Pasvolsky Native American Art collection headlines Heritage auction
Rediscovered after 20 years, the important collection is set to bring more than $125,000 in the sale next month.
The collection of Valentine ‘Val’ Pasvolsky, a famed numismatist with a passion for American Indian art, is expected to bring more than $125,000 as 203 lots cross the auction block in Dallas on November 15.
Former U.S. Army sergeant Pasvolsky was known throughout the numismatic world during the 1950s, 60s and 70s, winning top prizes at coin shows around the world. He also turned his home in Lakewood, New Jersey into a roadside attraction and museum known as The Indian Village Museum & Trading Post, displaying his vast collection of tribal art and artefacts.
Pasvolsky exhibited items from his collection at events across the country, often appearing with his entire family dressed in Native American garb. However, the remarkable collection was stored away for years and recently rediscovered by his grandchildren. Heritage American Indian Art specialist Delia E. Sullivan became the first expert to see the collection in almost 20 years when she was approached to examine it.
"It's likely the hobby won't see another collection like this for a decade or more," Sullivan said. "There are some really wonderfully important things in this collection. A find like this only happens once or twice in a career."
Leading the collection is a rare Sioux boy's pictorial beaded and fringed hide shirt, circa 1875, that bears the inscription “Captured on June 25, 1876 at the Battle with Indians on the Little Big Horn River, M. T. Commanded by General G. A. Custer, U. S A. by Louis Rott 1st Sgt., Co. K, 7th Cav.,”. The shirt, which bears a design featuring geometric patterns, turtles and hourglass motifs, is expected to sell for $30,000 - $50,000.
Other notable lots from the collection will include a pair of southeast beaded hide moccasins estimated at $20,000-$30,000; a crow painted parfleche medicine case priced at $7,000-$9,000; and and a plateau beaded hide cradleboard estimated at $8,000-$12,000.
The sale will also feature a wide selection of pre-Columbian artefacts, and a collection of American Indian art formerly owned by artist Eanger Irving Couse.
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