Pre-Appraisal

Hi Paula,

We inherited a whole bunch of Native American jewelry (several hundred pieces in total) from my parents who sold some at a shop in the seventies. I’ve attached a couple of representative pics. About a third to a quarter of them have hallmarks. We would like to sell some of it, but we’re not really sure what we have. Can you help us find someone in the St. Louis area who can give us an idea as to value?

Thanks for your help,

Richard Newton

Southwestern Souvenirs responds:

Dear Richard:

I found some individuals for you who will be able to lead you to the right appraiser. From ATADA (Antique Tribal Arts Dealers Association), I located Joseph Zeller, who is in East Dundee, Illinois, the closest location I could find to St. Louis. He is part of River Trading Post, which operates three stores: in Illinois, Santa Fe, NM, and Scottsdale, AZ. I know this outfit and they are very reputable; he can help you locate an appraiser, or someone at River may be trained to do this. River Trading Post, tel (847) 426-6901 and e-mail: trader@rivertradingpost.com

Closer to you geographically are the following members of the IACA (Indian Arts and Crafts Association), and I have heard of the Native American Trading Company. They, too, will acquaint you with someone who can help.

Native American Trading Co.
Michael O’Cheltree
115 N Main Street
Hannibal, MO 63401-3536
573.248.3451, Fax: 573. 221.4054
Email: natamtrd@sbcglobal.net
Website: www.nativeamericantrading.com

Silver City Trading Post
Richard Sellers, Barb Schnarr
724 S. Main St
St. Charles, MO 63301
636.255.8885, Fax: 636.255.8885
Email: silver_city@sbcglobal.net

The pieces I saw in your photo were quite nice; they look like they range from the 1940s to early 1980s. All of the individuals above will be familiar with this jewelry. The vintage jewelry market has seen a rise in interest lately, but be aware that the pre-1940s pieces in good condition will fetch higher prices. For example, your 1970s items will resell for about $120-$200 roughly, depending on materials and condition. Members of ATADA and IACA are bound by guarantees of ethical practices, which is important when dealing with American Indian jewelry — which has its own black market of fakes and misrepresentation. Good luck! I rather fancied some of those Zuni inlay rings, myself!

Paula

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We offer a free service through this website for those who may have an American Indian art object that they are uncertain about its market value.

While individuals seeking a professional appraisal should always use an appraiser who is certified, and whose word can hold up in a legal situation, there are times when the uncertain owner might just want to know if what they have carries some value or not, and then further appraisal can be pursued accordingly.

Complete the form below and we’ll post your picture with what we call a “pre-appraisal” and then we will direct you to the best resource for obtaining a verifying appraisal, and even suggest other outlets for following up.

Alternatively, you can send an email with a digital picture of the item you seek information on to us at info@southwesternsouvenirs.com.


Pre-Appraisal Request Form

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Referrals

One major problem for those who have inherited, or obtained, a work of Southwestern Indian art, and are unsure what to do with such an item, is learning initially just what that art is worth on the market. American Indian art, especially older works, is an area of the antiques and collectibles market that is rife with fakery and misrepresentation. We’ll direct you to people in the know—because we know who is reliable out there.