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Liz Claiborne Collection of tribal art headlining July 8 auction

A unique 19th century feast bowl, from the Liz Claiborne and Arthur Ortenberg Collection of tribal art is expected to vie for top lot at an auction offered by Heritage Auctions, July 8.

DALLAS – The Liz Claiborne and Arthur Ortenberg Collection of Tribal Art and rarities from the American/Canadian Northwest headline Heritage Auction’s summer Ethnographic Art: American Indian, Pre-Columbian & Tribal auction July 8 in Dallas. Single-owner collections across multiple collecting categories offer fresh-to-market discoveries for collectors, said Delia Sullivan, Director of

feast bowl

Unusual Northwest Coast feast bowl, likely from the Nootka Indians, circa 1800. (All photos courtesy Heritage Auctions)

Ethnographic Art at Heritage.

“It was a career highlight to work on the Liz Claiborne and Arthur Ortenberg collection because it spanned so many cultures and artistic styles,” Sullivan said. “Plainly stated, this collection has it all.”

The auction begins with American Indian Art offering examples of jewelry, paintings, period, original polychrome baskets and clothing. From the Pacific Northwest comes a Rare and Unusual Northwest Coast Feast Bowl, probably from the Nootka Indians, circa 1800 (est. $50,000-$70,000) and an Eskimo Carved Walrus Ivory Tusk from Nunivak Island, depicting native fauna including seals, a bear and an eagle (est. $7,000-$10,000).

The auction continues with a selection of Pre-Columbian Gold, Ceramics, and Stone carvings, including an extraordinary Life-size Teotihuacan Stone Mask in Dense Stone c. 450 - 650 AD – in a deep, dark greenish/beige with a well-modeled face (est.$20,000-$30,000) and a tall Vera Cruz Life and Death Palmate, a sculpture depicting life on the recto and death on verso, c. 600 - 900 AD (est. $15,000-$20,000) introduces us to the Robert V. Berg Collection. With an academic focus, Berg began collecting African art in the 1960s. While spending time in Paris as a post-doctoral Fulbright grantee, he discovered an emerging community of collectors and dealers who gravitated toward traditional African sculpture as pure forms, rather than simply anthropological artifacts. Selections of his African Art collection include the SENUFO Standing Female Post Figure (est. $10,000-$15,000) and a GREBO Horned Mask (est. $6,000-$8,000).

Heritage will debut the tribal art collection from the Estate of Liz Claiborne and Arthur Ortenberg. A prominent fashion designer, Liz Claiborne and her husband Arthur Ortenberg shared a passion for wildlife conservation. On her numerous trips to Africa, Claiborne’s artistic sensibilities helped her amass a treasured collection of tribal art featuring a DOGON Standing Female Figure (est. $6,000-$8,000) and a monumental WAJA Shoulder Mask standing nearly 4-feet tall (est. $30,000-$40,000).

Additional highlights include, but are not limited to:

• An EJAGHAM Power Board, crafted from wood, animal bones, and fiber (est. $12,000 - $18,000).

• Butterfly Kachina by Dan Namingha (American, b. 1950), 1985, acrylic on canvas (est. $8,000 - $12,000).

• A Hopi Polychrome Bundle-Coiled Basket, circa 1940 (est. $4,000-$6,000).

• A Navajo Third Phase Chief's Blanket, circa 1885 (est. $2,500 - $3,5000).

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