It’s fascinating (but not surprising) to see the great response to our feature on affordable antiquities and the short article on Widow’s Mites coins. The antiquities market is not one that gets a lot of press, however, as we’ve seen the boom market for Asian, Japanese and Chinese antiques during the last five years, so, too, has the antiquities market seen some growth.
Values in certain segments are still 30 to 40 percent off their pre-recession highs, but this only represents a great reason to jump into a dynamic and fascinating aspect of collecting. For those seeking to introduce young people into collection, 2,000-year-old oil lamps or 1,500-year-old coins represent a wonderful and affordable entry point to hook newbies.
Budget-wise collecting can be found on our side of the pond as well. Sales of Native American arrowheads are commonplace and most sell for just a few dollars. Unless, they happen to be collected, arranged and displayed with a mess of rattlesnake rattlers like the find shown above.
The stunning folk art display of 37 Native American arrowheads and 155 rattlesnake rattles recently sold for $1,000. The framed collection comes well documented from the Tommy Howell collection. It measures 24 inches by 24 inches and was sold in April 2011 by the Burley Auction Group in New Braunfels, Texas.
Be careful when buying arrowheads, however. Most experienced collectors know how to make them and fakes abound among a few unscrupulous sellers. From Warman’s North American Indian Artifacts, Russell E. Lewis, 2006:
“Native American culture has fascinated people the world over. The interest is translated to large scale via early and ongoing collecting of Native American artifacts by museums, ethnographic societies and universites. A problem of finding items on the open market is the great possibility of fraud. That is the security of buying from auction houses; provenance is not only given but significant documentation is offered on the items origin and legitimacy. Like all ancient artifacts: “To be forewarned is to be forearmed.”
Read more on collecting Native American artifacts:
- Apache baskets: Collectors strive to preserve a ‘dying art’
- Apache beadwork is poetry in motion
- Collecting North American Indian artifacts
- Preserving your family heirlooms
- Postcards offer unique images of Native American artisans
- Spot the Repro: Native American pipe tomahawks
More Resources For Collectors & Sellers