Sunday, March 16, 2014


The annual Navajo Rug and Indian Art Auction was held yesterday at the Smoki Museum in Prescott.  I stopped by briefly and took some pictures.

This is one of the rugs up for auction bidders.

Many others awaited their turn to go under the gavel.

Other items at the auction were Hopi Katsina (kachina) dolls, baskets, pottery and even a Native American cradle board for carrying an infant on her mother's back.

This beautiful "story pot" sold for $475 after some spirited bidding.

The auctioneer said many of the prices were far below true value so the successful bidders went away with smiles on their faces.


Phil Perisich said...

One of the things I try to avoid in Native rugs is brightness. Brihtness usually means synthetic dyes rather than natural dyes. Just looking at the pictures, I would say these rugs are from synthetic dyes. Still beautiful but not quite the Navajo rugs of old.

Should Fish More said...

We have a small collection of Navajo blankets, rugs and some pottery. Most of it came from a relative of my wife's who got them around 1920.
The weavers before the 1870's used natural dyes, and the brown, black and tan colors are most common. Starting around 1870 the traders gave the weavers artifical dyes, more colorful and they thought they'd sell better.

A friends dad was the head of the then Indian Health Department in the '50s, and amassed a large collection of Hopi and Navajo pottery. He has two large jars/vases made by Iris Nampeyo, sitting out on a shelf. I've seen them many times, but I'd never touch one, both are worth more than my house.

Phjil Perisich said...

I worked with Indian Health Service in Alaska. I regret not buying the Native art that would come available every once in a while.

Steve said...

I guess you need to have some expertise or just deep pockets to by some of these items.

Catalyst/Taylor said...

Both, Steve.

Phil Perisich said...

The rug factories around Oaxaca, Mexico, still use natural dyes and are about half the price of the Navajo rugs. I have one hanging on my wall.

Stephen Hayes said...

I enjoy the simplicity and powerful designs of Native American art.

Judy said...

I love those rugs. Best I stay away from this auction, me thinks.

Thérèse said...

Each item you are showing is beautiful. I can imagine the prices.