Maori carved door lintel realises $72,000 at Skinner

A rare Maori carved door lintel has realised $72,000 at Skinner's November 9 sale of American Indian and Ethnographic Art in Boston.

It made a 140% increase on a $30,000 high estimate.

Skinner Maori lintel
The lintel would have been placed above the doorway to a dwelling

The piece dates to the 19th century and features carvings of two females and a male standing on a manaia-headed base that represents the earth mother, Papatuanuko.

It was acquired by the grandfather of the consignor in the south Pacific islands during the second world war.

A similar example, possibly by the same maker, features in the collection of the British Museum in London.

A statue of an ancestor that realised $1.1m at Sotheby's New York in 1998 retains the current record price for a work of Maori art.

A rare plains pony-beaded bowcase and quiver also performed well at the auction, realising $60,000 against a $25,000-35,000 estimate - up 71%.

It dates to the mid 19th century, and is decorated with a geometric banded design set with pony beads.

The quiver includes a tag that reads 'Quiver and arrows of a Sioux Warrior at the Black Hills'

It features characteristic fringing, and was sold along with two original arrows.

A late classic Saltillo Serape made $39,975, up 1,499% on a $2,500 estimate.

Serapes are traditional hand-woven blankets commonly produced in Mexico. Examples from near the city of Saltillo are notable for their adoption of a dark base colour, which is usually interwoven with brighter colours.

We have this strand of hair from legendary Native American chief Geronimo.

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