A little noticed Americana auction in Texas produced a now widely noticed price for a cigar store Indian that had been sitting in a Dallas basement for at least two decades. The remarkably well preserved, hand carved icon went for $203,150 (including buyer’s premium) at a Heritage Auction gallery on May 22, 2010.
The 78 year-old widow who consigned it said her husband used to collect Americana on a limited budget. He died in 1989, and the carving sat in their basement. She said she knew it was valuable, but had no idea it was worth that kind of money. Most cigar store Indians that sat out in the weather were repainted many times. Experts say this looks like the original finish that is important to collectors.
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