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    Description

    A RARE CHUMASH POLYCHROME COILED BOWL
    c. 1850

    deer grass, juncas, and sumac

    Diameter: 17 inches

    The numerous American Indian tribes of California enjoy the august reputation of creating the greatest number of basket types throughout historic times to the present. In addition, they employ the largest number of natural materials utilized by basket makers anywhere. Remarkably, these attributes are true when worldwide basketry is taken into consideration. Through meticulous construction and the arrangement of complex, albeit often diminutive motifs-some approaching optical illusion, Chumash basket makers gained a worldwide reputation for their masterful creations. For their rarity in today's world, Chumash baskets occupy a pinnacle.

    With the handsome forms and proportions, warm hues and exacting execution so evident in Chumash basketry, it is no surprise that early explorers and travelers to the California coast soon took note of the beauty and elegance therein and, hence, took pains to acquire them. During his circumnavigation of the world (1789 - 1794), Alessanandro Malaspina visited Chumash villages and collected the stellar example housed in the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History today. During his voyage along the Pacific Coast (1791 - 1798), Captain George Vancouver likewise obtained a number of baskets from the people. Other visitors/collectors included Kiril Khlebnikov, an official of the Russian - American Company, who visited the Santa Barbara area in the 1820's. Moreover, it is a remarkable fact that the collection plate and other baskets at the Carmel Mission were Chumash in origin.

    The rarity of Chumash baskets today is in part explained by the fact that the Tribe's active basket making ceased by about 1890, and the last maker who was still somewhat active died in 1910.

    Benson Lanford
    March 2015


    Condition Report*: In overall good to very good condition.  Approx. 40% of rim with breaks/loss.  Interior coils below the rim intact.   Very slight fading (?)  and soiling in the basin.  The coils on the underside with approx. four areas of loss.  Base with scuffs and some loss to coils.  No apparent restoration.    
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Dates
    May, 2015
    15th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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