Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information
Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Skinner to auction American Indian & Ethnographic Art on February 9

Boston, Mass. – January 18, 2013 – Skinner, Inc. will host an auction of American Indian & Ethnographic Art on February 9th in its Boston gallery. Skinner is proud to offer more than 200 lots of evocative Plains Indian artifacts, including four rare pieces collected by the Burr family in 1855-1857. The February sale also features the Joseph J. Rivera collection, the largest group of Southwest historic pottery ever offered at Skinner, and two rare Eskimo masks.

Plains Indian Art
In 1855, the Burr family traveled west along the Oregon Trail to Utah. The father, David H. Burr, had been appointed the first Surveyor General to the state of Utah. His sons, David A. and Eugene Burr traveled with him through Indian territory and kept a diary of the journey. Eugene Burr died at the young age of 17 in 1857 and his initials are marked in two of the pieces Skinner is offering at auction: a mid 19th century Plains pony beaded hide shirt (lot 162, estimated between $80,000 and $120,000) and a rare pair of pony beaded hide trousers (lot 160, $6,000 to $8,000). A Cree panel bag (lot 161, $12,000 to $16,000) and a pair of hide moccasins (lot 159, $1,000 to $1,500) from the Burr collection will also be sold.

Other notable pieces from the Plains include a pictorial Lakota cradle (lot 224, $25,000 to $35,000) and a Lakota miniature pictorial tepee (lot 188, $20,000 to $25,000). Several pairs of fine moccasins and leggings are also available.

The Joseph J. Rivera Collection
The collection of the late Joseph J. Rivera of Santa Fe’s Morning Star Gallery includes a magnificent Kiowa model cradle (lot 77, $30,000 to $40,000), a beautiful Northern Arapaho beaded hide woman’s dress (lot 67, $25,000 to $35,000), a classic crow mirror bag (lot 70, $12,000 to $16,000), and a classic Lakota beaded cradle (lot 76, $20,000 to $25,000). A Pawnee-style bear claw necklace (lot 78, $15,000 to $20,000) assembled by Milford Chandler (1889-1981) will also be offered.

American Indian Pottery and Art from the Pueblos
The auction will offer excellent examples of pottery from almost every pueblo, from Acoma to Zuni. This represents the largest group of historic Southwest pottery Skinner has ever offered, with pottery from two major collections. Highlights include several Zuni frog jars, an exquisite Zia storage jar attributed to Harviana Pino Toribio (lot 406, $15,000 to $25,000), an unusual Tesuque painted pottery jar (lot 444, $3,000 to $4,000), and a Santo Domingo polychrome olla (lot 400, $1,500 to $2,000).

The pueblo tribes made kachina dolls to teach young people about their pantheon of gods. A group of fine Southwest polychrome carved wood kachinas features a large Hopi kachina representing Shalako (lot 308, $5,000 to $7,000).

Northwest Coast & Eskimo Art
Three rare and beautiful Eskimo masks will be auctioned, including two fine Yupik masks (lots 266 and 267, each estimated at $15,000 to $20,000). One mask shows a bird head on top of a circular human-like face, and the second depicts a face framed by stylized animal ears. The mask with the bird head, lot 266, descended in the family of Gustaf Osterberg, Chief mate on the US Coast and Geodetic Survey ship Yukon. Osterberg made at least five trips to the Alaskan coast starting in 1913, and possibly collected the mask on Nunivak Island.

The auction also includes a fine painted wood Tlingit finial, once in the Paul Rebut collection (lot 289, $25,000 to $35,000) and other excellent examples of Northwest Coast art.

Pre-Columbian Art
A collection of Pre-Columbian material from the late Italian tenor Sergio Franchi includes a large Nayarit standing female figure (lot 26, $3,000 to $5,000) and a large Colima warrior figure holding a feathered spear (lot 25, $4,000 to $6,000).

Previews, Catalogue, and Bidding
Previews for the auction will be held on Thursday, February 7, 2013, 12 p.m.-5 p.m., and Friday, February 8, 2013, 12 p.m.-7 p.m., and Saturday, February 9, 2013, 8 a.m.-9:30 a.m.

View the catalogue for #2636B online at

Prices realized will be available online during and after the sale. Skinner’s site also allows users to leave bids, order catalogues, and bid live in real-time through SkinnerLive! Like us on Facebook at