Defining Collectible Native American Indian Art
True collectible Native American Indian art are those pieces that are rare or unique for some reason. Pieces may be designated “collectibles” if:
- The piece is antique
- The artist is deceased
- An artist is highly recognized and awarded for his or her work
- Artists worked on a rare collaborative project
While the availability of authentic Native American Indian art collectibles varies, Palms Trading Company occasionally carries collectible pieces from renowned artists Frog Woman (Hopi Pueblo), Robert Tenorio (Santo Domingo Pueblo) and Kathleen Wall (Jemez Pueblo). We also typically carry pieces by famed potter Maria Martinez, of San Ildefonso Pueblo. (Our personal shopper can keep an eye out for new acquirements, too!)
Signs of Authentic Native American Indian Art Collectibles
As you may imagine, authentic Native American Indian art collectibles can demand a significantly higher price than other pieces. This may lead unreputable dealers to market a piece as a collectible when, in fact, it is not.
An experienced buyer may have several “tests” for the authenticity of a piece, but for those new to the world of Native American Indian collectibles, the best way to distinguish an authentic piece is to examine the signature.
Authentic Native American Indian art, particularly pottery, is signed by the artist before the piece is fired. If a signature is painted or etched into the pot, it may be a replica. Also, images of artist’s signatures are often available online so that you can compare an established signature with the signature on a piece to determine if it matches or not.
Some artist’s signatures change over time, like famed San Ildefonso Pueblo artist Maria Martinez. Credible art dealers, like the experienced buyers at Palms Trading Company, will be able to help you identify authentic signatures (and perhaps the date of a piece, too).
Insuring Your Authentic Native American Indian Art
Whether or not the piece of authentic, handmade Native American Indian art you select for your Southwestern home décor is a rare collectible or not, it is a valuable piece. We encourage you to insure your piece and ensure its lasting beauty through proper care. If you need an appraisal of your Native American Indian collectibles or have questions about their care, please contact us.