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The Antique Indian Art Show

Alice Kaufman | August 11th, 2013


Marcy Burns American Indian Arts, New York City, was asking $19,000 for this circa 1895 Hopi jar attributed to Nampeyo, from the Dwight and Lorraine Lanmon collection. Burns called the show “wonderful,” adding that the show was “well attended by collectors in a buying mood.”


These circa 1890 Arapahoe moccasins cost $4500 at Victor, New York, dealer Marty Gingras’s booth. “This is the best show I’ve ever been at in terms of the quality of the material,” he said.


Dealer John C. Hill of Scottsdale, Arizona, priced these carvings by Charlie Willeto (1897-1964) at $11,000 for the group. Hill said these were among Willeto’s earliest folk art carvings, circa 1960. He also said the show’s first full day “was like it used to be—a big crowd, a buying crowd.”

Santa Fe, New Mexico

As readers can see from the dealers’ comments below, the 35th annual Whitehawk Antique Indian Art Show, which took place in Santa Fe, New Mexico, August 11-13, was a roaring success. Attendance was excellent, and sales were frequent and in some cases substantial.

“Dealer after dealer told me this had been their best show ever,” said Marcia Berridge, Whitehawk Antique Shows’ producer/promoter.

Berridge said she is “very excited that the dealers were excited. We’ve been lucky that our clients have continued to come to—and buy at—the show through hard economic times. But we continue to be concerned about finding qualified dealers to exhibit, which is why we’re going to one show in 2014.” (Berridge also has produced/promoted an antique ethnographic show for an evening opening and a two-day run before the Indian show.)

“There was a concern,” she added, “that there would be fewer Indian dealers at the new show, but the combination of shows allows us to add back twenty-seven booths, and many dealers will be sharing, so I anticipate having at least seventy-five Indian dealers, and maybe more.

“We tried to do this last year,” she said, referring to blending the ethnographic show with the Indian show to make one show, and Berridge relented only when Santa Fe promoters Kim Martindale and John Morris announced that they would produce a replacement ethnographic show of their own. “Now we have thought about it for one year with time to get our promotional pieces ready.” And, in fact, each visitor to the show was given a goody bag containing a pen, notepad, and postcard, all proclaiming the dates. The show will run a little (“not a lot”) longer—opening Friday, August 15 (“We used to have Friday night openings, and now we will continue the tradition”) and running for three additional days, August 16-18. And the announcement that Kim Martindale and John Morris are producing a “pure” antique Indian show (the Antique American Indian Art Show) that will run from opening night on Tuesday, August 19 through August 21 hasn’t changed Berridge’s one-show plan.

“Going to one show means we have the opportunity to maximize the exceptional quality of dealers and material,” Berridge said. “This will not be a general antiques show in any way,” she emphasized, “but a showcase for top ethnographic and Indian dealers.”

For more information, contact Whitehawk Antique Shows at <mberridge@whitehawkshows.com> or (505) 992-8929 or see the Web site (www.whitehawkshows.com).

Dealer Tyrone Campbell of Scottsdale, Arizona, was asking (but only on request) $700,000 for this early (1840-55) and rare Navajo poncho serape. This year he found the crowd “different, younger, and asking questions.”

Dealer H. Malcolm “Mac” Grimmer of Santa Fe, New Mexico, was asking $45,000 for this circa 1800 Comanche woman’s cape. Grimmer told M.A.D., “Most of the dealers I’ve talked to who have quality material saw sales jump a quantum leap from last year. Collectors’ moods seem much improved over the last three or four years.”

Earl Duncan of Stilwell, Kansas, priced this 19th-century Northwest Coast Kwakiutl carved and painted “Bear Clan” chest with original paint at $12,500.

 

“Buffalo” Barry Walsh of Holden, Massachusetts, was asking prices ranging from $8000 to $9500 for each of these three carvings by Wilson Tawaquaptewa, made 1930-40. Walsh said, “It’s good to see the Indian art business continue to recover and to see so much beautiful material.”

Michael Higgins of Tucson, Arizona, was asking $3500 for these circa 1895 Apache high-top beaded moccasins. Higgins said the show had been “very good. I’m selling better items. Business appears to be on the upswing, praise the Lord!”


Originally published in the December 2013 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2013 Maine Antique Digest

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