News-Antique.com - Apr 22,2009 - New York, New York – Sotheby’s annual sale of American Indian Art, including Property from the Collection of Frieda and Milton Rosenthal in New York will take place on May 20, 2009. The sale will feature several distinguished private collections, among them: The Estate of Herbert Wellington; Property from the Collection of Morton and Estelle Sosland, sold to benefit the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation; Property from the Evan Maurer-Naomi Margolis Collection; the Estate of Milton and Frieda Rosenthal; and Property from the Collection of Mrs. Novella and the Late Edwin C. Lineberry. Works from the sale will be on exhibition at Sotheby’s New York beginning May 16.
The Herbert G. Wellington Collection of American Indian Art is one of the most distinguished of its kind. Originating
from the 1960s, the Collection grew over the span of three decades to include works of art from every major North American tribal tradition, many of which are considered true masterpieces. The Wellington Collection comprised the landmark 1982 book Pleasing the Spirits; A Catalogue of a Collection of American Indian Art, and it was the first private collection of American Indian art ever shown at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1983. The Wellington Collection has had a profound impact on the collecting and academic worlds of American Indian art. A highlight of the Wellington Collection is an extraordinary Washoe Polychrome Basket woven by the renowned weaver Dat so la lee (est. $175/225,000). Dat so la lee, was possible with the support of her patron, Abe Cohn, who hired her to produce baskets to be sold in his emporium. Without the burden of domestic responsibilities and the struggles of daily life, Dat so la lee was able to devote herself entirely to her craft for thirty years, from 1895 to 1925. Her weaving skill is unmatched – no other basket weaver so superbly integrated weave, shape and symbolization – and this sale represents the first appearance of her work at auction in almost twenty years.
This also known by the English name Louisa Keyser, was the first Washoe artisan to create baskets solely for retail sale. Another featured lot from the Wellington Collection is an Early and Rare Eastern Woodlands Wood Pipe, possibly Iroquois, which was included in the 1982 exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art entitled “Symbol and Substance in American Indian Art” (est. $150/250,000). This rare, sculptural piece has become a symbol of the Wellington Collection since its exhibition in 1982. The pipe, shaped like a war club, would have been used for tobacco-smoking ritual, and may have been used by a war chief in preparation for battle. A Pair of Haida Wood Figures, also exhibited at The Metropolitan Museum, will also be included from the Wellington Collection (est. $40/60,000). Also from the Wellington Collection, Sotheby’s will offer a brilliant copy of the History of the American Indian Tribes of North America by Thomas Mckenney and James Hall this June as part of its June 9, 2009, Books and Manuscripts