40-piece Navajo silver box collection realizes $9,200 at Allard Auctions' Big Spring Phoenix Auction An outstanding collection of 40 hand-wrought, Navajo-made silver pill, jewelry and trinket boxes, many with turquoise stones sold for $9,200 at Allard Auctions’ Big Spring Phoenix Auction, March 8-9.
News-Antique.com - Apr 03,2014 - MESA, Ariz. – An outstanding collection of 40 hand-wrought, Navajo-made silver pill, jewelry and trinket boxes, many with turquoise stones and made between the 1930s and the 1980s, sold for $9,200 at Allard Auctions’ Big Spring Phoenix Auction, held March 8-9 at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites in Mesa, just outside Phoenix. Allard Auctions is based in St. Ignatius, Montana.
The silver box collection was the top lot of the sale and actually contained 48 pieces overall. In addition to the boxes, the lot also featured two great canteens (one with coral), a small dish and five non-Indian pieces. The boxes came in various sizes and most boasted great patina. All had lids or covers. The largest two were signed by noted silversmiths “L. James” and “Suzie James.”
Over 800 lots of Native American art and artifacts came up for bid in an auction that grossed about $322,000. Between 100 and 125 people packed the house in person, while online bidding (facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.com and iCollector.com) accounted for more than 500 registered bidders. Phone and absentee bids were also taken. In all there were about 300 successful bidders.
“There was a great deal of interest and excitement surrounding this sale way in advance of the actual event, and that told me it would be a huge success, which it was,” said Steve Allard of Allard Auctions. “It was one of our better auctions in the last two or three years. Just about all the major categories did well – jewelry, fine weave rugs, baskets, beadwork and unique items.”
Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.
Many items sailed past their pre-sale estimates to bring high dollars (the true hallmark of a successful auction). The silver box collection, in fact, was only expected to fetch $2,000-$5,000. Also, a spectacular graduated green turquoise heshi strand necklace with fetish birds, bears and tear-drop extensions of turquoise and spiny oyster (est. $275-$550) ended up bringing $2,875.
Other overachievers included a large polychrome Acoma pottery jar (by L. Concho), with classic floral motif in excellent condition, made circa 1978 (est. $400-$800) gaveled for $2,588; and an oversized Navajo turquoise and silver squash blossom Yellow Bird necklace set with about 200 carats of Morenci turquoise, beautifully crafted circa 1970s (est. $800-$1,600) garnered $2,750.
An early 20th century fully beaded ceremonial drumstick (Assiniboine/Gros Ventre), with a triangular drop and American flags in the design, in very good condition, made $1,840 against a pre-sale estimate of $300-$600. Also a very fine Navajo new wave storm pot (pottery jar), made circa the 1990s by the renowned McKelvey Sisters, estimated at $500-$1,000), went for $1,955.
Hopi pottery jars, in particular, did very well. A late 20th century Hopi olla (earthen pot used for holding water or cooking) by Hisi Nampeyo, with a flared rim and opposed polychrome parrot figures reached $1,035; while another Hisi Nampeyo example – a fine polychrome seed jar with four-way avian symbols, in very good condition