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The Peter Brams Collection of Important Woodlands Indian Art 17 January, 2012 Afternoon Session


THE PETER BRAMS COLLECTION OF IMPORTANT WOODLANDS INDIAN ART

Sale:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012 Afternoon Session

Viewing:

Saturday, January 14, 2012

10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Monday, January 16, 2012

8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

8:00 a.m. to End of sale. (viewing available during sale)

Location:

Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, Wallace Hall 980 Park Avenue at 84th Street New York, NY 10028

Auction Code: 1005

In sending absentee bids or making inquiries, this sale should be referred to as SALE 1005. Auction Inquiries & Bid Department: Sale Inquiries: phone: 212 734 2381 Info@kenoauctions.com

Auction Online: This auction features online viewing at Kenoauctions.com and live online bidding at Liveauctioneers.com.

President and Owner: Leigh Keno, leigh@kenoauctions.com

Staff: Sarah DeSanctis, Sarah@kenoauctions.com Jack O’Brien, Jack@kenoauctions.com Amy Sheldon, Amy@kenoauctions.com Catherine Skibitcky, Catherine@kenoauctions.com

Conditions of Sale: This auction is subject to Important Notices, Conditions of Sale and Reserves.

Front cover: Back cover:

Lot 322 (detail) Lot 346 (detail)

Inside front cover Lot 308

Inside back cover View of Peter Brams’ home


I

have a secret. I have had a long-term love affair with burl bowls and ladles; I am crazy about the stuff and have spent most of my life seeking items for my own collection, and treasure every piece as if it were a fine jewel.

So, I can say with genuine gratitude and pride that it is a great honor for Keno Auctions to present and offer The Peter Brams Collection of Important Woodlands Indian Art.

My love of Native American works, and burl in particular, goes back to when I was a young child. Growing up in Mohawk, NY, with my brother, Leslie, at the age of eleven, we discovered a small cache of bowls and ladles that were made by Woodland Indians – the thrill of it! There were three experiences that had a tremendous effect on me regarding my introduction to carved wooden bowls and ladles, and I would like to share them with you.

The Sleeper : One day, in 1970, we attended a garage sale near my boyhood home, and peeking out of a box just brought up from the cellar was a horse head – Leslie and I were practically overcome by excitement. As I examined the object I noticed the ears and eyes were delineated but the horse was actually the top of a burl ladle, with a wonderful patina and well worn surface; it was $15. I calmly snapped up the unrecognized treasure and once out of sight from the seller, we proceeded to do cartwheels on the lawn!

The Sage: A year later, I met the revered collector and dealer Devere Card in Hamilton, NY, who was setting up the first exhibition of burl ever mounted in the United States. My parents began to regularly drop us off at Devere’s home and we were allowed to run up the stairs to the inner sanctum – the “Burl Room”, where he kept his personal collection. I marveled over the organic yet contemporary aesthetic of the forms: the lushness and primal fecundity of a bowl and the well worn surface of its interior. The delicate carving of an effigy ladle, its paddle worn from centuries of use fascinated me. When I learned that these pieces were not only utilitarian but they had deep spiritual meaning to the Native Americans, I was hooked.

The Failed Experiment: One day my father sawed a knotty wood burl off the side of a tree and I quickly grabbed the piece and started to hollow it out with a chisel and hammer. Leslie and I filled it with charcoal briquettes, much like the Indians might have done, but to keep the coals fiery hot we cheated and fanned them with a hairdryer. Dozens of hours were spent laboring over that bowl and we ended up with a thick walled, homely vessel. Today, that very bowl sits behind my desk. The experience humbled me, and made me appreciate how challenging it must have been for the Woodland Indians to create these beautiful, powerful sculptural yet functional objects, some using only stone tools. They were Masters of their craft. The artistry required to produce burl bowls, ladles and objects was passed down for centuries, through generations of Woodland Indians. The quality of the objects created was far superior to that of the European settlers that came to America from the 17th through 19th centuries and their great sculptural beauty transcends time and aesthetic. Great art should trigger a visceral reaction. Great objects have an inner light that draws you in and envelopes you. Peter Bram’s collection of Woodlands Indian Art speaks to me on many, many levels in an astounding way. Thank you, Peter, for sharing the passion that you so fervently have for Woodlands Indian Art. Your love for and dedication to this art form has helped build a collection that is simply unprecedented in terms of quality, rarity, condition and provenance.

—Leigh Keno, December 2011 Keno Auctions would like to thank Steven S. Powers for his expert assistance in cataloging the Peter Brams Collection.

T

LESS IS MORE

he Brams Collection of Woodlands Indian Art is the most extensive and comprehensive collection of its type in private or public hands. With an obsessive focus on Woodlands sculpture (primarily bowls and ladles), Mr. Brams, by assembling such an immense collection, has greatly aided in expanding the understanding of this important material. Mr. Brams, born in New Hampshire, but long a native of New York has been collecting his whole life. For the past forty years, Brams has been through many collecting cycles—often the next overlapping with the previous—a true evolution. In the 1980’s Brams collected contemporary fine art (Basquiat, Gilbert & George, Carl Andre), then in the early 1990s Outsider Art (James Castle, Sam Doyle), which led him to American Folk Art (Bill Traylor, William Edmundson, Edgar McKillup, George Morgan, Moses Ogden, and numerous unknown artists and craftsmen). It was the best of American Folk Art that led him to Woodlands sculpture. In hindsight, it can be seen that in each step Brams was constantly sifting and refining, seeking the essential elements that compose great sculpture—assured form, quality of execution, and surface—which is the Woodlands aesthetic at its’ core.

For those who have been lucky enough to work with a collector as obsessive and curious as Brams, you will understand that to view a congregation of material like this together in one place was a privileged one. Though many Native American and Folk Art dealers are familiar with Woodlands burl bowls and effigy ladles—their experience in handing them are almost always isolated instances. Only a handful had the opportunity to view the Brams collection en masse in his apartment. Though the experience of seeing such quality and depth within a few hundred square feet was aesthetically intoxicating and simultaneously mentally overwhelming—it was also the best opportunity for a crash or extended course in Woodlands sculpture. To be able to see first hand how representational forms transformed into reductive or abstracted versions of the same on ladles and bowls was a unique one.

Woodlands art separates itself from other North American indigenous works, by imposing the “less is more” or “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” creed. For an example in contrast, the art of the Northwest Coast is powerful, often loaded with color and can hit you across the room— Woodlands art is understated and intimate—it invites you in.


WOODLANDS BOWLS

“They have dainty wooden bowles of maple, of highe price amongst them; and these are dispersed by bartering one with the other....” — Thomas Morton, circa 1625

Wooden carved effigy bowls are important and profound carvings of the Woodlands culture. Their marriage of utilitarian form with ceremony is arguably unsurpassed by any culture. The carvings are intimate and understated, yet powerful and bold without any contrivance. The carved effigies exude tremendous confidence and potential energy.

“Before any formal aspects of these objects may be effectively discussed, a single underlying concept must be recognized...wood is sacred.” Gaylord Torrence writes in Art of the Red Earth People: The Mesquakie of Iowa, 1989. Robert Hobbs continues from the same, “ “They regard trees, for example, as their grandparents. And bowls are formed of burls, which appear on tree trunks in enlarged growths that resemble the swelling caused by a human fetus. Since a tree’s swelling burl is a metaphor for fecundity, these bowls serve also as an image of hope in the sacred feasts where they are used.” Though Torrence and Hobbs refer specifically to the Mesquakie of the Sauk and Fox, these thoughts can suitably be applied to the beliefs of all Woodlands people.

Effigy bowls were not common utilitarian receptacles for food service—they were reserved for ceremonial feasts or medicine rituals. They were created with such thought and purpose that today we can understand just a fraction of their original import.

The Woodlands people were master bowl makers. Not only were their effigy bowls superb examples of indigenous art, their vessels for everyday food preparation, serving and individual use were often remarkable works masterfully conceived and thoughtfully executed in hardwood burls (ash, elm and maple). Their understanding of form follows function lead them to ingenious and refined design—think of the classic Iroquoian double handled bowl. They appreciated surface and the complexity that use and age lent to these vessels and these objects were passed down from generation to generation—for wood was sacred. WOODLANDS LADLES

“The end of the [ladles] handle is often surmounted with the figure of an animal or bird....These figures were often carved with surpassing skill, the proportions, and attitude of the animal being accurately preserved and studied.” — Lewis Henry Morgan, 1851 Effigy ladles of the Woodlands Indians are remarkably refined utilitarian objects carved with platforms that display dynamic small-scale sculpture. A ladle is the personal eating implement for an individual. Larger examples were for the tribe to be used during feasts and ceremonies.

Since, one was expected to bring his or her own spoon and dish to each meal, a small eating bowl and ladle or effigy ladle was part and parcel of every Woodlands person. The effigy carved upon one’s ladle was personally meaningful or representative of its owner. Effigies were often totemistic of one’s clan— bear, wolf, turtle, etc. Effigies, either abstracted or fantastical, were often carved in response to one’s dreams or illness. One would consult and discuss their dreams or visions with a medicine man and a design and type of wood would be decided upon.

Overwhelmingly, the perching bird is the most common animal found on effigy ladles. Others include the beaver, otter, bear, wolf, panther, Manitou, and other mythological creatures. Human effigy ladles are quite scarce and tend to be early. Principle to the Woodlands aesthetic, the carvings look to capture the essence of the subject—in this case, effigies are often difficult to determine—they may reduce the carvings to particular details (e.g. an eye) or to the general architecture of the body. The beaver ladles in Brams’ collection illustrate this point well—without the aid of the more representational forms, it would have been hard to figure out the more reductive examples. The same is seen with ladles that use the demilune. In early examples it is more clear that this represents the eye of a Manitou, and though it was later still part of the carver’s vernacular, some of its meaning looks to have been lost in the 19th century. Through our almost daily conversations on life, art and forming this collection, Peter has become a thoughtful friend and mentor—here I wish to thank him for affording me his friendship and the opportunity to aid in forming this most glorious collection.

—Steve Powers, November 2011, Brooklyn, NY


THE FAMILY FEAST

I

magine the aromas, tastes, and place settings at your Thanksgiving table with everyone ready to enjoy the special meal served on dishes reserved for such occasions. We all know the pleasure of being part of those special family dinners and holiday feasts that embody our traditions and mark our journey through time and generations.

Feasts like this are a part of all world cultures and it continues to be of prime importance to the many tribal groups who have made their homes in the Woodland and Great Lakes regions of North America for thousands of years. Since all adults used them, the expertly carved wooden bowls and ladles used at these feasts were the most common utilitarian objects in the Native American homes of these regions and were admired and commented upon by European observers since the 17th century. The only study of these forms after the first article published in 1908 (1), was an essay I wrote for the Detroit Institute of Arts that first appeared in 1986 and then again in 1989. (2) Therefore the present sale and catalogue of the Brams collection is an important opportunity to enjoy a large selection of aesthetically refined examples of this important Native American art tradition.

Given the nature of their use, Woodland and Great Lakes eating utensils are relatively small in scale, strong, yet light, with remarkably thin sides and handles. The people who used them moved to seasonal camping areas and all their possessions had to be carried on their backs or by their dogs so weight and durability were important factors in their manufacture. Many of these utensils were made for daily meals but the most important examples were used in religious feasts and are decorated with images of animals and anthropomorphic figures.

These figures had a variety of associated meanings. Some referred to an individual's clan affiliation and some were carved especially for important ceremonies of the Midewiwin Grand Medicine Society, healers, and even games of chance. In all cases the animal, human and spiritual figures carved on these objects represented social and religious forces of prime importance, and their use expressed vital concepts of personal identity and religious reverence. This tradition of representational imagery had its roots in the ceramics made in the ancient Woodland and Mississippian eras. The figures are of a pleasing scale relative to the size and form of the bowl of which they are an integral physical and visual element. The forms are usually recognizable even though they of a miniature scale and are carved with a minimum of anatomical detail. The subtlety of their proportions make them truly monumental in scale and we can envision them being made into large, super-sized objects like Claes Oldenburg did with his Pop sculptures. As with most Native American art objects, those of the finest quality were made by specialists, master artists with superb control of their tools and materials and a strong aesthetic sensibility that could capture the essence of a figure through minimal means. Their carving tools were made of stone, shell, and even beaver teeth, and the surfaces of the wood were finished with a smooth, even, polish that took on color and depth with repeated use and age. As F.W. Hodge wrote in 1906, "bowls that had been long in use for these games acquired a polish and color unattainable by art and were prized as tribal possessions." (3)

Unless the objects have a strong provenance, they can only be dated by a close stylistic analysis compared to examples with a known history, and by an assessment of their surface patina relative to other objects. It takes a good deal of use over a long period of time to attain the rich patination we so admire in these fine bowls and ladles. I have been using ash ladles and spoons made by the Mesquakie carver Arthur Black Cloud that are similar to, but less realistic than the Mesquakie Dog Effigy Ladle (lot 360) in the Brams collection. After over 20 years of use the heads and handles of my ladles are just starting to get a rich surface so I can imagine how may years or even generations were necessary to achieve a dark patina.

As works of art both wooden bowls and ladles form a long tradition of aesthetic excellence over a period of centuries. An example of their sophistication is well illustrated by the formal relationship between bowls with anthropomorphic effigy figures on their rims and their abstracted counterparts. This can be seen if we compare the beautifully stylized anthropomorphic arms, shoulders, and neck on the Western Great Lakes/Prairie Manitou effigy bowl in the Brams collection (see lot 366) with the17th century Eastern Great Lakes elm burl effigy bowl (see lot 308) with the even more abstract effigy which is a minimal visual metaphor of the thing that is being represented.

The same elegant transformation from the representational to the abstract is seen when we compare two early ladles in the Brams collection; the anatomically detailed Eastern Great Lakes (Mohawk or Iroquois) beaver effigy ladle ( see lot 372) with the more abstracted beaver figure on the end of its handle from the Eastern Great Lakes, New York area (see lot 376) . Each has its own distinct charm and power, two styles in one cultural tradition.

—Evan M Maurer, November 2011 Director Emeritus of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts

END NOTES

(1) C. Willoughby, "Wooden Bowls of the Algonquian Indians,� The American Anthropologist 10, 3 (1908) p.423

(2) Evan M Maurer "Representational and Symbolic Forms in Great lakes and Woodland Sculpture," in David W. Penney ed. Great lakes Indian Art, Wayne State University Press and the Detroit Institute of Arts (1989) pp. 23 - 38 (3) F. W. Hodge, ed. handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 30 (1906) p.164 (4) The Native American Heritage, p.124, no.130


301

302

302

302

301 Painted Shop Sign: D. A. Card. / ANTIQUES. / 52 UTICA ST. Original sign for DeVere A. Card Antiques, Hamilton, NY. Card was a well-known New York state dealer from the 1920’s - 1970’s who amassed museum quality collections of powder horns, iron and Colonial and Native American burl. He is regarded as the “father of burl collectors.” In 1971, Card mounted the first exhibit of burl in the Country which was exhibited at the Munson-Williams Proctor Institute, 1971. H. 30 3/4 in., W. 43 3/4 in.

$500-1,000

302 An Ash Burl Scoop Depicting a Reductive Bird, an Abstract Maple Effigy Ladle, and a Large Deep Ash Burl Bowl The scoop and the bowl: Central Great Lakes, early 19th century The scoop with a large deep bowl hewn from ash burl with the handle extending into the straight grain in the form of a reductive bird. The deep bowl with straight sides. L. of scoop 11 in. The effigy ladle: Eastern-Central Great Lakes Woodlands, circa 1820 For years this ladle was thought to be a cross in reference to the Christian conversion that many Woodlands people experienced. However, after spending some time amongst his ladle library, Brams started to doubt this attribution. It is Brams’ hypothesis that the carving may actually represent a reductive bird-of-prey or thunderbirdlike a cross section. (3) L. 9 inches

$1,200-1,800

303 Preening Swan Effigy Ladle Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, second half 18th century This delicate example has a proportionally large bird with openwork between the neck and body—the waisted handle is detailed with recessed bead at the waist. Exceptional dark color and rich patination. L. 5 3/8 in.

$5,000-8,000 303

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306

304

305

307

304 Ash Burl Ladle with Large Preening Bird

306 Four Reductive Bird EfďŹ gy Ladles

Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, circa 1780

Great Lakes Woodlands, first half 19th century

The handle large-scale openwork carved preening bird with delineated, incised carved perch. The bowl with old reshaping during in-use period.

Graduating in size, four reductive bird heads, two with large coxcomb devices and one with a large beak and another with pointed beak and a highly stylized coxcomb. (4)

L. 7 14/16 in.

L. 8 1/2 in. (tallest)

$1,500-3,000

$1,200-1,800

305 Four Bird EfďŹ gy Ladles

307 Small Preening Goose Ladle

1800-1860 Four bird effigy ladles illustrating a range of different carving sensibilities from representational to abstract (the two middle examples illustrate a bird of the same form; one is representational and the other reductive and nearly abstract). (4) L. 7 3/4 in. (tallest)

$2,500-3,500

Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, circa 1840 Delicate form with well rendered goose atop a simple handle. Openwork between the neck and body. L. 5 13/16 in.

$800-1,200

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308 Elm Burl Effigy Bowl Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, first half 18th century (or possibly earlier) In the canon of Eastern Woodlands bowls this example stands high in terms of sheer elegance and quiet beauty. It is truly sublime. The highly castellated back with repeating scallops recedes from the bowl as it rises, which is quite unusual. With the introduction of the opposing crest, the origin of this bowl is likely Northeasterncentral New York or Southern Ontario, which would suggest Iroquois or Ojibwa manufacture.

This elegant 17th century ovoid bowl is distinguished by a large, scalloped edged, triangular form incorporated into one end of the rim. This element represents the stylized anthropomorphic torso of a Manitou Spirit figure. The smaller form on the opposite side of the rim refers to a tail. Bowls with anthropomorphic or animal bodies have precedents in ceramics made hundreds of years earlier in the lower Woodlands and Great Lakes regions.

Though the nature of the carving is not fully understood, the castellation is interpreted as being avian in nature. However, it is possible that the rounded steps may refer to the backside of the underwater panther.

In considering the shapes of these vessels we must remember that they are works of art that were meant to be used at feasts and these rim extensions had a functional use as handles to make them easier to hold.

A bowl of similar proportions and line is illustrated though not discussed in Charles C. Willoughby’s article, “Wooden Bowls Of The Algonquin Indians,” American Anthropologist, N. S., 10, 1908, p. 426. That bowl, however, does not have the opposing crest and appears to have fewer scallops.

– Evan M. Maurer, Director Emeritus, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, December, 2011 L. 14 in., W. 11 3/8 in., H. 5 7/8 in.

$40,000-80,000 Provenance: Donald Ellis, Dundas Ontario Troha Bono Shrub Oak, NY Steven S. Powers, Brooklyn, NY Illustrated and discussed in Powers, S. North American Burl Treen: Colonial & Native American, Brooklyn, NY, 2005, p. 108.

308

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310 311

310 Group of Three Related Reductive Animal Effigy Ladles Eastern Great Lakes, circa 1780-1825 309

The three likely all reductive bear effigy ladles. The mid-sized one with a more developed effigy carving, exhibiting a fine patina under a later painted (mid-late 19th century) seascape and lighthouse scene in the bowl. L. 6 7/8 in. (3)

$2,000-4,000

311 Very Large Ladle and Large Reductive Bear Effigy Ladle Western Great Lakes Woodlands (Cree) and Great Lakes, first half 19th century The outsized Cree ladle is carefully carved with a thin bowl and proportional concave-fronted handle—the whole with a desirable old finish. The reductive maple bear ladle of atypical form, the ears carefully delineated and the back of the head with a vertical incised line. The bowl with burled wood. L. 14 in. (tallest) (2)

$1,200-1,800

312 Human and Bear Maple Effigy Ladle Great Lakes Woodlands, circa 1820 One can only speculate its meaning, but possibly a transference of power or energy? The whole is well executed with openwork carving around the figures. Strong tigering of the maple specimen throughout the handle and effigies.

The majority of Woodlands/Great Lakes effigy ladles feature a single representational element carved at the end of the handle. These figures are iconic forms that sit as majestic miniatures proclaiming a personal or clan relationship of the owner. 312

309 Bear Effigy Crooked Knife Eastern Woodlands, circa 1860 Penobscot, Maine This knife is carved with a large bear’s head effigy with relief carved ears and incised eyes and a slight open mouth—chip carved decoration around the edges. Appears to retain its original copper wrap around what appears to be the original blade. L. 9 1/2 in.

$1,200-1,800

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These two ladles (see lot 425 Human Effigy ladle) are unusual in that they represent more than one figure in the case of the human and the bear, or one figure interacting with an object, such as the man smoking a bear effigy pipe. In many cultural areas of Native America the bear is especially associated with healing and medicine. The bear and the human imply a narrative, a story that would have been understood by all who saw it. The use of tobacco and the smoking pipe are sacred ritual acts in Native American societies. So the representation of a man in the act of smoking was a familiar one and would have engaged the user and the viewer in another meaningful narrative. – Evan M. Maurer, Director Emeritus, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, December, 2011, referring also to lot 125 L. 10 3/8 in.

$3,000-6,000

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314

313

313 Maple Bird Effigy Ladle (Resembling a Bird Stone) Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, circa 1780 The Woodlands people carved ceremonial bird figures in stone for thousands of years before European contact. The figure carved upon this example resembles the architecture of these prehistoric stone carvings. Maintaining a dark complex surface with fine worn patina to the handle. L. 7 1/4 inches

$2,000-4,000

314 Ash Burl Bird Effigy Ladle with Coxcomb Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, second half 18th century The bowl is deep and full-bodied, the figure of the burl is vivid, and the effigy is quiet and elegant. The carving is interpreted in its entirety as a bird with a coxcomb and the handle and bowl as the bird’s body. Note the handles gently tapering concave surface. The old surface is very desirable with mellow old patina. L. 8 in.

315

315 Iroquois Ash Burl Bowl with Open Handles First half 18th century Early shallow bowl with prominent open cut handles extending from the rim. This style of handle is typically earlier than the later squared off handles with rectilinear handholds.

$4,000-8,000 Illustrated and discussed in Powers, S. North American Burl Treen: Colonial & Native American, Brooklyn, NY, 2005, p. 155.

H. 6 in., W. 19 in., L. 15.75 in.

$4,000-8,000

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317 (detail)

316 (detail)

316 (detail)

319 (Abenaki wisk pictured)

317 Penobscot Birch Root Club with Carved and Painted Bear Circa 1890-1920 Unusual example with a large bear head carved at the club end. The face is painted red with red eyes. Foliate chip carving extends down the handle. L. 23 1/2

$600-800

318

316 Two Penobscot Clubs

318 Four Penobscot Root Clubs

Large Penobscot Club with Face

Late 19th/early 20th century

19th century

Comprising, a monumental example with heavy chip carving on the handle and a single large horned forest creature carved into the large burl, an example carved with a small face atop a zoomorphic figure, and another with single large face, together with a small, plain birch root club/stick. (4)

Traditional Penobscot (Maine) club of exceptional character and form. This early example likely to pre-date the late 19th and early 20th century examples made for trade. A large male face is carved from within the root portion—fine floral chip carving covers the large handle. These clubs, fashioned from birch root/burl, were not made as weapons, but were used during important ceremonies and dances.

L. 31 3/4 in. (tallest)

$1,000-1,500

H. 24 in. Penobscot Root Club with Carved Face 19th century Fine early example with a single carved face with painted black highlights on the carving of hair, eye brows and eyes and chip carved handle. Appears to be the same hand as the large club that is illustrated in American Vernacular. (2) H. 20 in.

$1,500-2,500 Literature: Illustrated and discussed in: Maresca, Ricco, American Vernacular, p. 75

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319 Abenaki Hickory Wisk and Basket Stamp Woodlands, first half of 19th century An ingeniously made whisk out of one piece of hickory-the engineering and execution is astounding when one looks to figure out how it was made. Together with a rare wooden carved Abenaki basket stamp. The stamp with stained remains of green earth pigments. Basket stamp illustrated in online catalogue. (2) L. 11 in.

$300-500

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320

320 Atlantic White Cedar Burl Bowl Abenaki, circa 1760-1800 Regarded by many as the masterpiece of Abenaki white cedar burl vessels. The soft lines of the thickly hewn rolled lip, deep proportions and the repeating compass scribed decoration make it a transcendent object. The exterior retains thousands of overlapping rasp marks and the interior retains deep gouge marks. The scribed decoration is a variation on the Abenaki double curve motif commonly found on birch bark vessels and splint baskets. This petal design is seen on Micmac and Penobscot gaming pieces as well as Abenaki made boxes. It is also seen on Mohegan and Niantic (Southern New England) splint baskets (see DECORATIVE ART OF INDIAN TRIBES OF CONNECTICUT, p. 21, figure 8, a-c). From the same, Frank Speck writes, the designs “are pre-eminently floral, the figures being highly conventionalized. The main parts of the blossom are pictured. The corolla of the flower forms the center, surrounded by four petals....� The depicted flower is thought to be the blue gentian, which was used for medicinal purposes. For an in depth discussion of this vessel, please see, Powers, North American Burl Treen, pp. 186-187. L. 6 1/4 in.

$3,000-5,000 Provenance: Harold Corbin, Salisbury, CT.

321

321 Atlantic White Cedar Burl Bowl Abenaki, circa 1760-1800 This bowl has a tremendous presence. Typical of Abenaki white cedar burl vessels, it is proportionally deep, has a delineated flat bottomed interior and retains large gouge marks from the hewing process. Diam. 10 7/8 in.

$2,000-4,000 Provenance: Harold S. Kaufman, San Francisco, CA.

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322 The Thompson Family Seated Human Effigy Feast Ladle Algonquian, first half 18th century This important Delaware region human effigy feast ladle is very large in scale which gives it a strong sculptural presence. The bowl is carved exceptionally thin and the figure sitting atop the incurvate crook of the handle has delicate open carving between the arms and legs. Above the figure’s proper right eye is a carved feather pattern (likely representing a tattoo or headdress). A small cavity is present on the chest where the heart would be, (it is unclear whether this was carved or incidental to age). It maintains an extremely desirable dry surface with remarkable patination to the figure. Provenance: The ladle was found decades ago in the basement of the Alexander Thompson homestead, in Thompson Ridge, Orange County, New York. The figure seen here is powerfully portrayed. The face is minimally carved with only the eyes and nose delineated (there is no mouth). This reductive carving is representative of great Woodlands sculpture; the maker was looking to capture the essence of the subject—it is not an attempt at portraiture. Similar faces are seen on pre-contact stone maskettes (please see Willoughby, Antiquities of the New England Indians. Cambridge: Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, 1973, p.163) and on an important Southern New England ash burl human effigy bowl (Powers, North American Burl Treen: Colonial & Native American. Brooklyn, NY, 2005, pps. 100-102). The full figure sits with backside to the ground, knees up and arms forward. The same seated posture has ancient precedents and is seen on Woodlands works dating back to at least 50 b.c.-a.d. 250 (Brose, Ancient Art of the American Woodlands Indians, p. 67). It has also been found on a small sample of ladles and pipes. A smaller Mohawk ladle (American Museum of Natural History catalogue no. 50.1/1555) collected at the Saint Regis Reservation, Franklin Co., NY displays a similar character (though seated in the opposite direction). Another related effigy ladle (private collection), descended within a Herkimer Co., NY family, it too presents a full-seated figure,which faces the bowl.

211 (detail)

William Thompson (ca. 1700- ca. 1780) came from England to America in 1729 and settled near Hamptonburgh, Orange Co., NY (THE ORIGINAL HOUSES ON THOMPSON RIDGE 1778-1822). He later acquired 600 acres and his three sons, Alexander (1739-1814), Andrew (ca. 1741-1804), and Robert (1742-1832) divided the property between them. Alexander took the best lot and built a fine home and a working farm. His son, Alexander II (1782-1868) later took over the property and became one of the areas most successful farmers (Seese, OLD ORANGE HOUSES, Vol II, 1941, p.85). In 1803, Alexander II married Hannah Bull (1783-1865), a descendant of William Bull (1689-1775) and Sarah Wells (1694-1796), of Hamptonburgh, Orange Co., NY. Sarah Wells was the daughter of Christopher Denn, who was a partner of the original Wawayanda Patent. She was also the first permanent settler of Orange County. The story of Sarah Wells has been written about many times—here from the New York Times, September 14, 1884, William Bull’s Fortune, “...a sixteen year old girl [Sarah Wells] trampling in the wilderness where no white man had ever been before, and not a civilized being lived, with wild men [Indians] as her guides....” It is not unreasonable to speculate that Wells acquired this ladle as a gift from her Native guides or in trade through her Indian neighbors—and then it descended within the Bull/Thompson family line. Though catalogued as first half 18th century, it is possibly17th century. The carving is unacculturated and judging from the wear and patination it had years (if not generations) of ceremonial use before it passed into the hands of the colonial family. Please see front cover for detail of figure. L. 12 in.

$40,000-80,000

211 (detail)

14

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211

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Provenance: Wellington Collection Exhibitions: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1982, in the exhibit “Pleasing the Spirits” Illustrated in: Ewing, Douglas, C. PLEASING THE SPIRITS, p. 348, Plate 427. Powers, Steven, S. North American Burl Treen: Colonial & Native American. Brooklyn, NY, 2005, p. 172.

324 Elm Human Effigy Ladle Great Lakes Woodlands (Wyandot), circa 1780-1830 This carving depicting a man’s head and neck is very compelling. The bowl is exceedingly thin and the effigy is meticulously rendered. The features of the face are subtle and sensitively carved. Curiously, just one ear is rendered. This ladle relates to a group of Wyandot human effigy ladles one being in the collection of The National Museum of the American Indian and pictured in INDIAN ART IN NORTH AMERICA, Docstader, pl 237. The character and features of the face are remarkably similar to the face depicted here.

Most woodlands/Great Lakes objects identified as ladles are actually used as spoons to carry food from large communal bowls to smaller individual ones where they function as personal eating utensils. The majority of these have a backward facing, hook-like projection at the top of the handle. This has two functions; it is a convenient way of holding the ladle as the hook rests on the first finger of the user’s hand, the projection also allows the ladle to be placed on the rim of the bowl without falling into the center. In this beautifully executed example, the backwards projection has been carved into the face of a man with smooth, contemplative features that are echoed by the raised rib that runs down the outside of the ladle, adding strength and elegance to its form.

323

– Evan M. Maurer, Director Emeritus, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, December, 2011 L. 5 1/4 in.

$5,000-8,000 Literature: Discussed and Illustrated in: Powers, Steven, S. North American Burl Treen: Colonial & Native American. Brooklyn, NY, 2005, p. 172.

325 Maple Scoop with Pierced and Incised Star/Sun Decoration Eastern-Central Great Lakes Woodlands, circa 1820 With a large bowl and a short handle this scoop openwork carved hole is framed by incised star or sun decoration. Though related to other Woodlands draw scoops, the architecture of this scoop is unique. L. 6 5/8 in.

$2,000-5,500

324 (detail)

326 A Group of Three Related Ladles and a Large Maple Ladle with Pierced Hole and Sun Decoration Great Lakes, 19th century

323 Maple Kneeling Woman Effigy Ladle

Two with similar deeply grooved handles and one with a deeply waisted handled terminating in a small disc.

Great Lakes Woodlands (Wyandot), circa 1780-1820

The pierced hole ladle, Central Great Lakes Woodlands

Atypically, the carving is of a woman, as is her presentation. The deep proportion from the front of the bowl to the back of the handle is dramatic and unusual.

The design element here is similar to the large scoop with short handle (lot 325). It too has an openwork hole with serrated design around perimeter and incised decoration, the long handle here divided with a relief carved bar element.

She is quiet and solemnly depicted. As can be seen in the clever way the back hook becomes her lower legs, she is kneeling. Her hair is exacting and beautifully rendered. This ladle relates to a Wyandot women effigy ladle (sold Bonham’s & Butterfields, 2004) and scoop (National Museum of the American Indian, cat. No. 14/9600)

L. 9 in.; L. 11 3/4 in. (4)

$1,200-1,800

H. 6 1/4 in., L. 4 1/2 in., W. 4 in.

$6,000-10,000 16

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325

326

328

329 (left and center)

327

330

327 Abstract Effigy Ladle and Two Western Cree Maple Ladles

329 Two Ash Burl Bowls

Great Lakes Woodlands, circa 1800-1820

Hudson River Valley Woodlands, circa 1780

The first, carved from maple. This bold carving is without much precedent in terms of stylized design and execution. Having a small, deep bowl and a deeply carved handle with deeply cut “c” shaped hook at the end and vertical concave fish-shaped carving on back of handle. Warm mellow color and surface.

This lot refers to the two bowls on the left side of the corresponding photograph.

The second two Each exhibiting similarly delineated bowls and thin handles with a broad wing-like shaping just above handle’s juncture to the bowl. The larger ladle with vivid tiger maple in wing-like area: the smaller example with a full circle flat edge at top of bowl. (3) L. 9.5 in. (tallest)

The larger bowl has a strong taper to it. It is very thinly hewn and maintains a dry, almost ashen surface. The interior exhibits a well-defined area of usage with a dark ring half way up and thousands of fine utility marks below it. The interior basin is formed of a continuous curve and does not follow the lines of the exterior flattened bottom. The second is of an unusual, almost rectilinear form with rounded corners and carved with very deep sides. The exterior displaying a fine nutty brown patina and color. (2) L. 20 in. (largest)

$1,500-2,500

$1,500-2,500

328 Ash Burl Bowl with Extensive Remnants of Red Pigment

Illustrated and discussed in Powers, S. North American Burl Treen: Colonial & Native American, Brooklyn, NY, 2005, p. 128.

Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, circa 1780 Deep oval bowl with thin walls and complex surface. The exterior retains traces of original red paint. Interestingly, at one end of the bowl are what appear to be the witness marks of three fingers in black paint. L. 17 1/2 in., W. 12 1/2 in., H. 5 in.

$2,500-3,500

330 Medium Ash Burl Bowl with Shouldered Ends Eastern Great Lakes, early 19th century In the form of a handled bowl, but due to its smaller size not needing the utility of the pierced handles. Proportionally with a deep sweep and a small foot. The underside is unexpectedly beautiful with a deep carved into the bottom. Old collection number “14” on the underside of the bottom. H. 4 in., L. 11 in., W. 7 3/8 in.

$3,000-6,000

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332

331

332

332 Three Small Woodlands Vessels Early 19th century The first, a Woodlands small handled cup with interior keel appears to be hewn from maple burl. This small bowl or cup is hewn with a well-balanced form and interior keel or divided spine to the interior wall near the handle. This keel is part of the architecture of fine Woodlands ladles. L. 4 in. The second, a small handled woodlands effigy dish, possibly the image of a frog hewn from well-figured maple with evidence of carbonization to the bowl L. 6 1/4 in. The third, a maple effigy spoon, possibly the image of a frog. The spoon maintains a complex surface See Kenoauctions.com for illustration of effigy spoon (3) 333

L. 4 15/16 in.

$1,500-2,500 Literature: Illustrated in: Powers, Steven, S. North American Burl Treen: Colonial & Native American. Brooklyn, NY, 2005, p. 141.

333 Maple Burl Bowl and Ladle Iroquois (Seneca), mid 18th century This bowl is proportionally deep and hewn from an extremely dense specimen of maple burl. The interior is blackened from carbonization probably caused by heated stones placed in the piece.

335

331 Elm Burl Bowl with Shouldered Ends Eastern Great Lakes, circa 1780 Medium sized bowl with raised shoulders. The specimen of burl, being particularly dense, has taken on a high polish the exterior. In 1908, Charles C. Willoughby said, “A Chippewa bowl of elm wood, with side projections...is an excellent example of native woodworking. The walls are thin and of uniform thickness, the outlines being unusually graceful.” From “Wooden Bowls Of The Algonquin Indians,” American Anthropologist, N. S., 10, 1908, p. 431.

Because of the extreme density of the wood and general handling the surface of each has taken on a deep burnish and a high polish. There is an old loss to the rim of the bowl as well as several small cracks from the rim, and an old chip on the edge of the ladle of the bowl. (2) (bowl) H. 4 in., L. 8 7/8 in.

$2,000-4,000 Literature: Illustrated and discussed in: Powers, Steven, S. North American Burl Treen: Colonial & Native American. Brooklyn, NY, 2005, p. 132.

Together with a bone scoop (2) H. 3 1/2 in., L. 10 3/8 in., W. 7 in.

$4,000-6,000 Literature: Illustrated in: Powers, Steven, S. North American Burl Treen: Colonial & Native American. Brooklyn, NY, 2005, p. 126.

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334 No Lot 335 Group of Three Reductive Animal Effigy Ladles Eastern Great Lakes, circa 1780-1840 One of a large abstracted animal or trans-anthropomorphic figure with open carving, one of figured maple with a finely peaked back and deeply carved grooved open talon, and one a reductive horse. (3) L. 8 3/4 in. (tallest)

$2,500-4,500

336 Effigy Knife with Pig Effigy and Quilled Sheath 18th century / early 19th century Though the tradition of effigy carving is evident through study of the Brams collection, carved knives as such are quite rare. French made trade blades were put to practice just as were pipe tomahawk blades—the Woodlands people would haft them and make it their own, with ornamental metal, bead and quill work. The sheath is composed of deerskin, sinew and dyed porcupine quills and would have had an attachment near the top to hang around the neck of a warrior. The knife’s handle is carved from a fruitwood in the form of a pigs’ head. Though pigs were sometimes carved in the tradition of the Iroquois false-face, it is rare to see it carved here. Another rare pig effigy piece, also in the Brams collection, is the tiny pig effigy ladle (Lot 337) Knife L. 9 3/8 in., cover L. 9 1/4 in.

$15,000-30,000 Provenance: Herbert G. Wellington Exhibitions: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1982, “Pleasing the Spirits” Literature: Illustrated in: Ewing, Douglas C. Pleasing the Spirits; A Catalogue of a Collection of American Indian Art, fig. 124 336

337 Very Diminutive Maple Burl Pig Effigy Ladle Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands (Iroquois), 2nd half 18th century The presentation of the effigy here is atypical, as it has no distinct separation from the stem of the handle. The effigy appears to be the head of a pig with ears, snout, and a slightly open mouth. This is the smallest ladle in the Brams collection and the smallest that we have observed—note should be made of its scale. L . 3 1/8 in.

$4,000-8,000 Provenance: DeVere, Card, Hamilton, N.Y. Exhibitions: Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute; 1971 Illustrated in: THE USE OF BURL IN AMERICA, DeVere Card, p. 11, Plate III.

337

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338

339

340

341

338 Small Elm Burl Bowl with Shouldered Ends

340 Very Small Maple Burl Bowl with Raised Ends

Eastern Great Lakes, late 18th century

Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, circa 1780

Quietly sophisticat ed form with deep proportions and the raised shouldered ends each with a subtle beaded edge to aid in handling the bowl.

Small sized medicine or ceremonial bowl. The shaped raised ends in the subtle outline of a reductive Manitou. The whole having evidence of an extensive use history. The piece exhibits excellent patination and dark color.

Interior maintains a highly complex-carbonized surface. H. 2 7/8 in., L. 8 in., W. 6 in.

$3,000-5,000

339 Small Maple Burl Bowl with Reductive Manitou

H. 3 1/4 in., L. 4 in., W. 3 in.

$3,000-6,000

341 Very Small Woodlands Maple Burl Oval Dish with Beaded Rim

Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, late 18th century

late 18th/early 19th century

Small-medium sized medicine or ceremonial bowl. The shaped raised ends in the outline of a horned Manitou.

A fine example with a well defined shallow basin and beaded rim. Complex surface on rim and interior.

The bowl has evidence of an extensive use history and excellent patination with dark color. The interior and one end of the exterior are darkened from exposure to heat. H. 2 1/2 in., L. 6 1/2 in., W. 5 1/4 in.

H: 1 1/2 in., L. 4 1/4 in., W. 3 3/8 in.

$4,000-6,000 20

$1,000-2,000 Provenance: Herbert Wellington Collection

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343

342

344

344

344

345

342 Five Ladles with Reductive Manitou and Bird Features, two with 19th Century Labels

344 Three Ladles and One Dipper

Great Lakes, first half, 19th century

Comprising of an early Eastern Great Lakes ladle with large demilune shaped opening in handle, a large Central-Western Great Lakes ladle with a shaped lead wrap, a ladle with an openwork demilune shaped notch, and a large dipper. (4)

Two with incised Manitou eyes, one with a deeply grooved talon, one plain ladle with an old printed label, and a reductive thunder bird ladle worn from the repetitive use of a left hander, with early hand written label, “75 years old - year of 1909 - Made by an Indian whose name was Tutmosmaw.� (5)

$2,000-3,000

345 Small Medicine Ladle with Stepped Sides

343 A Group of Seven Ladles and One Crooked Knife

Circa 1780

Great Lakes Woodlands and Abenaki, circa 1780-1870 The ladles containing a few reductive Manitou effigy examples, two birds and two abstract examples. The crooked knife carved with a large disc terminal, which relates to two of the ladles. (8)

$1,200-1,800

L. 11 in. (tallest)

$800-1,200

L. 9 in. (tallest)

ladle L. 10 3/4 in. (tallest); knife L. 11 5/8 in.

Great Lakes Woodlands, 18th/19th century

The small scale of this piece should be noted. The ladle is masterfully rendered with a deliberate vision. (The top crescent may represent a quahog shell from which wampum was made-the Onondaga were the keepers of the wampum. Or it may also represent the head of a Manitou.) The handle has stepped sides. The crescent on top is similar to a Seneca ladle in the collection at the American Museum of Natural History (cat.# 50.1/1519). L. 4 1/4 in.

$2,000-4,000 Illustrated and discussed in Powers, S. North American Burl Treen: Colonial & Native American, Brooklyn, NY, 2005, p. 166.

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346 Figured Maple Lynx/Bobcat EfďŹ gy Ladle Great Lakes, circa 1780 Looking head on at this powerful sculpture, one should take note of the outline formed by the top of the head and the ears (please see back cover of present catalogue) This outline in full or in part can be seen on several important effigies bowls and ladles as the basis for the Manitou effigy. A related panther sculpture (dating from A.D. 1000-1500) illustrating this upper head outline is in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution (#240915). (Please see illustration below) The lynx ladle seen herein is the only known example of its kind. The airy open carving between the animals front legs and body and the commanding posture it displays is remarkable. The quality and sculptural quality of the piece is compelling and engaging. It is interesting to note that the posture seen here is strikingly similar to that of the Thompson Family human effigy ladle (Lot 322). Central to Woodlands mythology was the Manitou known as the Mishipizheu, or the Underwater Panther. This spirit creature was a powerful mix of a wild cat or lynx, serpent and horned bison and/or deer. Sculptural and pictorial depictions of this being extend back to the Mississippian Culture (800 - 1500). Within the Brams collection one will see several ladles and bowls with diagnostic elements that represent this creature. This is one of the most important examples known. The surface color and patina are extremely desirable. Out of context and without this aid the meaning of this form or reductive variations of it are hard to determine as anything meaningful. It may be argued that even within the Woodlands culture of the late 19th century the true meaning of these elements might have been lost to some of the carvers, cut they continued to include them into their crafts as they had already been deeply imbedded as part of their sculptural vernacular.

The artist who conceived and carved this ladle expressed a sense of movement and action unusual in a piece with only one figure. The large feline predator is shown climbing the handle of the ladle as if it were the trunk of a tree. It is perched there looking out over the landscape, on the alert for its prey and its next meal. As such it is a symbol of watchfulness, stealth, strength, and the potential for action, all of which are essential functions of the male hunter or warrior. – Evan M. Maurer, Director Emeritus, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, December, 2011 L. 7 7/8 in.

$30,000-50,000

346 (detail)

(Cat. #A240915-0) Department of Anthropology, Smithsonian Institution

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235

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347

347 Ash Burl Bowl with High Shouldered Ends and a Maple Bowl with Single Sided Shoulder or Castellation Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands and Central Great Lakes, late 18th century The first, a large ash burl bowl being the earlier of the two has a dynamic sweep between the high ends and low sides, of excellent figure and surface, however with loss in the bottom. Central Great Lakes, circa 1800 The second, of maple and circular in form with one wide raised shoulder. L. 17 3/8 in., W. 13 3/8 in. (larger); H. 3 5/8 in., Diam. 13 3/8 in. (smaller) (2)

$3,000-6,000

348

348 Large Ash Burl Bowl with Shouldered Ends and Recessed Handles Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, circa 1780-1820 A large bowl hewn thin from a magnificent burl specimen. The execution of the shouldered oval with cut-in recessed handles is extremely well done. As with many Woodlands carvings, the artisan honored the burl and left the natural inclusions untouched and unfilled. The underside of bottom is slightly concave. The color and the surface integrity are exceptional. H. 5 1/2 in., L. 20 1/2 in., W. 15 1/4 in.

$6,000-9,000 24

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349 (burl tray is not pictured)

351

349 Small Ash Burl Tray and Oval Elm Burl Bowl

351 Oval Ash Burl Bowl with Tapered Sides on a Raised Foot

Both from Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, circa 1800

Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, circa 1780

Flat trays or dishes are a rare form in North American burl. This example is hewn from a tight burl specimen.

Atypical form, very thinly hewn. Great surface with carbonized rim. Collection label from 1985 reads, “Finest American burl bowl I’ve ever seen - Extremely fine oblong burl bowl - very early -original - carved and burned out hollow.” h. 9 1/4 in., w. 6 in.

L. 5 11/16 in., W. 4 1/4 in. The second is a medium sized bowl thinly hewn from well-figured elm burl. Early pencil script is on the bottom (illegible).

$2,500-4,500

L. 7 in., W. 5 3/4 in. (2) See Kenoauctions.com for illustration

$1,500-2,500

350

352

350 Group of Seven Maple and Ash Burl Bowls

352 Reductive Bird Form Net Float

Eastern Great Lakes, circa 1780-1800

Northwest Coast, first half, 19th century

An assembled graduated stack of bowls, containing four small tapered bowls (the larger ex. Lillian Cogan), and three medium sized hewn round bowls. (7) diam. 9 (largest) (7)

With well oxidized color and darkened surface from black pigment and grime drippings. The weathered surface is from exposure to the elements.

$3,000-5,000

$1,200-1,800

H. 8 in., L. 12 1/2 in.

The large bowl in rear right of photo is not included in the lot.

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353 Maple Bird Effigy Ladle Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands (Iroquois), 1750-1785 “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” -Leonardo Da Vinci This is a great example to show how sublime an object can be when all the right things align: design, execution and surface. The wellbalanced large bowl and very thin handle lead into an ever so slightly crooked perch upon which a beautifully sculpted bird sits. The whole maintains a complex, dark and rich patina. H. 8 1/2 in., L. 7 1/2 in., W. 5 1/4 in.

$4,000-8,000

354 Thunder Bird Effigy Ladle Eastern-Central Great Lakes Woodlands, circa 1840 Strong form with a very Modern feel--the whole thinly hewn and blackened with heavily carbonized smoke. Tool marks evident on top of bird’s head. L. 7 1/8 in.

$2,000-4,000

355 Bird of Prey Effigy Ladle Eastern-Central Great Lakes Woodlands, circa 1820-1840 With a large, highly stylized, bird of prey atop a wide thinly hewn hale and bowl. Dark Surface blackened with heavily carbonized smoke. Retaining an old collection label on the back, “#388 - Winnebago Maple Sugar Spoon L. 8 9/16 in.

$1,500-2,500 353

354

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355

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356 Large Effigy Ladle with Bird of Prey and Incised Carved Handle Eastern-Central Great Lakes Woodlands, late 18th/early 19th century Well balanced ladle with a large, very thin carved bowl with incised carving up the handle that leads to small effigy of a bird of prey. The bird with openwork carving around its beak, body and perch. The incised carving on the handle is reminiscent of designs on Eastern-Central Great Lakes textiles. L. 8 11/16 in.

$4,000-6,000

357 Rare Raptor Effigy Pipe Tamp Circa 1870 Small scale sculpture in the manner of an effigy ladle, but on a Plains Indian pipe tamp. The scale of the bird in relation to the tamp gives it a strong presence. L. 12 3/4 in.

$2,000-4,000

358 Reductive Thunder Bird Effigy Ladle Eastern Great Lake Woodlands, circa 1800 A deceptively simple effigy ladle with the sleek head of a thunder bird incorporated into the short handle. The whole is masterfully executed with a thin bowl, the bowl leading straight into the handle within the same curve. The carving is quite modern in feeling and has a slight Art Deco feel to it. L. 6 5/8 in.

356

$2,000-4,000

359

359 A Group of Four Bird and Reductive Bird Effigy Ladles 357 (detail)

358

Eastern-Western Great Lakes Woodlands, circa 1740-1840 The first, possibly a grouse with a complex early surface, the next of abstracted form, another, in maple, of a fully rendered bird with tiger maple upper handle (probably Cree), and another of a reductive thunder bird. (4) L. 9 5/8 in. (tallest)

$1,500-2,500

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25/

360 Dog Effigy Ladle Mesquakie Settlement, circa 1865-1885 A striking ladle with a large well-rendered dog carved with ears and teeth within a partially opened mouth. White glass trade bead eyes with brass tacks. The large bowl carved finely and is thin, the handle with subtle keel to the back extending to the back of the bowl. Possibly carved by John Young Bear’s father or grandfather. Young Bear comes from a family of fine Mesquakie carvers. A superb heddle by John Young Bear is in the collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts. (81. 369)

The Mesquakie people have lived on their tribal lands in Tama, Iowa, since the 1830’s. They are known for their finely made beadwork and their carved wooden objects used in ceremonies and feasts. As with all styles of Woodlands/ Great Lakes effigies, most Mesquakie figures are iconic images that refer to the whole class of an animal type by presenting the typical, formal, qualities that define the subject being depicted. This dog effigy is a unique exception in that it clearly represents a particular animal. With careful renditions of anatomical details like the open mouth, the bright staring eyes, and the ears that stand up at attention, this canine is clearly a portrait of the owner’s favorite companion who participated in the hunt and protected the family. – Evan M. Maurer, Director Emeritus, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, December, 2011 L. 9 1/2 in.

$12,000-18,000 Provenance: By descent through the family of John Young bear, Mesquakie Settelment, Iowa Personal Correspondence: Gaylord Torrence, An Important Figural Ladle from the Mesquakie Settlement, June 2006 Gaylord Torrence, Kansas City, Mo Ned Jalbert

60 (detail)

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361 Burl Dog Effigy Ladle Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, 1780-1840 Though the dog was an important animal to the Woodlands people, dog effigies on ladles are quite uncommon. The character of the dog is well captured with a slightly cocked head, protrusions for ears, incised snout, and well rendered jowls. The bowl is proportionally small to the size of the handle and was likely once much larger, having been reshaped during its time of use. Surface maintains a rich patina from use. L. 9 in.

$3,000-5,000

362 Two Dog Effigy Ladles The first, Eastern Woodlands, possibly Northeast Coast near Maine/Eastern Canada, circa 2nd half 18th century Early ladle with a dog head effigy including eyes carved from the short handle of a large ladle or scoop-a large openwork circular hole is carved at the back of the scoop near where it meets the handle. L. 10 3/4 inches The second, Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, circa 1800 Carved from a dense specimen of maple, this ladle has a reductive dog’s head carved with details such as eyes and mouth, with a concave grove at the top of the head. L. 10 1/2 in. (2)

$2,000-4,000

363 An Assorted Group of Nine Hewn and Turned Ash and Elm Burl Bowls American Woodlands, circa 1780-1860 Of varied size, color and surfaces, forming an irregular stack. (9) H. 3 3/4 in., W. 8 13/16 in. (largest)

$1,500-2,500

361

363

362

Additional Information and Condition Reports at Kenoauctions.com

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253

364 (detail)

364 Reductive Elm EfďŹ gy Ladle Great Lakes (Potawatomi), second half, 18th century Though the meaning of this enigmatic effigy is unknown to us-its form imparts a message of significant power. Brams has hypothesized that the form is a reductively blocked interpretation of a bird of prey. Warm mellow patina with a dry bowl and a well patinated handle from hand use. L. 7 in.

$10,000-15,000 Provenance: Ted Trotta & Anna Bono, Shrub Oak, NY Literature: Illustrated in: Powers, Steven S. North American Burl Treen: Colonial & Native American. Brooklyn, N. Y., 2005, p.164.

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254

365 Maple Burl Effigy Bowl Sauk-Fox/Mesquikie, circa 1820 A bowl of startling quality. It is wafer thin with sophisticated lines and excellent color and surface. The effigy here is an interpretation of a Manitou. The form is dynamic and almost animate in nature, its arms or wings outstretched taking one into the belly of the bowl. The head has a curious partially carved point to the center (it is not a hole, stopping at 1/16” or so). It may represent the being’s eye or serve as a directional device. H. 4 in., D. 13 1/8 in.

$30,000-60,000 Provenance: Loras College, Dubuque, IA Mr. & Mrs. Larry Frank, Arroyo Hondo, NM Illustrated in: ART OF THE RED EARTH PEOPLE: THE MESQUAKIE OF IOWA, plate 125. Powers, Steven S., North American Burl Treen: Colonial & Native American. Brooklyn, NY 2005. p. 118

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255

366 Burl EfďŹ gy Feast Bowl Western Great Lakes / Prairie, first half, 19th century The line quality of this bowl is graceful and rhythmic. The elegant castellated sides depict two opposing Manitou in reductive terms. Possibly the finest regional example extant. Probably Western Great Lakes/Prairie, Sauk-Fox/Mesquakie, circa 1820

Bowls with similar effigies on opposite sides of the rim were made as early as the 17th century. The head, neck, and shoulders of these anthropomorphized spirit figures are completed by the rim, which serves as a symbol of their outstretched arms. By placing the figures on each end of the bowl the artist creates a sense of dialogue between the two sacred elements. – Evan M. Maurer, Director Emeritus, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, December, 2011 H. 5 1/8 in.; L. 15 7/8 in.

$25,000-50,000 Provenance: John Painter Collection Literature: Illustrated in: A Window on the Past, Vol. II, 2003, p. 939

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367 Hudson River Valley Maple Burl Otter Cup Probably Hudson River Valley, first half 18th century (or earlier) This Important handled cup is compelling. The execution of the cup’s handle in the form of an otter is thoughtfully and successfully executed. As with all great Woodlands carving “less is more” and the essence of the effigy is conveyed with minimal detail. This cup appears to relate to two other cups of similar design. One pictured in “ The Iroquois: A Study in Cultural Evolution” by Frank Gouldsmith Speck, p. 83, is also carved from maple burl and has an open worked handle. The effigy on the Speck cup is hard to identify but is decisively zoomorphic in nature. The other related example is in the Heye Collection of the National Museum of the American Indian and the outlines of the cup and the handle are similar to this one yet the handle lacks an effigy. Documentation from the Heye notes the cup’s origin as Scaticook of the Mahican tribes of the Hudson River Valley of New York and Connecticut. The openwork and the flatness of the carving is reminiscent of carvings seen on 17th century Iroquoian antler combs and relates to the Brams Collection important wolf effigy scoop (lot 368)

367

H. 4 1/4 in., L. 7 1/4 in., Diam. 5 3/16 in.

$10,000-15,000 Provenance: Charles de Volpi, Quebec, ONT Literature: Illustrated in: Powers, Steven, S. North American Burl Treen: Colonial & Native American. Brooklyn, NY, 2005, p. 107.

368 Elm Burl Wolf Effigy Scoop Iroquois (Seneca), first half 18th century (or earlier) The fineness of this carving is exceptional and its execution is nothing short of masterful. The bowl of the scoop is uniformly carved to just 1/16 of an inch. The effigy is seen by following the rounded terminal of the handle, which is its muzzle, then the eye ridge and then ears, followed by a slightly arched back and into the tail (the thumb stop). The open worked handle and ingenious thumb stop make it very comfortable in hand. As is evidenced from the smooth wear around the chips to the bowl and the fine patina, this scoop saw much use and despite the thinness of the bowl, it held up! The wolf effigy is slightly abstracted and relates to depictions of wolves as seen on 17th century Seneca antler combs (related renderings are seen on excavated examples at the Rochester Museum and Science Center). The positioning and style of this effigy carving relates to the important otter effigy cup in the Brams collection (lot 367). L. 11 in.

$6,000-9,000 Literature: Illustrated in: Powers, Steven, S. North American Burl Treen: Colonial & Native American. Brooklyn, NY, 2005, p. 174.

368

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369 Medium Ash Burl Bowl Eastern Great Lakes, circa 1780 A simple bowl of exceptional form and surface. Called, “the perfect bowl” by both Brams and Powers, this wide, shallow, round bowl is very thinly hewn and has a complex surface. H. 2 1/2 in., Diam. 8 1/2 in.

$4,000-8,000

369

370 Massive Iroquois Ash Burl Bowl with Recessed Handles Probably Mohawk, second half of 18th century Hewn from an extraordinary specimen of wood. This massive yet graceful double handled oval bowl has a vast body, which is supported by a well-balanced recessed foot that gives the piece an elegant lift. L. 27 1/2 in., W.17 3/4 in., H. 8 1/4 in.

$10,000-15,000 Provenance: Provenance: acquired in 1962 from a Vrooman descendent directly from the Vrooman homestead in Schoharie, NY; private NY collection.

370

371 Burl Bowl with Pierced Castellated Tab Central-Western Great Lakes Woodlands (Sauk-Fox or Mesquakie), 18th century Round shallow form with castellated tab handle with pierced hole in the center. Complex dark surface. Wood is a wide-open grain similar to elm, but is possibly Osage Orange. Old collection numbers on the bottom. Together with a related bowl with remains of a pierced raised tabbed handle. (2) H. 4 in., Diam. 13 1/2 in.

$4,000-8,000 Provenance: Freeman’s Auction, Philadelphia, PA mid-1980’s 371

Other Notes: Collector’s number 1073 in black ink on bottom.

371

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372 Maple Beaver Effigy Ladle Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, circa 1760 (or earlier) Beaver in upright position with arms and paws to its mouth eating; this carving is powerful sculpture. The fine incised horizontal reed (platform) delineates the handle from the platform. As with most successful Woodlands carvings, the carving is not overly detailed but reduced to the essence. An important example. L. 5 3/4 in.

$10,000-15,000 Illustrated and discussed in Powers, S. North American Burl Treen: Colonial & Native American, Brooklyn, NY, 2005, p. 162.

373 Large Reductive Beaver Effigy Ladle Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, circa 1820 Fine ladle of simplified form with a large highly reductive beaver effigy. L. 11 1/2 in.

$1,200-1,800

374 Two Reductive Beaver Effigy Ladles, and One Reductive Bird Effigy Ladle Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, circa 1800-1820 The two large reductive ladles each relating to the other reductive and more developed beaver ladles in the Brams collection, the bird of good form, thinly hewn-nice example. (3) 372

L. 10 1/4 in. (tallest)

$1,000-2,000

373

374

375

375 Reductive Beaver Effigy Ladle

Illustrated and discussed in Powers, S. North American Burl Treen: Colonial & Native American, Brooklyn, NY, 2005, p. 167.

Eastern Maple Great Lakes Woodlands The arcs of the body and tail make for a strong form. The architecture of the overall ladle is particularly elegant. The bowl is burl and the handle a curly grain. The ladle is thinly carved and exhibits an ideal surface of a dry bowl with good edge wear and a well polished and patinated handle and effigy. H. 10 in., W. 5 3/8 in., D. 4 1/2 in.

$1,200-2,200

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376

376 back view

377

377 back view

376 Beaver Effigy Ladle with Tail

377 Beaver Effigy Ladle with Large Frieze and Tail

Hudson River Valley Woodlands, circa first half 18th century (or earlier)

Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands (Mohawk, Iroquois), circa first half 18th century (or earlier)

This ladle relates to another early beaver effigy ladle in the Brams collection (Mohawk ladle with large scale beaver effigy and tail on four tiered frieze). The beaver effigy here however is carved more sleekly and occupies the full handle, and it too has a tail running down the backside of the handle. The bowl proportionally large bowl is hewn very fine and thin. The whole has an exceptional surface. Purportedly the initials, “I B” stand for John Bull (1721-1807) of Hampontonburgh, Orange County, NY, who was the son of William Bull and Sarah Wells (see lot 322, the Thompson family Human effigy ladle, for more information). Bull likely acquired the ladle in trade or as a gift. This is the only early ladle we have seen with branded initials. L. 7 5/8 in.

This exceptionally strong ladle has a dramatically large-scale beaver atop a four-tiered frieze with a well-defined tail running down the backside. It is very rare. The scale of the effigy in relation to the handle and bowl as well as the angle relationship of the bowl to handle is diagnostic of early-mid 17th century ladles (Prisch, Aspects of Change in Seneca Iroquois Ladles AD 1600-1900, 1982). This is quite possibly one of the earliest, non-excavated ladles extant. Provenance: Originally purchased from a Poughkeepsie, NY auction in 1971. L. 7 1/4 in.

$6,000-9,000

$6,000-9,000

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378 Elm Beaver Effigy Ladle Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, circa 1780-1835 This otter effigy gains its strength sculpturally from the seamless deep sweep off the handle, up its body, and into the plane of its raised arms. Open carving between the animals’ arms and head. Fine warm surface with edge wear from use, including chip on left shoulder. L. 9 1/8 in.

$6,000-9,000 Provenance: Andy Warhol Collection, lot 2514, Sotheby’s New York, 1988.

379 Two Maple Reductive Beaver Effigy Ladles Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, first half 19th century A very small ladle with a rich, highly complex dark surface, a thinly carved bowl and a highly reductive beaver effigy. The second, a ladle with a rich, highly complex surface with a highly reductive beaver effigy with delineated tail extending down the back. (2) The first: L. 3 7/8 in.; the second: L. 7 in.

$1,500-2,500

380 Very Diminutive Maple Burl Reductive Beaver Effigy Ladle Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, second half 18th century Without the aid of reference to other beaver ladles in the Brams collection, it may be difficult to interpret this ladle. However, the abstract carving seen here is clearly a reductive interpretation of a beaver. The chip carved border that separates the handle and the carving is a fine and rare detail. The bowl is carved remarkably thin. Special note should be made of the rare small size of this ladle.

378

L. 3 1/8 in.

$4,000-6,000 Illustrated and discussed in Powers, S. North American Burl Treen: Colonial & Native American, Brooklyn, NY, 2005, p. 163.

379

379

380

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381 Otter Effigy Ladle Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, second half 18th century A well-rendered openwork carved full bodied otter atop a platform with head turned around. Ladle displays an excellent use history. Please note how the wear to the right side of the handle has occured over time from use and made it more ergonomic for daily use. L. 10 1/2 in.

$4,000-8,000 Provenance: John Painter Collection

382 Otter Effigy Ladle Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, circa 1780 The sideways orientation of this ladle is atypical. The otter is subtly rendered with an ever so slender tail coming over the top of the handle and a sleek body joined with its front legs which are joined to the back of the handle-the openwork around the body creating an area to attach a thong. Hewn from a choice specimen of tiger maple and blackened with heavily carbonized smoke. L. 5 11/16 in.

$4,000-6,000

383 Two Effigy Ladles Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, circa 1820 The first, an abstract figured maple effigy ladle, likely in the form of two otters playing. A nearly identical example (though without the chip carved detail) is in the collection of Winterthur and pictured in Treasury of American Design and Antiques, Hornung, p.478, fig.1689. The second, an abstract effigy ladle (possibly in the form of a Manitou). The shaped end carved in a simple, but engaging manner. (2) L . 9 11/16 in. (tallest)

$1,500-2,500 381

Provenance: For the second ladle, Andy Warhol Collection, Sotheby’s New York, 1988, Lot 2514

383

382

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384

385

384 Fissured Maple Gaming Dish

385 Extremely Diminutive Bundled Dish with Gaming Pieces

Early 19th century

Possibly Ojibwa, first half 19th century

Bowls (Gä-jih) as such were used for a traditional Woodlands game involving peach pits (Gus-ka-eh). Of the few gaming bowls or dishes known, most have breaks with early repairs, as a rule of the game was to slam the bowl upon a blanket to bounce the peach pits.

Exceptionally small bowl with a well defined broad rim and a superbly carved base. Together with a set of bone and shell buttons or gaming pieces-each with or without red-pink color and incised markings.

A gaming dish of near identical form (also with breaks and repairs) is in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution, no. 81-2619. Another is illustrated in Lewis H. Morgan on Iroquois Material Culture, Tooker, p. 193-this source also describes in full the nature of game within the culture.

Bundle bowls complete with gaming pieces are extremely rare. A set of similar gaming pieces (Gus-ga-e-sa-tä) are illustrated in Lewis H. Morgan on Iroquois Material Culture, Tooker, p. 192-this source also describes in full the nature of game within the culture. H. 1 7/8 in., W. 2 in.

H. 2 3/4 in., W. 10 in.

$1,500-3,000

$3,000-6,000

Provenance: Gaylord Torrence, Kansas City, MO

386 (pigment decorated bowl pictured)

387

386 Two Round Bowls

387

387 Iroquois Ash Burl Handled Burl Bowl and Related Ladle

The first, Plains, 19th century, the deep bowl with beveled lower sides and well defined foot. The exterior decorated with a red earth and black pigment. The second small hewn ash burl bowl with broad rim, Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, 1800-1825, thickly hewn with broad band comprising rim, possibly used as a gaming dish. (2)

18th century

Diam. 5 5/8 in.

The bowl even in its decimated condition – missing the handle and part of the upper walls of the bowl on one end is in the form of a very early bowl – with high peaked open demilune cut handles. The ladle displays a similar dry surface. The handle has a chamfered neck. (2)

See Kenoauctions.com for illustration of second bowl

Ladle L. 10 3/4 in. Bowl L. 16 1/2 in.

$1,500-2,500

$2,000-3,000

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388

389 (one bowl pictured)

388 Double Handled Elm Burl Bowl Iroquois, 18th century This bowl exhibits a graceful undulating rim which adds movement and interest to the form. The rim of a typical Iroquoian double handled bowl dips down in between the valley of the handles; here it sweeps upward. H. 8 1/2 in., W. 18 1/2 in., L. 22 1/2 in.

$10,000-15,000 Provenance: Private, NY collection since 1958

390 (bowl with incised fish pictured)

The second is a very small, very thin maple burl bowl of irregular form with one wall more straight than the others-having a tiny pierced hole near the rim (possibly for a threaded thong). The third is a small round ash burl bowl (exhibiting the tangential grain) of fine form and surface. (3) For illustrations of all three bowls, please go to www. kenoauctions.com

$1,500-3,000 Provenance: DeVere Card, Hamilton, NY Exhibitions: Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute; 1971

389 Three Small Burl Bowls

Illustrated in: (the small elm bowl) Powers, Steven, S. North American Burl Treen: Colonial & Native American. Brooklyn, NY, 2005, p. 138.

Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, 18th/first half 19th cenury

Card, DeVere, THE USE OF BURL IN AMERICA, p. 19, Plate XVIII.

The first a tiny hewn elm burl bowl. This bowl is the smallest in the Brams collection and was also the smallest in DeVere Card’s extensive collection. It is the likely the smallest Woodlands bowl extant. (see photo above) H. 1 1/16 in., L. 3 15/16 in.

391

392

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390 Three Small Bowls Great Lakes Woodlands, 18th/19th century One small ash burl bowl with incised fish on the interior bottom, one early 18th c. example with excellent surface and one elm burl, example of 19th century. (3) See Kenoauctions.com for illustration of all bowls

$500-1,000

391 Ash Burl Round Bowl with Deep Sides Woodlands, probably New England., late-18th or early-19th century A very fine bowl exhibiting a superb surface-a nutty brown, well patinated exterior and a well-variegated dry interior with exceptional use history. Diam. 13 7/6 in.

$2,000-4,000

392 Ash Burl Bowl Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, circa 1760-1780 This may be the most heavily lacerated bowl that we have seen in terms of usage; it literally has thousands of knife marks to the interior basin and walls. These lacerations are years old and create a most beautiful and sublime interior surface. One really gets a sense of the life that this bowl led. It is proportionally deep and has a slight bean shape. Provenance: Bowl was purchased from a barn in Seawall, Ontario. L. 13 5/8 in., W. 10 3/8 in., H. 4 3/8 in.

$2,000-3,000 Literature: Illustrated in: Powers, Steven, S. North American Burl Treen: Colonial & Native American. Brooklyn, NY, 2005, p. 131.

393 Ash Burl Woodcock Effigy Ladle

393

Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, circa 1780-1820 This fine example has very sophisticated lines and transitional planes which are core to Woodlands sculpture. Note the subtle transitions between the bowl, to the handle, to the beak of the woodcock-all follow the same gently carved line. Open work on ladles is uncommon; on burl ladles it is even more so because of the unpredictable grain structure. The unpredictability is noted in the void on the upper part of the bowl. This recess is part of the natural burl and not loss from a break. L. 7 1/4 in.

$10,000-15,000

394 Human Effigy Ladle Eastern Great Lakes, 18th / early 19th century Carved from maple this, early example probably depicts a Woodlands native in profile with coxcomb or braided hair. Compositionally from a formal point of view please note how the relief (positive) carved nubs of the reductive shoulders/arms balance the thong hole (negative space) within the center of the head. L. 6 1/2 in.

$6,000-9,000

394

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396

397

397 Carved Pipe with Seated Figures Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, 19th century A complex carving depicting a white-man making an advance on a native woman (or visa versa) - she pushing and resisting. Given the period of the carving, the subject likely had a greater meaning as well perhaps that one should resist and fight the advances of all white-men. L. 4 in.

$1,500-2,500

398

395

395 Headless Human Effigy Ladle Sitting on Stylistic Chair Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, second half 18th century This is an elegant and rare ladle despite the losses to the effigy. A lanky headless figure sits on a highly stylized “chair.” The “chair” may represent a chair, a tree stump, or a large hand. The whole is simply and beautifully rendered and has a modern feel to it (the figure like the sculptor Elie Nadelman and the chair by a modernist such as Gerrit T. Rietveld) The buttress supporting the platform upon which the figure sits is also unique. H. 8 3/4 in., L. 7 3/4 in., W. 4 in.

$4,000-8,000

396 Human Effigy Pipe Eastern Great Lakes, first half 19th century The whole carved from maple with a large human figure with turned head holding the pipe bowl. The whole carbonized (blackened) from use, maintaining a first rate surface. L. 3 1/2 in.

399

398 Two Maple Ladles with Human Head Effigies

399 Five Ladles

Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, 1820-1840

Great Lakes Woodlands, 18th / 19th century

The smaller example with the simplistic head including incised ears, delineated from the swept-back handle and the larger with a large head, worn with minimal features, the heel carved with stamp containing an incised cross pattern within an oval. This pattern is seen on a bird ladle formerly in the Brams collection and one in the collection of the American Museum of Natural History (cat #50.1/ 1545, collected by Tefft, Erastus, 1910.) (2)

Four small examples of varied form together with a larger, well figured ash ladle of reductive human form. This ladle appears to relate to a bowl in the collection of the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center (#986-Bwo-27) and pictured on the cover of, Gifts of the Forest, 2000. (5)

L. 9 1/16 in. (tallest)

$1,200-1,800

$1,500-2,500 42

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L. 8 3/8 in. (tallest)

$400-800


400 Dakota Blackfeet Maple Burl Bowl First half 19th century The Blackfoot native Black Hawk fought in the battle against Lt. Colonel George Custer at the Battle of Little Big Horn in 1876. He suffered a wound to the head, survived and took on the name Wounded Head (Nata-Opi). Wounded Head was also a signer of the treaty at Standing Rock Agency, Dakota, October 11, 1876. Early 20th century tag attached to bowl. H. 3 3/8 in., L. 7 1/2 in., W. 7 1/4 in.

$2,500-4,500

401 Three Woodlands Belt Cups 19th century The first Chip carved open handle and interrupted band, probably Maine or Eastern Canada. Likely made for personal use rather than trade.

400

The second With chip carved border and carved foliate, heart, and cornucopia motifs, probably Maine or Eastern Canada The third With an open slotted handle and likely carved for personal use rather than for trade (3) L. 7 in.; 4 2/8 in.; 4 3/4 in.

$800-1,200

401

402

402

402 Two Bowls and a Burl Cup The first, a diminutive oblong shaped Sycamore footed bowl Eastern Great Lakes, circa 1800 Deep dish of elongated form-possibly used as a medicine bowl-possibly part of a Midé bundle. H. 1 3/4 in., L. 4 1/4 in., W. 2 1/4 in. The second, a small elm burl bowl with peaked end (boat form) Eastern Great Lakes, 1790-1830

403 402

A well-hewn cup with sharp and strong faceted planes to the exterior. The interior is smooth and follows the conical shape of the exterior. It fits very comfortably and ergonomically into one’s hand. The exterior is blackened and worn through on the high points. The nature of the burl is very tight and complex, however the species is undetermined. The black on the exterior is possibly pigment. H. 2 1/4 in., W. 4 1/4 in., D. 3 5/8 in. (3)

Small bowl with fine balance thin sides and a strong, ovoid shape coming to a peak at one side. Likely a medicine bowl; uncommon.

$1,500-2,500

H. 1 1/2 in., L. 4 in., W. 2 1/2 in.

Provenance: Burl cup found in Minnesota

403 A Sycamore Oval Bowl Central Great Lakes Woodlands, Potawatomie, circa 1800 Deeply proportioned bowl with a beaded edge. Warm mellow, highly oxidized surface. With an early label, “Pottawatomie Made From Sycamore.” H. 3 in., L. 6 1/2 in.

$2,000-4,000

The third, a burl cup, Western Great Lakes, circa 1800-1820

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408 Large Ash Burl Bird Effigy Ladle Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, Second half 18th century Large bird-of-prey commands its position atop a slightly delineated perch-the bowl is refined and broad at the same time-being a little heavier than typical. The whole with a dark, richly patinated surface. L. 8 3/8 in.

$3,000-5,000 Literature: Illustrated in: Powers, Steve, S. North American Burl Treen: Colonial & Native American. Brooklyn, NY, 2005, p. 169.

409 Ash Burl Large Handled Bowl/Scoop in the Form of Bird 404

405

Eastern Great Lakes, late 18th / early 19th century Well figured ash burl bowl with canted sides with long handle terminating in a bird’s head (possibly a heron) , the head slightly cocked. While most Woodlands effigy ladles and bowls isolate the effigy carving, the effigy in this instance is seen within the entire form. The head leads to the long neck (handle) and into the bowl -shaped body. L. 13 in.

$4,000-6,000

410 Two Carved Woodlands Canes First-half 19th century The first, with Otter Paw Holding a Clam Shell. The otter and clam are meaningful symbols in the Woodlands culture. The otter is seen sculpturally portrayed on effigy ladles and clams were used for food and shells themselves were often as spoons. The shell was of course also used to make wampum. 406

407

404 Maple Reductive Owl Effigy Ladle

406 Ash Owl Effigy Ladle

Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, late 18th century

Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, late 18th / early 19th century

Another ladle exemplifying the importance of the ladle library that Brams developed. Without the aid of the other owl effigy ladles, it would hard to “see” the owl here. Beautifully rendered with a proportionally large and thin hewn bowl and handle. The ‘tiger’ figuring is exceptional. L. 6 1/2 in.

$3,000-6,000

405 Snow Owl Effigy Ladle Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, 18th century Ladle with the early architecture of a wide, shallow bowl, the handle with delineated perch upon which the owl effigy sits. Reductive body with a serrated face simulating the look of feathers on a snow owl’s face.

Small figured ash burl ladle well executed with a balanced bowl leading to a handle with beaded perch upon which the owl sits. L. 5 3/8 in.

$3,000-6,000

407 Owl Effigy Ladle Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, first half, 19th century Well-balanced example with the owl divided between the front and the back, the straight handle strongly tapering into the owls belly. Very oblong bowl. L. 4 1/2 in.

$1,500-2,500

L. 4 1/4 in.

$3,000-6,000 44

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L. 36 in. The second, carved cane with fist, Northeast Woodlands, carved with the type of fist one might find on a crooked knife with thumb positioned outside the closed fingers. L. 35 1/2 in. (2)

$800-1,200


408

410 (detail)

409

410 (detail)

411 (detail)

411 (detail)

411 (detail)

411 (detail)

411 A Speakers’s Staff and Three Canes Depicting Human Heads

third

19th century The first, a speaker’s staff

Very good example with soulful expression carved from a dense specimen of ash burl. The inside of the man’s mouth retains red pigment.

Eastern Great Lakes (Iroquois)

L. 28 in.

Expressively carved with a flowing beard and with attention to the priest tonsure cap and cassock: The speakers’ staff would be used in confrontations as an effigy to invoke power over the priest or white-man. The speaker would grip the staff around the neck of the carving, symbolically choking or maintaining control of the engagement. Small wrought nails for pupils.

fourth, a cane

Ash burl human head Manitou with later cane mounting, circa 1820

L. 34 in.

with carved human head Woodlands, possibly Delaware The head carved with bulging eyes and well defined ears. (4) L. 33 1/4 in.

second, a cane depicting a man with hat

Illustrated and discussed in Powers, S. North American Burl Treen: Colonial & Native American, Brooklyn, NY, 2005, p. 196.

Woodlands, first half 19th century Woodlands carving of an acculturated Native or white man. Carving is direct and expressive.

$1,500-2,500

L. 34 3/4 in. Illustrated and discussed in Powers, S. North American Burl Treen: Colonial & Native American, Brooklyn, NY, 2005, p. 76.

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412

415

413

414

415

412 Ash Burl Handled Bowl with Reductive Turtle Effigy

413 Wooden Ball Club

414 Pre-Contact Club or Celt

Early Eastern Woodlands, circa 1680-1750

Great Lakes, probably 15th-16th century

New England/Hudson River Valley, circa 1800

A rare ballclub of early architecture and size with a ball-drop extending far off an angled handle. This style club is famously illustrated in a portrait of Etow Oh Koam, King of the River Nation, by John Verelst (1648 - 1734), who painted five Iroquois chiefs to commemorate a visit the five chiefs made to Queen Anne in 1710 (see Smithsonian Institution no. NPG.74.23.)

Rare and possibly unique club in the form of a monolithic axe or hafted celt. Hewn from one piece of old growth pine. One may associate it with a ceremonial mace and rank symbol due to the size and formthough wear and left thumb and forefinger holds indicate that it may also have been used as a weapon. The carved recess around the perimeter of the celt is quite intimidating, in that, from a distance or at a glance, it appears to be a stone celt in a wood haft.

When turned over the whole is read as a reductive turtle; the bowl its’ carapace, the handle its’ extended neck and the trefoil carved terminal its’ head. This bowl has a carbonized interior, which is seen three-quarters of the way up the interior basin. This indicates burning from heated stones tossed into the bowl to warm its contents (stew or medicine). A distinct red tone is infused into the wood within this area as well (possibly from medicinal herbs and barks).

L. 14 in.

$2,000-4,000

L. 18 1/8 in., diam. 12 1/2 in.

$4,000-8,000

A subtle, reductive dog effigy appears to be carved into the club. The extended or club portion is seen as the dog’s muzzle and the haft is the dog’s head. Found in 1998 in a pocket of anaerobic mud near Grosse Pointe, Michigan. Subsequently, the wood is extremely heavy (considering that it is pine) and is partially fossilized with some mineralization occurring in sections. H: 11 3/4 in.

$2,000-4,000 46

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415 Two Elm Burl Bowls The first, with double peaked ends Eastern Great Lakes, 1765-1785 Desirable long, narrow shape with raised ends terminating in tight peaks. The whole with well-rubbed surface; having a strong burnish to the exterior. The fact that the sides are extremely thin adds interest to this example. H. 3 in., L. 7 3/4 in., W. 4 1/4 in. The second, boat form Eastern Great Lakes, 1760-1780 Medium sized elm bowl with a shouldered end on one side and the sides tapering to a slow peak on the other. H. 3 1/2 in., L. 10 1/2 in., W. 7 1/2 in.

$2,000-4,000 Provenance: Roger Bacon, 1982: sold Skinner Sept. 24, 1982, lot no. 82

416 Ojibwa Red Painted Elm Ceremonial Burl Bowl Eastern Great Lakes, mid-18th century This is an exceptional boat shaped example with thin walls peaked ends and tapered body. Thin and hewn with the grace and balance of a master craftsman. The exterior probably retains its original red paint. The whole has a quiet, sublime quality to it-the delicacy of the elegant form combined with the contrast of the dark exterior against the light color of the interior.

416

L. 8 3/8 in.

$10,000-15,000 Interestingly an inclusion on the exterior appears to have been filled at an early date with some type of reddish sap.

417 Ash Burl Bowl with Peaked Ends Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, circa 1760-1780 This elegant bowl is very thinly hewn and had a wellused life. The exterior maintains traces of a greenoxide paint. The bowl has cracks and chips to one side. The longest crack is 10 1/2 in. long. Note should be made to how masterfully the repairs are executed. Forged nails were actually driven sideways into the thin walls to mend the split. L. 13 7/8 in.

$3,000-5,000

417

Illustrated and discussed in Powers, S. North American Burl Treen: Colonial & Native American, Brooklyn, NY, 2005, p. 125

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418

418 Very Large Ash Burl Effigy Ladle with Single Manitou Eye Woodlands, first-half 18th century The elongated disc and semi-circular cutout is interpreted as being the eye of a Manitou. This ladle exhibits a benchmark for surface, color and patination. Though catalogued as early 18th century, this ladle may very well be mid-17th century.

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L. 11 1/2 in.

$10,000-15,000 Illustrated and discussed in Powers, S. North American Burl Treen: Colonial & Native American, Brooklyn, NY, 2005, p. 161.

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419 Manitou Effigy Cup or Scoop Central-Western Great Lakes Woodlands, circa 1800 The outsized cup or scoop displays a large Manitou effigy with overlapping references to the being’s eye, head and horns. Hewn from rock maple, the cup/ scoop is masterfully carved with a thinly hewn bowl and dramatic rendering of the Manitou effigy. See, Powers, The Evolution of the Water Manitou as Seen Through Its’ Presence In Woodlands Bowls & Ladles, Good Wood Volume 1, 2008 and Maurer GREAT LAKES INDIAN ART, Representational and Symbolic Forms in Great Lakes-Area Wooden Sculpture, 1989 L. 8 in.

$10,000-20,000

419

420 Effigy Bowl with Two Lobes Pawnee, 1840-1860 Rare small effigy bowl with two pierced rounded lobes extending from one side of the rim representing a Manitou. A bowl of very similar form is in the collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts. (81.820) H. 1 1/8 in., W. 4 3/4 in.

$3,000-6,000 Provenance: William Samaha, Milan Ohio Literature: See Maurer, Evan, “Representational and Symbolic Forms in Great Lakes-Area Wooden Sculpture, Great Lakes Indian Art”, p.37.

420

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421 Burl Ladle with Scroll and Shell Carving New England or Hudson River Valley Woodlands, 1780-1820

Though technically not an effigy ladle, this ladle is carved with same degree of consideration. The scrolled terminal and the unusual reed-carved or perhaps shell-carved knee are unique. A similar scroll carving is seen on a bowl in the possession of Nathan Liverant & Son Antiques of Colchester, Connecticut and illustrated in THE USE OF BURL IN AMERICA, pl. XVI. The scroll is reminiscent of Abenaki carved crooked knives and also to the scroll carving one might see on the ears of a Fan-back colonial Windsor chair. L. 7 7/8 in.

$4,000-6,000

Literature: Illustrated in: Powers, Steven, S. North American Burl Treen: Colonial & Native American. Brooklyn, NY, 2005, p. 160.

422 Kneeling Fawn Effigy Ladle Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, circa 1780 Beautiful small ladle with a quiet sophistication. Balanced carving with fine details to the waisted handle. L. 5 1/16 in.

$3,000-6,000

421

423

422

424

423 Highly Reductive Buffalo Ladle

424 Maple Ladle with Chip Carved Panel on Handle

Western-Central Great Lakes Woodlands, circa 1800-1820

Eastern Woodlands, possibly New England, circa 1740

Here again we can see how the Native artisans are taking a familiar form and reducing it to blocked masses – the artisan has reduced the form to the essence of his subject.

This early ladle is carved with a chip carved panel at the top of the handle with a zigzag border framing a center set diamond shape with another diamond carved below the panel. A large circle is carved incised in the handle near the bowl. The carving style appears to be more Algonquin than Iroquoian in style and is possibly Eastern Seaboard or New England in origin.

L. 4 7/8 in.

$3,000-5,000

A related ladle is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (cat no. 10.125.588 g). L. 5 5/16 in.

$1,500-3,000 50

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425 Human Effigy Ladle Smoking Bear Effigy Pipe Western Great Lakes Woodlands (Cree), circa 1820 Skillfully hewn with a thin delineated bowl, this effigy ladle combines two Woodlands traditions in one; effigy ladle and pipe carving. The large openwork carved figure is crouching or climbing up the top-back of the handle and is smoking from a bear effigy pipe that bridges between the figure and the top of the handle. This is an unusual and compelling example.

The majority of Woodlands/Great Lakes effigy ladles feature a single representational element carved at the end of the handle. These figures are iconic forms that sit as majestic miniatures proclaiming a personal or clan relationship of the owner. These two ladles (see lot 312, Human and Bear Effigy Ladle) are unusual in that they represent more than one figure in the case of the human and the bear, or one figure interacting with an object, such as the man smoking a bear effigy pipe. In many cultural areas of Native America the bear is especially associated with healing and medicine. The bear and the human imply a narrative, a story that would have been understood by all who saw it. The use of tobacco and the smoking pipe are sacred ritual acts in Native American societies. So the representation of a man in the act of smoking was a familiar one and would have engaged the user and the viewer in another meaningful narrative. – Evan M. Maurer, Director Emeritus, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, December, 2011, also referring to lot (#312) H. 8 1/4 in., L. 7 in., W. 3 1/2 in.

$5,000-10,000

425

426

427

426 Two Ash Burl Flasks Together with a Maple Burl Box

427 Group of Four Small Burl Bowls

18th century (box)

Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, first half of 19th century

The circular flask with screw off top may possibly be Woodlands made (Native Americans were interacting with Christian Missionaries from first contact)-the bottom inscribed IHS (Iesus Hominum Salvator), a Rare Ash Burl Powder Flask, and an early 18th century maple burl vessel (missing cover) with note, partially legible, ‘used by Grandmother as… body powder…’ (3)

The larger thinly hewn from ash burl with ashen grey color, the next ash burl with a dark nutty color with a highly patinated surface (ex. Garrett), the next also ash with a few early fills to the bottom and the smallest of maple with a beaded rim and canted sides.

H. 7 1/8 in. (tallest)

$1,500-2,500

$1,200-1,800

Provenance: Clark and Mary Garrett, Fairhaven, OH

Diam. 5 1/8 in. (largest) (4)

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429 (detail)

428

429

431

430 (one bowl pictured)

428 Human Effigy Staff

430 Two Elm Burl Bowls with Deep Sides

Delaware, circa 1800

Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, probably mid-18th century

A powerful and rare example of an Algonquian effigy staff. Staffs as such would be held as speakers staffs or held by sachems as status symbols.

The first of early oval bowl of deep proportions and subtle refined foot.

H. 25 1/2 in.

The second of irregular shape with deep, nearly straight sides

$3,000-5,000

H. 2 3/4 in., L. 6 3/4 in., W. 5 in. (2)

H. 3 1/4 in., L. 7 7/8 in., W. 6 in.

$1,000-2,000

429 Tiger Maple Dance Wand in the Form of a Snake Possibly Santee Sioux, first-half of 19th century

431 Group of Nine Large Assorted Ladles and Mush Paddles

A very fine and rare slender snake dance wand carved from a beautiful specimen of tiger maple with trade bead eyes (one is missing).

Great Lakes Woodlands, 19th century

L. 25 1/4 in.

$1,000-1,500

Five ladles of large size, two with openwork carved demilunes and 4 mush or johnny cake paddles, two with ball-in-cage carving and one with shaped handle with chip carved decoration filled with red and green wax. L. 25 in. (tallest) (9)

$800-1,200

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433

432

434

435

432 An Assorted Group of Twenty-One Spoons and Scoops

434 An Assorted Group of Thirty-Four “Study Ladles�

Woodlands, Plains, Northwest Coast and California, 1780-1880

Woodlands, 1780-1880

Mostly carved from wood in various designs, a few of possible New England Algonquian origin, others of horn, bone and antler. (21)

Consisting of a wide range forms illustrating abstract and reductive forms and devices common to the Woodlands carvers vernacular. (34) L. 16 3/4 in. (tallest)

$800-1,200

$2,500-5,000

433 Shoshone Mortar and Ash Burl Hewn Mortar Shoshone mortar Plains, circa 1840-1860 The base of short conical shape with the vessel area extending into an inverted cone. The whole with a complex, untouched surface. H. 7 3/8 in., W. 4 in. Ash burl hewn mortar Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands, circa 1760 Native hewn mortars are scarce. We cannot recall seeing another hewn mortar in ash burl. This work vessel has an exceptional surface with a rich burnish to the top rim and interior from years and years of continued use.

435 A Group of Twenty-Eight Assorted Ladles, Including a Large Ash Burl, Manitou Effigy Ladle, a Bird Effigy Ladle Great Lakes Woodlands, 1780-1880 Consisting of a wide range forms illustrating abstract and reductive forms and devices common to the Woodlands carvers vernacular. Including a bird effigy ladle, a very large ash burl ladle, and an ash burl ladle with deep bowl (illustrated in North American Burl Treen, p. 178, and poss. 17th century). (2)

$3,500-5,000

H. 6 3/4 in., W. 5 15/16 in. (2)

$400-800

End of Sale

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Conditions of Sale

Bidding Increments

Participation in this auction is subject to and governed by the following contractual terms. Each prospective buyer is deemed to have reviewed, understood and accepted these conditions of sale and participation in the auction in any manner (in person, by telephone, by written bid or on-line) will constitute an acceptance of these conditions of sale by the participant.

The auctioneer will commence the bidding at any level and in increments considered appropriate. Bids will be sought in increments selected by the auctioneer who will have the absolute discretion to select any increments for any lot (and the discretion to vary the increments in the course of the bidding for any lot). However, generally speaking, the increments will depend upon the low estimate for the lot. Thus for example, for lots having a low estimate below $1,000, bids will be sought at increments of $50. The normal pattern for bidding increments will be as follows:

BEFORE THE SALE Condition Every item offered for sale will be sold subject to the actual condition of the property at the time of the sale (generally referred to as “as is”). Prospective buyers are permitted and strongly encouraged to thoroughly examine any property before the auction with the understanding that there is no representation or warranty of any kind concerning the condition or any of the physical aspects of any items offered for sale. Catalogue descriptions or verbal statements are offered as opinion and shall not constitute a representation or warranty or assumption of liability of any nature whatsoever.

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Increments $50s $100s $250s $500s $1,000s $2,500s $5,000s at auctioneer’s discretion

These increments may vary during the course of the auction at the discretion of the auctioneer.

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AT THE SALE

AFTER THE SALE

Terms of Bidding

Successful Bids

Online Bidding

The auctioneer has the absolute and sole discretion to refuse any bid and to advance the bidding in any manner. The auctioneer also has the right to withdraw any lot, and in the case of error and dispute (whether during or after the sale) to determine the successful bidder, to continue the bidding, to cancel the sale or to reoffer and resell the property. The highest bidder acknowledged by the auctioneer will be the purchaser. In the case of a tie bid, the winning bidder will be determined at the sole discretion of the auctioneer. In the event of a dispute between bidders, the auctioneer has final discretion to determine the successful bidder or to reoffer the lot in dispute. If any dispute arises after the sale, the sale record of the auctioneer is conclusive. Participation in the auction may be disallowed for any reason. A bid is an offer to purchase and by making a successful bid, a bidder is accepting personal liability to pay the purchase price, plus the buyer’s premium, all applicable taxes and all other applicable charges.

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Low Estimate < 999 $1,000 – 1,999 $2,000 – 4,999 $5,000 – 9,999 $10,000 – 29,999 $30,000 – 49,999 $50,000 – 99,999 > $100,000

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The Peter Brams Collection of Important Woodlands Indian Art  

The Brams Collection of Woodlands Indian Art is the most extensive and comprehensive collection of its type in private or public hands.

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