All of which is to explain that if you had a hankering for shrunken human heads, tribal masks, two-headed calves, pinned butterflies, Samoan war clubs, implements of torture and much, much else, Billy Jamieson was the guy. And he was the guy for a vast array of clients, including Marilyn Manson, the Royal Ontario Museum and Steven Tyler as well as the National Geographic Society, New York’s Pace Primitive gallery, Sotheby’s, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and several university departments of archeology and anthropology. Perhaps his most famous coup is his 1999 purchase of the collections of the Niagara Falls Museum, established in 1827. Included in the buy was nine Egyptian mummies, one of which was later identified as the remains of Pharaoh Ramses I (now housed in the Luxor Museum in Egypt).
Waddington’s, working closely with Jamieson’s fiancée/business partner, Jessica Phillips, has divided its consignments into two: a live sale, mostly of “decorative arts,” loosely defined, occurring in its Toronto quarters the evening of April 29, and a Web offering, of tribal arts and weapons, running Apr. 28 through May 1.
Value of the combined sale, by pre-sale estimate, is $155,850 to $230,900. The lots with the highest estimates, at $10,000-$15,000 and $8,000-$12,000, respectively, are an early 20th-century electric chair from New York’s Auburn Correctional Facility (although Auburn did host the first death by electric chair, in 1890, this particular chair was not used for executions but for electric shock punishment) and a pair of beaded moccasins that belonged to the famous Hunkpapa Lakota holy man Sitting Bull (1831-1890).
Previews are set for Apr. 26 (11 a.m.-5 p.m. ET), Apr. 27 (11 a.m.-5 p.m.) and Apr. 28 (10 a.m.-12 noon).
Here are 11 lots seeking bids: