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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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Ivory Engraved Eskimo Shamans Cup
May 18, 10:00 AM EDT
Ivory Engraved Eskimo Shamans Cup
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$37510 Bids
Eskimo Engraved Shamans Harpoon
May 18, 10:00 AM EDT
Eskimo Engraved Shamans Harpoon
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$32510 Bids
Ceremonial Eskimo Osik Club Polar Bear
May 18, 10:00 AM EDT
Ceremonial Eskimo Osik Club Polar Bear
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$2009 Bids
TAINO PRECOLUMBIAN MANATEE VOMIT SPATULA
Apr 23, 9:00 AM EDT
TAINO PRECOLUMBIAN MANATEE VOMIT SPATULA
by Affiliated Auctions & Realty LLC
Est: $100- $200
$2108 Bids
Northwest Coast Wooden Headdress
May 18, 10:00 AM EDT
Northwest Coast Wooden Headdress
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$1756 Bids
BETTY JOE - A Female Portrait Mask
Apr 28, 1:00 PM CST
BETTY JOE - A Female Portrait Mask
by Saskatchewan Network for Art Collecting
Est: $180- $250
$1205 Bids
TURKOMAN ANTIQUE DECORATIVE LEATHER HORSE TACK
Apr 27, 3:00 PM PDT
TURKOMAN ANTIQUE DECORATIVE LEATHER HORSE TACK
by Sunset Auction
Est: $0- $0
$605 Bids
A small Qajar coco-de-mer begging bowl (kashkul) and an engraved brass inkwell
Apr 26, 10:00 AM BST
A small Qajar coco-de-mer begging bowl (kashkul) and an engraved brass inkwell
by Roseberys
Est: £200- £400
£1404 Bids
Eskimo Club
May 18, 10:00 AM EDT
Eskimo Club
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$804 Bids
BETTY JOE - Dzonakwa - The Wild Woman of the Woods
Apr 28, 1:00 PM CST
BETTY JOE - Dzonakwa - The Wild Woman of the Woods
by Saskatchewan Network for Art Collecting
Est: $180- $250
$1003 Bids
TAINO PRECOLUMBIA SHELL PURGING SPATULA
Apr 23, 9:00 AM EDT
TAINO PRECOLUMBIA SHELL PURGING SPATULA
by Affiliated Auctions & Realty LLC
Est: $100- $250
$703 Bids
(2) Wood & Steel Maces
Apr 27, 10:00 AM MST
(2) Wood & Steel Maces
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$203 Bids
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QASHQAI: 3'9" X 5'2" 21st Century
Apr 25, 9:30 AM EDT
QASHQAI: 3'9" X 5'2" 21st Century
by Eldred's
Est: $200- $300
$1002 Bids
AN OTTOMAN GILT-COPPER (TOMBAK) PILGRIM ZAM-ZAM EWER, OTTOMAN, TURKEY 18TH CENTURY
Apr 30, 1:00 PM BST
AN OTTOMAN GILT-COPPER (TOMBAK) PILGRIM ZAM-ZAM EWER, OTTOMAN, TURKEY 18TH CENTURY
by Plakas Auctions
Est: £4,000- £6,000
£3,2002 Bids
Jordan Seward (Haida/Squamish, b. 1972) Healin Wood Mask
Apr 28, 10:00 AM PDT
Jordan Seward (Haida/Squamish, b. 1972) Healin Wood Mask
by Hughes Auctions
Est: $500- $1,000
$2752 Bids
Two Penobscot Clubs
Apr 27, 9:30 AM EDT
Two Penobscot Clubs
by Rafael Osona Auctions
Est: $75- $125
$501 Bid
2PC Oceanic Carved Stone Figures
Apr 24, 10:00 AM EDT
2PC Oceanic Carved Stone Figures
by Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers
Est: $60- $200
$251 Bid
Antique Carved Shofar
Apr 30, 12:00 PM EDT
Antique Carved Shofar
by Akiba Galleries
Est: $25- $250
$251 Bid
A PAIR OF EMBROIDERED SUZANI CURTAINS, MODERN
Apr 24, 10:30 AM BST
A PAIR OF EMBROIDERED SUZANI CURTAINS, MODERN
by Dreweatts 1759 Fine Sales
Est: £400- £600
£2401 Bid
AN ILKHANID SILVER-INLAID BRONZE CANDLESTICK ILKHANID IRAN, 13TH CENTURY PROBABLY SHIRAZ
Apr 30, 1:00 PM BST
AN ILKHANID SILVER-INLAID BRONZE CANDLESTICK ILKHANID IRAN, 13TH CENTURY PROBABLY SHIRAZ
by Plakas Auctions
Est: £6,000- £8,000
£5,0001 Bid
A HIGHLY RARE INSCRIBED EMERALD, LATE 18TH CENTURY, INDO PERSIAN
Apr 30, 1:00 PM BST
A HIGHLY RARE INSCRIBED EMERALD, LATE 18TH CENTURY, INDO PERSIAN
by Plakas Auctions
Est: £4,000- £6,000
£3,0001 Bid
A MIDDLE EASTERN EYE MAKEUP CONTAINER, with bird finials. Diameter: 9.5cm
Apr 22, 10:00 AM AEST
A MIDDLE EASTERN EYE MAKEUP CONTAINER, with bird finials. Diameter: 9.5cm
by Raffan Kelaher & Thomas
Est: AUD20- AUD60
AUD151 Bid
TWO AFGHAN KUCHI TRIBAL RINGS, with filigree and inlay design, and bird and lion seals to tops.
Apr 22, 10:00 AM AEST
TWO AFGHAN KUCHI TRIBAL RINGS, with filigree and inlay design, and bird and lion seals to tops.
by Raffan Kelaher & Thomas
Est: AUD40- AUD80
AUD301 Bid
AN 18TH/19TH CENTURY PERSIAN ISLAMIC SILVER ALLOY HOOKAH PIPE BASE engraved with scrolling foliage a
Apr 23, 10:00 AM BST
AN 18TH/19TH CENTURY PERSIAN ISLAMIC SILVER ALLOY HOOKAH PIPE BASE engraved with scrolling foliage a
by Hannam's Auctioneers
Est: £80- £120
£601 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Other Cultures


Roseberys

Roseberys

Chiswick Auctions

Chiswick Auctions

Plakas Auctions

Plakas Auctions

Hannam's Auctioneers

Hannam's Auctioneers