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Other Cultures

Ethnographic and indigenous artifacts appeal to collectors for a variety of reasons. Many associate the craft associated with these objects, which hearkens back to a time when people made exquisite objects using rudimentary tools. These artifacts, which include hunting and fishing implements, toys, ceremonial costumes, and statues, as well as arts and crafts, often required immense time and labor.

Indigenous objects offer a fascinating window into cultures that existed long before the advent of modern conveniences. The objects of their quotidian lives, from cutlery and vessels to art objects, were fashioned without the aid of electricity or advanced technologies. Furthermore, these artifacts, whether from Africa, the Americas, or Europe, showcase an aesthetic that is perennially appealing and unlike anything produced today.

The enduring allure of indigenous artifacts is evident in their contribution to the evolution of modern art, as early modernists such as Pablo Picasso and contemporary artists such as Martin Puryear incorporated aesthetic aspects of disparate traditions into their work.


Quick Facts

  • The Laplander tribes of Scandinavia produced handicrafts made from wood, bone, and antlers that are valued by collectors throughout the world for their restrained beauty
  • In 2013, Sotheby's sold a collection of Navajo blankets that brought in nearly one million dollars
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has tens of thousands of ethnographic and indigenous artifacts from cultures around the world

Recommended Items at Auction

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Chupak Juneau, AK Inuit Alaskan Art
Oct 30, 9:00 AM MST
Chupak Juneau, AK Inuit Alaskan Art
by Fidelity Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$32512 Bids
Tom Williams, 43 x 6 3/4 x 1 in. (109.2 x 17.1 x 2.5 cm)
Oct 27, 9:00 AM PDT
Tom Williams, 43 x 6 3/4 x 1 in. (109.2 x 17.1 x 2.5 cm)
by Maynards Fine Art & Antiques
Est: $200- $300
$2807 Bids
Vintage Bolivian Frazada Wool Rug Textile
Oct 26, 10:00 AM EDT
Vintage Bolivian Frazada Wool Rug Textile
by Material Culture
Est: $200- $400
$2757 Bids
A MARINID-REVIVAL BLACK CALLIGRAPHIC POTTERY FRIEZE Possibly Morocco, 18th - 19th century
Oct 29, 1:00 PM BST
A MARINID-REVIVAL BLACK CALLIGRAPHIC POTTERY FRIEZE Possibly Morocco, 18th - 19th century
by Chiswick Auctions
Est: £800- £1,200
£1606 Bids
Vintage Bolivian Frazada Wool Rug Textile
Oct 26, 10:00 AM EDT
Vintage Bolivian Frazada Wool Rug Textile
by Material Culture
Est: $200- $400
$2756 Bids
Michelle Severe Inuit Bone Jaw and Duby Stone Arrowhead Carved Hunting Knife
Oct 30, 9:00 AM MST
Michelle Severe Inuit Bone Jaw and Duby Stone Arrowhead Carved Hunting Knife
by Fidelity Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$605 Bids
Pre-Historic Woodlands Pot
Oct 30, 9:00 AM MST
Pre-Historic Woodlands Pot
by Fidelity Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$455 Bids
Large Sumerian Cuneiform Tablet
Nov 30, 10:00 AM GMT
Large Sumerian Cuneiform Tablet
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £500- £700
£655 Bids
Sumerian Proto Cuneiform Tablet
Nov 30, 10:00 AM GMT
Sumerian Proto Cuneiform Tablet
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £500- £700
£455 Bids
A Ceramic Cooking Pot, Fiji
Nov 01, 6:00 PM AEDT
A Ceramic Cooking Pot, Fiji
by Theodore Bruce
Est: AUD100- AUD200
AUD754 Bids
Ceremonial Primitive Wood Water Vessel
Oct 30, 9:00 AM MST
Ceremonial Primitive Wood Water Vessel
by Fidelity Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$254 Bids
Antique Tribal Carved wood Cup
Oct 30, 9:00 AM MST
Antique Tribal Carved wood Cup
by Fidelity Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$103 Bids
Nick, 10 1/4 x 9 3/8 x 5 1/4 in. (26 x 23.8 x 13.3 cm)
Oct 27, 9:00 AM PDT
Nick, 10 1/4 x 9 3/8 x 5 1/4 in. (26 x 23.8 x 13.3 cm)
by Maynards Fine Art & Antiques
Est: $100- $150
$1103 Bids
Vintage Tribal Hand Woven Rug
Oct 30, 9:00 AM MST
Vintage Tribal Hand Woven Rug
by Fidelity Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$153 Bids
Sumerian UR III Cuneiform Tablet
Nov 30, 10:00 AM GMT
Sumerian UR III Cuneiform Tablet
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £800- £1,000
£153 Bids
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CARL SMOOL "HEAD IN THE CLOUDS" SIGNED SERIGRAPH
Nov 07, 9:00 AM MST
CARL SMOOL "HEAD IN THE CLOUDS" SIGNED SERIGRAPH
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$102 Bids
A SMALL COPPER LUSTRE AND COBALT BLUE FOOTED POTTERY DISH Kashan, Iran, 12th - early 13th century
Oct 29, 1:00 PM BST
A SMALL COPPER LUSTRE AND COBALT BLUE FOOTED POTTERY DISH Kashan, Iran, 12th - early 13th century
by Chiswick Auctions
Est: £200- £300
£302 Bids
RARE ISLAMIC FORM 15TH C. VIETNAMESE BLUE & WHITE EWER FROM THE HOI AN HOARD
Nov 12, 11:00 AM EST
RARE ISLAMIC FORM 15TH C. VIETNAMESE BLUE & WHITE EWER FROM THE HOI AN HOARD
by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Est: $800- $1,200
$4002 Bids
Large Inuit Eskimo Carved Serpentine Stone Bird
Oct 30, 1:00 PM EDT
Large Inuit Eskimo Carved Serpentine Stone Bird
by Kavanagh Auctions
Est: $40- $15,000
$452 Bids
Three Elzac Ebony carved wood and lucite tribal mask pins with brass details. 4"H (largest)
Nov 01, 3:00 PM EDT
Three Elzac Ebony carved wood and lucite tribal mask pins with brass details. 4"H (largest)
by Ripley Auctions
Est: $100- $200
$402 Bids
Two ivory die with concentric circles, Iran, 19th century or earlier, each
Oct 26, 10:30 AM BST
Two ivory die with concentric circles, Iran, 19th century or earlier, each
by Roseberys
Est: £200- £400
£801 Bid
A damaged Kashan turquoise-glazed pottery bowl, Iran, 12th century, painted
Oct 26, 10:30 AM BST
A damaged Kashan turquoise-glazed pottery bowl, Iran, 12th century, painted
by Roseberys
Est: £50- £80
£201 Bid
Aymara Ccahua Ponchito, Pacajes, Bolivia, 19th C.
Oct 26, 10:00 AM EDT
Aymara Ccahua Ponchito, Pacajes, Bolivia, 19th C.
by Material Culture
Est: $300- $500
$2001 Bid
Corey "Nokatsi" Larocque, 14 1/2 x 15 x 6 in. (37 x 38 x 15 cm)
Oct 27, 9:00 AM PDT
Corey "Nokatsi" Larocque, 14 1/2 x 15 x 6 in. (37 x 38 x 15 cm)
by Maynards Fine Art & Antiques
Est: $1,500- $2,000
$1,0001 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Other Cultures


TimeLine Auctions

TimeLine Auctions

Roseberys

Roseberys

Auction Partners

Auction Partners

Chiswick Auctions

Chiswick Auctions