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


The basket was the top lot in an auction that grossed $464,000 (including the buyer’s premium).

SANTA FE, N.M. – A large, museum-quality Pomo burden basket with beautiful fine geometric designs done in red fern sold for $23,000 at the Best of Santa Fe auction, an event held each year by Allard Auctions, Inc., at Scottish Rites Hall in Santa Fe. This year’s auction, held Aug. 16-17, featured 900 lots of Western and Native art, American Indian artifacts and related collectibles.

Signed original gouache painting by Helen Hardin, a/k/a Tsa-Sah-Wee-Eh (1943-1984), circa 1980s ($3,738).
Signed original gouache painting by Helen Hardin, a/k/a Tsa-Sah-Wee-Eh (1943-1984), circa 1980s ($3,738).
The twined, conical-shaped traditional Pomo burden basket was in remarkable condition and was a huge example – 21 ¼ inches by 25 ½ inches. It was made circa 1890 and was easily the top lot of the auction, one that grossed $464,000 (including the buyer’s premium). The sale was packed with baskets, prehistoric pottery pieces, dazzling hand-crafted jewelry and wonderful artworks.

“Overall we were very pleased with the auction,” said Steve Allard of Allard Auctions, Inc., based in St. Ignatius, Mont. “Baskets, pottery, rugs and especially jewelry items all either met or exceeded our expectations, which were high to begin with. The only downside was that so many events were happening in Santa Fe at the same time. I hope this won’t be an issue next year.”

Between 150 and 200 people attended the auction live over the course of the two days (many of them repeat customers from past sales). Absentee and phone bidding was so brisk it combined for about half the gross. Internet bidding was driven through the Allard Auctions, Inc. website ( and the online platforms and

Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.

A beautiful hand-wrought Hopi belt buckle by Charles Loloma (circa 1980s), with raised and carved stones and a silver back, was the auction’s second top lot, fetching $6,325. Also, a finer weave earth tone storm-pattern Navajo rug (or weaving), with many feathers in the traditional design, measuring 48 inches by 79 inches (circa mid-20th century) changed hands for $3,738.

A finely woven Karuk “catch basket” (or flour tray) made from bear grass, maidendhair fern and woodwardia fern (circa 1925) by Florence Jacobs Harrie and considered her life’s masterpiece, garnered $5,750; while an historical Yokuts basket made by Waysheemlet in the early 1900s, featuring a deep bowl with a beautiful arched black arrow points (kots) design, rose to $4,312.

A finer weave ceremonial Yokuts “serving basket” – large at 8 ¼ inches by 26 ¾ inches – with elaborate polychrome designs, including cornstalk and rattlesnake bands, circa late 1800s, went for $3,738; and an important Wasco tall lidded soft weave Sally bag, loaded with traditional figures including condors, deer (or elk) and sturgeon, made circa 1880, commanded $4,312.

In the jars category, a scarce Hopi pottery jar by the renowned maker Fannie Nampeyo, a larger sized, low-profile polychrome example done with her famous “migration” pattern, hammered for $4,888; and a huge (12 ½ inches tall) prehistoric Anasazi pottery jar – a Soccoro black-on-white water olla with checkered medallions, partially restored and in good condition – brought $3,738.

Artwork wowed the crowd, led by a signed original gouache work by Helen Hardin (a/k/a Tsa-Sah-Wee-Eh, 1943-1984), depicting stylized tortoise and hare figures in the desert ($3,738); while a signed sand and paint on board work by Hardin’s father, Pablita Velarde (1918-2007), depicting desert roadrunners, sailed past its $300-$600 pre-sale estimate to command $2,588.

Many other lots went roaring past their estimates. A fantastic and large finer weave ceremonial Yokuts “serving basket” (circa late 1800s) expected to bring $500-$1,000 realized $3,738; and a classic strand of dark blue, Dutch-made faceted “Russian” trade beads in very good condition, 22 inches long, made in the 19th century, expected to reach $75-$150, ended up selling for $431.

Jars outperformed expectations, too. A rare, prehistoric Anasazi Tularosa black-on-white pottery jar with inward curved rim and elaborate encompassing design (est. $600-$1,200) topped out at $3,163; and a Cochiti early globular pottery jar with short neck and interesting floral design, in very good condition, 8 ¾ inches tall, circa early 1900s (est. $400-$800), ended strong at $1,955.

Returning to artwork, two pieces expected to bring $500 each realized $1,380. One was a signed sand texture painting by Pablita Velarde, done in the late 1900s and measuring 10 ½ inches by 11 ¾ inches (minus the frame). The other was a signed limited edition (#3/50) bronze free-form sculpture by Bill Worrell (b. 1936), titled The Eternal Guardian, 21 ½ inches tall, circa 1995.

A signed, original acrylic on canvas by David P. Bradley (b. 1954), depicting an encampment with a teepee, apple trees, cattails and a dog, rendered circa 1979 (est. $200-$400), achieved $920. Also, a rare, hand-wrought silver Navajo necklace with fylfot crosses and adorned with miniature conchos and round turquoise stones, 27 inches long (est. $500-$1,000), hit $2,588.

Allard Auctions, Inc.’s next big event will be the Big Fall Phoenix auction, another annual extravaganza, always held in Mesa, Ariz. This year’s sale will be held November 8th and 9th.

Allard Auctions, Inc., has been selling exclusively American Indian artifacts and art at auction since 1968. The firm is always in the market for quality merchandise for future auctions. To inquire about consigning a single piece, an estate or an entire collection, you may call them at (406) 745-0500 or toll-free: (888) 314-0343; or, you can e-mail them at [email protected].

To learn more about Allard Auctions, Inc., and the firm’s slate of upcoming events, please visit