Originally Published: March 16, 2015 6:03 a.m.
There's nothing quite like the feeling of being the highest bidder on a prized item, especially when that item is vintage. And a rug. On Saturday, March 21, the Smoki Museum will have its annual Spring Navajo Rug and Indian Art Auction, now in its 17th year, the auction is a fundraiser for the museum.
Auction Chair Linda Young said there are about 300 rugs up for auction, but stated that there's much more than rugs.
"We also have about a hundred items of art," she said. "That would be pottery, baskets, Kachinas, jewelry, all sorts of Indian made items other than Navajo rugs."
Young also added that there will also be Yavapai baskets up for auction, noting that they aren't made by the Yavapai-Prescott tribal members anymore. She said all of the baskets are ones that people have had or have been in museums and are rare and very collectible.
The auction is known throughout the state due to the vintage rugs, according to Young, who said other auctions bring in new rugs recently completed.
"In this area, we get lots of old, nice, quality rugs from the estates and ranches and so forth around the area," Young said. "People are wanting to sell them so dealers and collectors know that and they come to our auction to find those."
Young said there is one that dates to the turn of the century and it is in "beautiful shape."
About 20 percent of the auction's proceeds goes to the museum, said Young. And the amount taken in varies throughout the years. She said at the height of the housing boom, an auction grossed $150,000 and mentioned her hopes to have an auction like that again.
Young said the auction is a good place to learn about Native American art.
"You see it and you get a broad spectrum of art that you can kind of figure out what you're interested in or not interested in, what the values are and in the process of the auction," she said, adding that the auctioneer also tells of the symbolism and meaning behind the art.
The auction is at the Smoki Museum, 147 N. Arizona Ave., and starts at 1 p.m. For information, visit smokimuseum.org.