American Indian art, jewelry and pottery for the astute collector

At the Desert West auction, which takes place in Mimbres, N.M., and online at, on Sept. 28 and 29, some of the most beautiful and unique examples of American Indian art, jewelry, weaving and pottery will be available for all to see, bid on and take home. It's the kind of show that any serious, or even not so serious, collector of American Indian artifacts will have to explore.

Cherishing the Native American legacy
Few groups have had a greater impact on the American landscape than the Native Americans. Their legacy – historically and culturally – is one that has survived repeated attempts to wipe it out. A symbol of that resiliency comes in the form of the artwork they have passed down through the generations, as well as in the objects that continue to emanate from reservations and private studios around the country.

American Indian jewelry
Jewelry, often featuring gems and precious stones, is closely associated with native culture, and the Desert West auction certainly has a wide selection of items that fit that description.

The Navajo cuff bracelet with seven turquoise settings (lot #1015) is one of the most jaw-dropping examples available. But it will be up for bid alongside a host of other stunning pieces of similar artistic excellence, including a sterling silver graduated bead necklace that is also of Navajo origin (lot #1084), a liquid sterling silver 30-strand necklace (lot #1087) and a Zuni sterling turquoise coral petit point bracelet (lot #1095).

Rugs and weavings
Whether you're looking for that perfect rug to tie the room together or want to find something to mount on a wall to use as a form of tapestry, there will be options aplenty on the 5th and 6th.

An eye-dazzling Navajo textile rug with a triangle and square pattern of red, white, black and brown that was made in the 1940s (lot #1208) is among the oldest items being auctioned off, and a Pendleton Chief Joseph blanket with a distinctive pattern that blends sunset oranges, browns and yellows with a particularly stunning bright green (lot #1271) will be one offering from which you will be hard pressed to turn away.

You can complement those lots with a vintage Mexican leather poncho that is both wearable and would make for an excellent decorative element (lot #1097). This magnificent piece of craftwork, measuring in with a 45-inch length, has several designs burned into the leather, including the image of an American Indian chief shooting a bow and arrow and several Western design border accents.

The fact that this American Indian art auction also has many pieces of exceptional pottery should come as no surprise, since that may be the medium most people think of when they reference native artwork.

Among the pieces available are a jaw-dropping Huastecan Hidalgo water olla from the 1920s (lot #1185) and a polished stone San Ildefonso pottery jar with black-on-black matte designs painted on its surface (lot #1249).

Native culture has never been more alive than it is on, with its regularly featured American Indian art auctions.

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