Sioux wicasas beaded shirt could realise $200,000 at Skinner

An exceptional Sioux wicasas beaded and quilled hide shirt, valued at $150,000-200,000, will headline Skinner's sale of American Indian and Ethnographic Art in Boston on November 9.

Sioux wicasas shirt
The wicasas shirt features small bundles of human hair, wrapped in porcupine quills and dyed

The shirt, which dates to the late 19th century, was worn as a ceremonial garb by wicasas - male tribe members who were considered especially deserving of the respect and esteem of other members.

They were presented to men who had lived honest, noble and brave lives - and indicated to all their elevated status.

The shirt is constructed from antelope skin and features detailed porcupine quillwork, along with impressive beading.

A northwest coast chilkat blanket, woven of mountain goat wool and cedar bark circa the 19th century, could make $40,000-60,000.

Chilkat blanket Skinner
Chilkat blankets have long fringes that move when the wearer dances

Chilkat weaving is predominantly practised by the indigenous peoples of the northwest coast of Alaska and British Columbia. One of the world's most complex forms of weaving, a single blanket can take up to a year to make.  

The complex formline patterns that are the hallmark of the blankets indicate tribal affiliations or depict legendary or mythical figures.   

In 2006, a chilkat blanket in the diving whale pattern sold for $47,500 against a $30,000-40,000 estimate at John Moran in Alameda, California - up 18% on its high estimate.

A Navajo third phase man's wearing blanket, featuring the characteristic stripes and diamonds, could make $30,000-40,000.

Last year, a Navajo first phase chief's blanket sold for $1.8m at John Moran - a new world record for a Navajo blanket.

We have this genuine strand of hair from the head of famed Native American chief, Geronimo.

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