c. 1875
    Apple Tree, Pawnee, by John K. Hillers at Okmulgee, Indian Territory, May 14, 1875. Mounted on heavy paper mat with ink inscription, probably in the photographer's hand: "Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of Ethnology, J. W. Powell in Charge, Hillers Photo." Importantly, the subject is identified in ink below the image as "Apple Tree." Likely this was an inaccurate translation, probably referring to one of the native trees of the Southern Plains, possibly Osage orange, sometimes called "Osage apple," a favorite bow wood.

    The man's plucked scalp with central ridge of short hair and undecorated, black-dyed moccasins are tribal characteristics identifying him as a Pawnee. These two features appear in scores of Cheyenne ledger drawings as hallmarks of their Pawnee enemies. A roach headdress with decorated eagle feather is tied to Apple Tree's scalplock. The glistening highlights on his plucked scalp indicate that it was painted with greased vermillion, another tribal fashion often shown in ledger drawings. Silver ball-&-cone earrings decorate his ears. He wears two chokers, one of brass beads and the other of hairpipes. What appears to be the skin of a small bird hangs from the necklace against his chest. Tied to his shirt is a human scalp. The flesh side would have been accented with vermillion. Grasped in his right hand is a pipe-tomahawk, the haft decorated with strips of otter fur and pendant eagle feathers. A quirt with the handle made of an elk tine hangs from his left wrist. Note the silk ribbon embroidery in a forked, "deer track" motif edging his wool blanket.

    The same image, identified only as "Pawnee," is in the University of Pennsylvania Museum collection, #AD2000-1147.

    Dimensions: image, 7 ¼ x 9 ¼ inches; mount, 13 x 15 inches

    For more information, please click here.

    Condition Report*:

    Condition report available upon request.

    *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. 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.

    Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Flat Material, Small (view shipping information)

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2009
    19th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,126

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2018 April 17 Modern & Contemporary Art - Prints & Multiples - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    Thank you for the wonderful job Heritage did with promotion of this piece. So appreciative.
    Laura I.,
    Tulsa, OK
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2017 October 13 Illustration Art Signature Auction - Dallas
    2017 October 13 Illustration Art Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $1,098,328