BOSTON, Mass. – May 19, 2008 – – Skinner, Inc., one of the nation’s leading auction houses for antiques and fine art, recently hosted a sale of American Indian and Ethnographic Art that claims its place as the most successful for the department in the company’s history. 91% of 500 lots were sold, bringing in a total of $1,740,000.

According to Doug Deihl, director of American Indian & Ethnographic Art, “The outcome of this sale validates that the market for American Indian and Ethnographic Art remains strong, even given the current economic climate.”
Diehl continued, “What’s even more telling is the fact that no one item sold for more than $100,000.”

elk-horn-auction.jpgThe top-lot came out of the American Indian offerings – a carved elk horn hide scraper (lot 259, est. $40/60,000), which took in $88,875.00. Other pieces within the category that did exceptionally well included a beaded buffalo hide possible bag (lot 258, est. $25/35,000), which sold for $59,250; a Plains pictorial muslin tepee liner (lot 295, est. $30/40,000), which brought in $35,550.; a prairie painted parfleche trunk (lot 256, est. $20/30,000) that sold for $29,625; and a carved elk horn quirt (lot 257, est. $20/30,000) that went for $26,070. One pleasant surprise was the sale of a first phase Concha belt circa 1870 (lot 411, est. $8/12,000) that brought in $28,440, likely a record for such an accessory.

Art form the Northwest Coast remains one of the strongest areas, evidenced by the sale of a rattle (lot 376, est. $15/20,000) that sold for $44,437.50; a pair of painted hide leggings (lot 369, est. $5/7,000), which went for $28,440; and a Kwakwaka’wakw carved wood mask (lot 372, est. $10/15,000) that brought in $27.255.

Pre-Columbian, African American, Polynesian material was strong throughout. As well, pottery, basket and Navaho textiles fared well.

Skinner’s next auction of American Indian & Ethnographic Art will be held on January 9, 2009 in Skinner’s Boston gallery.