*** 46th Anniversary 1969-2015 of our American Indian Art Gallery now located in Aliso Viejo, California ***

Nation's largest selection of Antique American Indian Art,  Navajo Rugs and Navajo Blankets and old antique American Indian baskets

Jeff Wood, President ; Len Wood, Founder (Retired)

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Toll-free phone (800) 579-0860     E-mail:  info@indianterritory.com






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Orders : Toll-free phone (800) 579-0860 Tue-Sat 11-4 Pacific Time   or    E-mail:  info@indianterritory.com





We Buy and Sell Estate Collections of Antique American Indian Art


NEW ADDRESS : 36 Argonaut, Suite 120 , Aliso Viejo CA 92656 Open Mon-Fri 11-4 By Appointment Only ; Online Catalog/Shopping Cart Open 24/7




Len Wood's
Indian Territory, Inc.

Jeff Wood, President
The Nation's largest

selection of Navajo Rugs, Indian Baskets and Antique

American Indian Art


Len Wood's

36 Argonaut , Suite 120

Aliso Viejo, CA 92656

phone: (949) 497-5747 
orders: (800) 579-0860
(email orders anytime;

 phone orders Mon-Fri

 11-4 Pacific Time )


Gallery Open By Appointment Only

Mon-Fri 11-4

Pacific Time



 American Indian Basketry :

Developing a Collection

Native American Indian basketry has been enjoyed for its beauty, its historic and cultural importance and for the light it sheds on cultures that interacted daily with the natural world in a way few members of "modern society" can imagine.  Yet the more one lives in a "synthetic" or manufactured environment, the greater the need for a touchstone to our common past, for no matter one's heritage at one point in time all our ancestors shared a closeness to the land and a tribal bonding similar to that of the Native Americans who made the artworks now displayed here in this most "synthetic" environment imaginable--the internet.

Basketry is one of man's very earliest technologies -- and art forms. In early cultures there was not the division of spiritual life, art and beauty, utility, and work that pervades most modern cultures.  Instead, all aspects of life were fully integrated, and this reveals itself in the material culture of America's aboriginal peoples.

Today, little basketry has survived that pre-dates 1880, the beginning of the early collector period and few quality baskets were made after 1930 and the beginning of the Great Depression.  Within this fifty year window was made the majority of fine, traditional basketry that still exists in collections today.

Of these existing examples, a large portion is locked in the permanent collections of public and private museums, universities and corporations. The remaining examples are mostly in the hands of private collectors and the small handful of galleries and dealers who specialize in these items.

Developing a collection can take many forms. One can focus on a particular basketry-making culture or region, on a particular form, or on a particular quality level of basketry.  Some collectors prefer to find a top example of each form, while others may look for variety or a certain quality within a particular form. One collector may build a broad museum-style collection, while another may pinpoint a single culture and form, but in a variety of design motifs.

While there are no formal rules to collecting here are some tips that may help you decide what to collect.

1. Visit museums and exhibitions of baskets in person as often as possible and make a note of which items regular draw your greatest interest.

2. Develop a library of basketry related books, exhibition catalogs and articles. Don't forget out of print/rare book dealers as many of the most helpful books were limited editions. Public and university libraries often have useful texts and photos and you can simply photocopy basket information that relates to your area of interest.

3. Consider a basketry budget as this will help determine which categories of baskets are under consideration. Acquiring only two to four baskets per year will lead to a substantial basket collection of ten to twenty baskets in only five years.

4. Prioritize your reasons for collecting.  A scholarly collection of baskets can be obtained on a very limited budget and provide the collector with a personal "museum" to study and enjoy, while an investment grade collection of major baskets may bring prestige, important contacts and financial reward. Interior designing with antiquities is a major motivation for collecting.  Most likely you will have a variety of reasons for collecting, but your top priority will help determine which direction to venture.

5. Develop contacts with one or two galleries or dealers who specialize in the items you seek. The most active clients in a particular category of artifact are sure to be first on the list to see the "next great acquisition" of the indicated type. Many top items are sold before they make it to the gallery floor in this manner because a serious collector has made their interest in a certain type of item known. 

6. Seize opportunities to acquire baskets of the type you seek as such opportunities grow less frequent with each passing year as more and more baskets are taken off the market.

7. Seize opportunities to buy items you have NOT planned on collecting, but know from your research are important examples and good values. Such items can be traded or leveraged into other items at the right time.

7. Finally, imagine your collection ten years from now.  Imagine publishing a book on your collection--what would its theme be? Imagine a formal exhibition of your collection --how might items be grouped? Imagine a film documentary based on your collection -- what might it look like? Such brainstorming can help you visualize the type of collection you would enjoy developing, a collection that will open the door to new friends, new discoveries and new adventures.


 Always Buying Old / Antique American Indian Items : Navajo Rugs and Navajo Blankets,  Indian Baskets and other Native American Indian items!


(Please note that all items are subject to availability and that prices are subject to change without notice. Photos and information may be re-used with email or written permission only. (Email: info@indianterritory.com)  Websites are free to link to this page or any pages on our site but may not copy and publish any photos or information on their sites without email or written authorization from Len Wood's Indian Territory.    Thank you.)

                              Copyright 1994-2015 Navajo Rugs Indian Baskets at Len Wood's Indian Territory, Inc.