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Press Release - June 4, 2019

Rare Iroquois War Club Leads Heritage Auctions’ Ethnographic Art Auction

June 25 sale features scarce Chilkat blanket, reflects high demand for Northwest Coast artworks

Iroquois Ball Head War Club at Heritage Auctions
DALLAS, Texas (June 4, 2019) — A rare Iroquois weapon from more than 200 years ago is among the items in highest demand at Heritage Auctions' Ethnographic Art: American Indian, Pre-Columbian and Tribal Auction June 25 in Dallas, Texas. The top lots in this sale of American Indian, Pre-Columbian and Tribal art all come from private collections.

An Iroquois Ball Head War Club ($60,000-80,000), circa 1800, is a beautiful hand-carved hardwood piece with fine brown patina, measuring 28 inches long. Tracing back to the Iroquois tribe that lived mostly in what is now western and northern New York, it is a solid weapon, not just a ceremonial item.

"This is a beautiful weapon, and weapons are enormously popular with collectors, many of whom see them as the ultimate symbol of masculinity," Heritage Auctions Senior Ethnographic Art Specialist Delia Sullivan said. "Ball head war clubs like this rank right up there with the most coveted lots that come to auction, like war shirts, so to find one as beautiful and rare as this one, and in such exceptional condition, makes the interest more than understandable."

Two Yokuts Coiled Baskets ($50,000-70,000) is a lot of matching baskets from central California, circa 1925. It is most unusual to find baskets from so long ago with documentation naming the weaver – in this case, a woman named Aida Maggie Icho (a.k.a. Wachnomkot). To boot, the size and condition of these baskets is extraordinary, making them superlative examples.

From the same private collection as the Iroquois Ball Head War Club, a rare Northwest Coast Chilkat Blanket ($30,000-50,000) is the kind of lot that has remained popular with collectors, along with other items from the Northwest Coast. Woven of mountain goat hair in what has been called one of the most complex weaving techniques in the world, this is typical of the kind of garment that would have been worn by a chief during potlach (gift-giving feast) ceremonies. Chilkat weaving can be applied to a number of items, including blankets, robes, dance tunics, aprons, shirts, bags and wall hangings. Chilkat weaving often includes a long wool fringe that sways when the person wearing or carrying it dances.

Other top lots include, but are not limited to:

· Plateau Beaded Wool Horse Mask ($5,000-7,000)

· Hopi Polychrome Bowl, Possibly by Nampeyo, #19 ($5,000-7,000)

· Micmac Quilled Chair ($4,000-6,000)

· San Ildefonso Blackware Plate – Tony Da, #20 ($4,000-6,000)

Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world's largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

The Internet's most popular auction-house website,, has over one million registered bidder-members and searchable free archives of four million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos. Reproduction rights routinely granted to media for photo credit.

Steve Lansdale, Public Relations Specialist

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