American Indian art and artifacts to highlight Jan. 4 auction

American Indian art and artifacts will be the subject of an upcoming auction at Allard Auctions Inc. in St. Ignatius, Mont. Right after the beginning of the new year, on Jan. 4, bidders will have the chance to lay their hands on more than 300 magnificent pieces that originated in American Indian tribes from all over North America.

This remarkable inventory is one of the most attractive collectors of American Indian history and art are likely to come across, making it a can't-miss event. But if a trip to Montana isn't in the cards, will be holding a concurrent online auction to provide out-of-towners with the opportunity to bring some of these fine items home with them.

American Indian art auction
American Indian art can take on many different guises, from clothing to jewelry to painting to weavings. On Jan. 4, examples from all of those styles will be on the block.

One of the more novel forms of art on display is a Nez Perce cornhusk bag with colorful, intricate design work (lot #10). This item, which was made in the 1930s and probably served as a tribal version of a purse, is both beautiful and practical, serving as a window into the artistic and everyday lives of the Nez Perce.

The Anasazi Indians of the American Southwest are one of the biggest mysteries in American prehistory. A thriving tribe, they underwent a massive migration in the 13th century, moving from the Colorado Plateau south into Arizona and New Mexico, abandoning the magnificent structures they had built there over the course of hundreds of years. To this day, archaeologists have yet to determine the reason for that migration, but the mystery has made the art and artifacts of the Anasazi – like the pottery pitcher (lot #123) that will be up for sale on Jan. 4 – highly desirable.

Jewelry auction
American Indian jewelry is some of the most sought after on the market. And that will certainly be the case at the Allard auction as well.

An all-silver overlay Hopi concho belt (lot #37) is a particularly impressive piece, as is a turquoise and silver Navajo/Zuni squash blossom necklace (lot #36). But that's just the tip of the jewelry iceberg. And with so many other startling piece available, bidders, collectors and jewelry fans will have their plates full trying to decide which lots are their favorites.

One way to get out ahead of the game is to head over to before the bidding begins to start picking out which items would make the best additions to your collection.

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