At Bonhams Native American Art Sale

Los Angeles- The December 11 sale of Native American Art was led by an exceptional Tlingit rattle, circa 1770-1790, which realised $504,500 (estimate: $100,000-150,000). Attributed to Kadjisdu.axch, the greatest carver of wood among the Tlingit people, this rattle is expertly carved in the form of an oystercatcher with several figures including an eagle, a bear, and a wolf.

This work was originally collected by Dr. Hugh S. Wyman (1858-1913), an Assistant Surgeon aboard the U.S.S. Pinta, stationed in Sitka, along with fellow officer and noted ethnographer George T. Emmons in 1884. After resigning his Navy commission in 1885, Wyman remained in Alaska until 1899, residing on Douglas Island and Juneau before moving his practice to Olympia, Washington.

The attribution to Kadjisdu.axch comes from Steve C. Brown, former Curator of Native American Art at the Seattle Art Museum. "The greatest carver of wood in the history of the Tlingit people", is how this eighteenth century artist was described by Tlingit scholar Louis Shotridge, in a written narrative of his work on the Klukwan Whale House, transcribed c. 1917.

Other highlights of the sale included:

• A Lakota Sioux three-bladed effigy club, sold for $68,750

• An early Woodlands/Great Lakes quilled and beaded pouch, possibly Huron, sold for $40,000

Bonhams sale of The Alan and Bronnie Blaugrund Collection of Native American Basketry took place on December 10 and achieved $984,750, with sell-through rates of 84% by lot and 91% by value.


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest and most renowned auctioneers, offering fine art and antiques, motor cars and jewellery. The main salerooms are in London, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong, with auctions also held in Knightsbridge, Edinburgh, Paris, San Francisco and Sydney. With a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 22 countries, Bonhams offers advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full list of forthcoming auctions, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, please visit bonhams.com.

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