draw the highest bids at Cowan's April 5 American Indian art auction.

Created in the Ute-style, it will sell with a $400,000-500,000 estimate.

Navajo first phase blanketsThere are less than 50 Navajo first phase blankets known to exist

Navajo weaving is the most respected among all Native American art forms, with the highly prized chiefs' blankets separated into three "phases" by scholars. The 19th century first phase examples, made until roughly 1865, are characterised by a simple design consisting of brown, blue and white bands and stripes.

Less than 50 first phase blankets are known to have survived, and they are therefore the most valued of all Navajo textiles.

Other important textiles at the sale include a Cheyenne river Sioux beaded pictorial vest, valued at $25,000-35,000.

The auction presents a number of items from the Marvin L Lince Collection of American Indian Art, which has been formed since Mr Lince began collecting in the late 1980s. Starring is a mid-19th century Sioux three-bladed knife club, estimated at $150,000-250,000.

Also featuring is a Metis quilled hide knife sheath with dag knife, which is expected to see bids in the region of $75,000-100,000.

Cowan's will also offer baskets and Pueblo pottery from the collection of Dr Kent and Karen Vickery. Dr Vickery (1942-2011) was a professor of archaeology at the University of Cincinnati for 34 years, with the collection containing pottery by Roxanne Swentzell, Margaret Tafoya, Maria Martinez and Helen Hardin, as well as furniture from the original Shiprock Trading Post.

Bonhams announced in March that it will offer a second phase Navajo blanket as part of its June 3 Native American auction in San Francisco.

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