Each dealer queried had sales, even though High Noon attendance was lighter than in previous years. The pace of sales was less robust. There were approximately 10 dealers offering paintings by American Indian artists versus the usual 4 or 5. Pricey western paintings (Cowboy art) were plentiful, as was a full range of quality in vintage American Indian jewelry.
Tyrone Campbell’s booth featured this transitional steer pictorial weaving, pre-1900 in date. As cattle and horses were a measure of wealth amongst the Navajo, its subject matter is not so rare. The treatment of the steers as uneven sausage forms with legs is one indication of the weaving’s age. Priced $21,000, this soft painting (my choice of description) is graphically quite pronounced. Another dealer in a different booth offered another pictorial weaving from the same time period for $18,000. Tyrone’s books Fact, Fun and Fantasy Navajo Pictorial Weaving from the Weber Collection (1994) and Navajo Pictoral Weaving 1880-1950 Folk Art Images of Native Americans (1991) have accelerated interest in pictorial Navajo weavings over the last 15 years.
Likewise baskets with pictorial elements have attained a higher finger of value than those with strictly geometric designs, such as this Western Apache coiled example on www.SavvyCollector.com.
Vintage Navajo and Zuni jewelry was especially plentiful Bob Vandenberg, a dealer from Santa Fe, New Mexico had an eye-catching ketoh from the middle 1960’s to early 1970’s. Tufa cast, its handsome turquoise was from the Maginnis or Fox mine in Nevada. Priced $900, this silver arm guard greatly resembles one pictured on page 116 of Edna and John Bennett’s Turquoise Jewelry of the Indians of the Southwest.
Corinne Cain of www.SavvyCollector.com