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Wed, Feb. 19

Indian art on sale at Smoki Navajo Rug Auction Saturday

Courtesy photo<br>Hand-woven baskets are among the items on sale at this weekend’s art show.

Courtesy photo<br>Hand-woven baskets are among the items on sale at this weekend’s art show.

An array of Indian art - rugs, baskets, pottery and jewelry - goes on the block Saturday during the Smoki Museum's annual summer Navajo Rug Auction.

Three hundred Navajo rugs from both private parties and on consignment from two trading posts will go to the highest bidders, said Linda Young, who chairs the museum's rug auction.

"We have some really lovely vintage rugs," she said, noting that some have come from Prescott-area people who have owned them for a long time. The collection also includes newer rugs from the Burnham Trading Post in Sanders, Ariz., and the Totsch Trading Post in Lukachukai on the Navajo Reservation. These rugs are crafted by Indians who consign them to the trading posts to sell.

Bidders will have the chance to choose among several Teec Nos Pos rugs, Yei rugs showing Navajo spirit figures and a Two Grey Hills design by Daisy Tauglechee.

"Daisy is perhaps the most famous of all Navajo weavers, known for her complex, tapestry-quality weaving," museum director Cindy Gresser said. Even though Tauglechee has since died, the museum once auctioned one of her rugs for more than $11,000, she added.

Other rugs are pictorials, such as one by Sarah Descheny that is black and white with tufted goats all over it.

"Everybody looks at the rug and smiles," Young said of that rug. "It's really folk art."

Rug values run from $75 to at least $9,000, she said, and pieces span from miniatures to a big chief's blanket that dates back to the 1930s.

"Some lovely baskets," including Yavapai baskets are also a part of the silent auction, Young said. "The Yavapai baskets are very well crafted and are very rare. They are wonderful baskets for collectors to own," she said.

None of the Yavapai baskets are from the Smoki Museum's collection, Young said. "They are all from private individuals."

Pottery, jewelry and some kachinas are also among the silent auction items.

The pots from Arizona tribes "are quite valuable," Young said, ranging in value from $900 to $1,500. A collection of pots that will also be available are from the Mata Ortiz artists colony in Mexico. These range in value from $100 to $400, Young said.

Jewelry that will be on the auction block includes errings, a couple of Fred Harvey bracelets, bola ties and "all sorts of things," Young said.

Previews of the rugs, the only items in the live auction, and the silent auction pieces are from 5 to 7 p.m. tonight and from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday. The silent auction of the pots, baskets and jewelry and other Indian art begins at 10 a.m. Saturday and ends at 11:30 a.m., when winning bids will be announced.

The rug auction begins at 1 p.m. Saturday and lasts until the rugs are gone, Young said.

Admission to the auction is free. The Smoki Museum is located at 147 N. Arizona Ave. For more information, call the museum at 928-445-1230 or visit

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