Beton Indian Story: A collector’s tale of recovery and renewal

The once buried Beton Indian figure, circa 1948, with missing arm and stand, recovered from beneath an apartment building in Brooklyn. (Photo courtesy Robert Rentzer)

When I was 8 or 9 years old, my dad gave me a dime store package of the Beton Indian figures. Eventually they all met the same fate as the real Indians of the West (going to the Happy Hunting Grounds), with one exception: A one-armed Indian who was carefully laid to rest. Perhaps, sorry for his loss of a limb, I decided to put him to rest in a mausoleum of sorts. Some 55 years later, I had occasion to return to New York with my wife. Wanting to show her where I grew up, we paid a visit to my old apartment building and even dared knock on the door. Read More +