We constantly are consigning fine Native American art and artifacts.  If you have an item that you wish  to consign to us, here are some considerations for you, and some steps that you can take. 

Please note that we do not consign flat art, such as paintings or photography, nor do we buy arrowheads or other stonework.  Nor do we consign art about Native Americans that is created by Non-Native Artisans.

Contemporary Native American Art

We do not purchase pieces on the secondary market that have been created by living, or active artists. Our practice in this respect is to purchase directly from the artists in order to directly support their livelihood.

If you are an active Native American Artist and a registered member of a recognized tribal group, we will be happy to review your work, providing your art has previously been shown in juried events such as the Heard Museum Indian Market, the Santa Fe Indian Market or other such venue.

Antique Native American Art and Artifacts

We always are interested in fine old work (pre-1950's), to place on consignment. This includes Navajo weavings, pottery, jewelry,beadwork and such. We do not consign items such as arrowheads, or other stonework.

We require interested sellers to provide us with jpg images of the work, dimensions of the work, a statement of the condition of the work, and appropriate provenance of the work.  Upon receipt of this information, we will determine next steps in the process.

How do you go about selling your Native American item?

We constantly get e-mails from folks wondering what the value of an item might be, or wondering about how to sell an item(s) that they may have in their collections.

Here are some tips and considerations for you.  There are many ways to sell your piece, but each has an upside and a downside to it.

Our first tip: Know what your asking price is for your item.  Or, at least what you would like to receive price wise for your item.  Then go to work and look at your options.  Here are several of them for you to consider. 

Have a catalog of your items.  This should include images of each individual item, sizes and general description including any flaws in the item, origin and artist, age, etc.  We've included an example of what we're talking about here.  You will need this information before you even begin to sell your collection.

Do Some of Your Own Research First. 
With the Internet this really is not difficult.  Search by artist name, item (i.e. Navajo rugs), and look at recent auction sales from houses such as Cowan's Auctions, Bonhams and others. Also check e-Bay for comparable items. Google American Indian Art Auctions.

This is a great starting point to help you determine the value of your items by comparing items similar to yours.  Then you have several choices:

Sell your item directly to a collector.  This is the way that you can realize the greatest return possible.  But it also is the most difficult to find that "buyer" unless you do a garage sale.  And that isn't the answer.

Sell your item to a gallery.  You can sell your item to a gallery.  Typically you and the gallery will determine a likely market (retail) price for your piece, based on the recent sales of comparable items.  A gallery will probably offer you 50% of the prevailing retail market price for your item.  Most galleries don't buy outright, but may consider taking your item on a consignment basis. (The upside of selling is that you will realize an immediate payout...but not as much as if you consign your piece to a gallery.) At River Trading Post we only accept high very high quality items on a consignment basis.

Consign your piece to a gallery.  You can consign your piece to a gallery.  But be aware that it can take a while to sell your "very special piece."  Maybe even a few years
But your odds of selling your piece are much greater on a consignment basis, even it it takes time to do it.  And, in the long run, you will realize a greater return than you will from selling it outright. Usual consignment fees from a gallery range from 40% to 50% of the selling price.

Place your piece at auction.  If you have a serious quality item, you might consider placing your item for sale at an auction.  There are but a few auction houses that we would recommend (Bonham and Butterfields, Cowan's, Sotheby).  The great thing about auctions is that you might have a quick sale for your item at a price lower than you might expect and you have to be prepared to pay sellers fees, and other fees charged to you by the auction house.

How River Trading Post Can Help You

If you have an item, or a collection, of fine Native American pieces that you wish to liquidate, call us.  We will be happy to discuss alternative approaches to selling your items that will best meet your own needs, including simply placing your items at one of the top auctions. 

Contacting Us About Selling Your Item(s)

Due to the volume calls, we can't respond to telephone inquiries, or text messages.
We will respond quickly via e-mail providing that you provide us with very clear images of you item(s), and other key information, such as size, artist, and any other important information about your item(s)
Our e-Mail address is [email protected]