This is a fantastic geometric pattern pigment polychrome painted parfleche envelope from the Plateau Native American Indians and dating to the 19th Century. Provenance: From the renowned Sundog Fine Art Bozeman, Montana collection and collected by Bruce VanLandingham. Bruce VanLandingham was a pillar in the American Indian collecting community and a respected expert. Along with being an avid collector Bruce also was the sole owner of Sundog Fine Art Gallery in Bozeman which was both part museum and gallery. The piece shows a Great American Bison Buffalo parfleche rawhide construction with exceptional mineral ocher pigment polychrome painted design in a geometric traditional pattern showing reds, blues and greens. The bag is held together with what is believed to be the original Indian brain tanned hide tie strap, a rare addition. The term parfleche was first coined by the French fur traders and derived from the French word parer meaning defend and fleche meaning arrows, as the hide was tough enough to be used as a shield and deflect an arrow. The original containers had graphics that were maps, geographical depictions such as rivers and mountains, or symbols that told the families stories. Once the parfleche left the family, the story was lost and the parfleche became Indian art rather than a meaningful storyteller. This piece shows fine original paint and overall good condition for being well over 100 years of age. Many examples offered for sale are merely tourist trade parfleche with poor painting and thin hides, which this example is most definitely not as it shows a heavy Bison hide and wonderful painting dating to the circa 1850-1890s. This is truly a extraordinary nomadic traveling storage piece that now is seen as one of the original American works of art. The piece has the original Museum collection metal and paper tag which shows an identification number and states this as being a Plateau Parfleche. When tied shut, the envelope measures 24 ½ inches long by 13 inches wide by 4 inches thick. Plateau Parfleche envelopes are some of the finest polychrome painted parfleche on the market with such examples selling for $2,700 at Cowan's 2013 sale and $2,200 at Cowan's 2010, with this example shows a brighter design and finer condition.
For a complete representation of condition and for additional images please call 800-686-4216. It is the buyer’s responsibility to view each image and preview the item to determine condition.