Native American, Pre-Columbian & Tribal Works of Art


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Chatelaine's Antiques and Appraisals Magazine > Jewelry > Expert Tip: Buying Antique Native American at auction

Native American Blanket

Butterfields’ Best-ever Selection of Native American Art


Some people consider ethnographic art to be primitive. With a few authentic exceptions, I feel this is a misnomer that borders on a slur.



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Important Ethnographic Art at Auction
on March 25 in San Francisco and Via the Internet

Native American, Pre-Columbian & Tribal Works of Art

13 March, 2002, San Francisco… Butterfields Auctioneers, the West Coast’s leading auction house, will bring to the block an extensive sale of Native American, Pre-Columbian and Tribal Arts on Monday, March 25, 2002 in San Francisco as well as on the Internet. Several important and spectacular lots should interest collectors of pre-Columbian works.

The property will preview in San Francisco March 22-25 (during Butterfields’ Arts of the West Week). The illustrated catalog is available for purchase and review at During the March 25 sale, clients may cast their bids from Butterfields’ San Francisco salesrooms and in real-time via the Internet, powered eBay’s Live Auctions capability.

Native American, Pre-Columbian & Tribal Works of Art

This sale features the finest and largest offering of pre-Columbian art every seen on Butterfields’ auction block. A Veracruz double-faced head, 550-950 AD, is a one of a kind example of the distinguished lots available. Jim Haas, Butterfields’ Director of Native American, Pre-Columbian and Tribal Arts Dept., comments, "This is a remarkable art object regardless of culture." The 10.5-inch high pottery mask appears as the cover illustration of a notable resource book The Face of Ancient America: The Wally and Brenda Zollman Collection of pre-Columbian Art and should bring $50,000 to $75,000.

Highlighting the more than 400-lots to be sold to the highest bidders are these four rare and exotic pieces from the Zollman Collection, much of which had been on display at the Indianapolis Museum of Art in the 1980s. They have also been published in The Face of Ancient America, the catalogue of the exhibition. Another work from the Zollman Collection is a remarkable Teotihuacan stone mask, 250-650 AD, which stands at 7.5-inches high. Says Haas, "This is one of the most sensitively carved and sophisticated examples known." The mask may bring as much as $60,000.

More than simply an intriguing art object, a Mayan Codex plate with celestial scene, 250-950 AD, 12.5-inch diameter, documents history through its glyphic text relating Mayan legend. It is estimated at $20,000 to $30,000. An intricately designed Huari featherwork poncho, 600-1000 AD, measuring 30x24-inches, depicts an anthropomorphic Sun figure and is expected to shine brightly during the auction, potentially bringing $15,000 to $20,000.





Cecilia Henle - Many Ponies
Many Ponies
Cecilia Henle
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