Blackfoot tasselled pipe bag from c.1890 – estimated at £1500-2000 at Woolley & Wallis.

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Johnson (1937-2019), who was born in the West Midlands and was a structural engineer by profession, had a keen interest in the native peoples of North America and wrote extensively about them with many publications to his name, including the Encyclopaedia of Native Tribes of North America which went into several editions.

He also visited many parts of the US and Canada and organised numerous exhibitions of native material.

The items on offer at Woolley & Wallis include numerous examples of beaded clothing and accessories such as moccasins, shirts, vests and bandolier bags.

Bag belonged to Chief Calf Child

Pictured is one of them, a 3ft (91cm) long Blackfoot tasselled pipe bag from c.1890 made from buckskin and decorated with coloured glass beads. The bag has a provenance to Chief Calf Child, a headman of the Canadian Blackfoot in Alberta in the early 20th century, and was acquired by Johnson in 2001. The estimate is £1500-2000.


Admiralty Islands ceremonial ladle – estimated at £600-800 at Woolley & Wallis.

Included in the Oceanic section of the auction is an 11in (28cm) high Admiralty Islands ceremonial ladle. It was field collected by Otto Ernest of Hamburg, who was on SMS Condor during the ship’s stop in the Admiralty Islands in January 1912, then passed to his daughter Dorothee Alsen.

The 11in (28cm) high ladle, made from coconut, wood, nut paste and pigment, with a carved figural handle, has an estimate of £600-800.