A Paiute polychrome basket, Lucy Telles
Lot 1112
A Paiute polychrome basket, Lucy Telles
Sold for US$ 138,250 inc. premium
Lot Details
Baskets Property from the Cain Family Collection
A Paiute polychrome basket
Lucy Telles, 1926, the finely woven container with rounded sides adorned in a solid color zigzag band lined with sharp tapering serrates, repeated diamond and chevron arrangements in the reserves.
height 6 1/2in, diameter 11 1/2in
See illustration


  • Craig Bates' notes indicate: "An extremely finely made basket, certainly among the best of Lucy Telles' work. The basket is very similar to the two near-identical baskets formerly in the Degnan-Donohoe collections, and to the one basket in James H. Schwabacher's collection (Yosemite Museum Cat. No. 66, 844). 25-28 stitches per inch, 8 coils per inch. Perfect condition." Ella Cain's tag reads: "10D, Large Basket, Lucy Telles...Third prize Yosemite field day. Pictured with Governor Richardson." Bates responds to Mrs. Cain's notes by further suggesting: "Despite Cain's comment, a careful examination of the photograph of Governor Richardson shows that this basket is not the one in that picture. It is, instead, the basket exhibited by Lucy Telles at the 1924 Indian Field Days, and is easily seen in several photographs taken at that event." One such photograph in Bates' book "Tradition and Innovation - A Basket History of the Indians of the Yosemite-Mono Lake Area", page 97, illustration 186, shows Lucy Telles holding this basket and another lidded example. The caption reads: "Telles holds two of her baskets that were prize-winners in the 'best single basket category'. The basket at left (the present lot) won first prize, the basket at right won fifth, and each sold for $100 before the end of the Field Days celebrations."

Saleroom notices

  • The footnote indicates this basket appears on page 97 of Craig Bates' book "Tradition and Innovation". This basket is not the one pictured, but rather an almost identical example woven by Lucy Telles who favored this design, weaving at least four baskets in the style.
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