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Masterful Beadwork of the Sioux Indians This Week at

Rosemary McKittrick is a storyteller. From fine art to comic books, her weekly column is a great source of interesting information about the world of collecting.
    SANTA FE, NM, July 17, 2011 /24-7PressRelease/ -- As the Buffalo roamed the prairie the Sioux Indians of the Great Plains were never far behind. Millions of buffalo roamed the plains. They were the Sioux's lifeblood. The meat was the tribe's major source of food and every part of the animal was put to use.

The buffalo was also the source of a Sioux woman's sewing needs. Bone awls were used to punch holes through tough hides and sinew thread kept the hides fastened together tightly.

When the fur traders and missionaries brought glass beads to trade with the Sioux, the painstaking work of beading for these late-19th century artisans changed dramatically.

For centuries Plains Indian women decorated clothing traditionally with porcupine quills. And porcupines were rare on the southern and central Plains.

Beadwork ultimately replaced quillwork, an easier art of beading. It was one more example of how traditional ways of life for the North American Native Americans continued to disappear along with their lands and game.

On March 25, Cowan's in Cincinnati, Ohio, featured a selection of Sioux beaded items in its American Indian and Western Art auction.

A matched pair of hide bags; late-19th century; 13 inches by 19 inches; sold in the auction for $4,994.

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Rosemary has provided auction coverage and analysis on thousands-and-thousands of antiques and collectibles sold since the column started 16-years ago. She includes auction sale results to give readers a feel for what their treasures are worth because the power of auctions is simple.

When the bidding stops and the hammer falls, the value of an item is set. The buyer, not the seller, sets the price, and this simple distinction cuts through all the chitchat about what art, antiques and collectibles are really worth. The emphasis is on today's values, not yesterday's wishful thinking.

Each week another new article is posted featuring a particular area of collecting.

Every article showcases an auction item and how it fits into the big picture.
A compelling, historical context is provided for the treasures people collect.
Collecting tips are offered.
Current "prices realized" are listed.

Rosemary is the co-author of The Official Price Guide to Fine Art published by Random House and received her training in the trenches working as a professional appraiser and weekly columnist.


Rosemary McKittrick

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