Antique American Indian Beadwork
The John Hartman Antique Indian Beadwork Collection
I was a very ambitious young man at an early age. Started working in my fathers machine shop when I was 8 years old, then added 2 newspaper routes when I was 12. I had a lot of money for a little kid.
I was riding my bicycle on my way back from my paper route when I saw a Gun Swap. I stopped and looked at all of the neat old guns, old Cowboy items and old antique Indian beadwork. I loved Cowboy and Indian movies on TV and so I quickly became interested in the items that were for sale. I started going there every saturday morning when coming back from my route.
In about a month, I bought my first piece of Antique Indian Beadwork, then every saturday I stopped by and bought something else. Soon I became interested in antique Indian beadwork Indian war items and old firearms. By the age of 18, I had accumulated quite a collection.
I got married to my childhood sweetheart when I was 19 and on Estell's 18th birthday in 1972, we are still married today after 37 later. Estell and I traveled for a year and moved to Albuquerque, N.M. to become jewelers. We did just that and became very successful at it. As we sold our Jewelry we purchased more antique Indian beadwork, cowboy items and old guns. We moved to Durango, Colorado in 1974 and in 1976, we built a marvelous Trading Post to sell our Jewelry and old west frontier items such as Antique Indian Beadwork, Early Cowboy items like silver spurs, saddles and antique firearms.
From 1976 to 1990, Estell and I became extremely active seeking more and more antique Indian items, Cowboy items, Wild West Show items, western frontier antiques, old winchesters, colts, sharps and related items. By 1990, we had a 2200 sq. ft. building loaded floor to ceiling with an unbelievable collection along with our jewelry. It was truely amazing!
Late 1990, Estell and I closed down the Trading Post as we were burnt out on Tourism and the retail business. We had two little children Dillon (10 years old) and Crystal (8 years old) and we wanted to spend time with them and take a sabaticle.
In 1992, I developed a line of jewelry and landed a contract with a Japanese company to make 23,000 pieces for them per month.
In 1995, We went over to Bali and several other countries in the Pacific Rim and started importing jewelry and tribal items from that region.
In 1996, I started one of the first online stores thinking I was going to start an import company on the Internet. Shortly after, I got deep into the Internet and developed Durango.com, MesaVerde.com, IndianVillage.com, US Indian.com and many others. Then started a Internet software programming company and though I was going to get real rich! When 9/11/2001 hit, I lost it all and shortly after got burnt out on the Internet.
In 2002, My son now 22 years old and my wife Estell decided they were going to re-open the Trading Post which we still owned. They did and have done very well however, now our whole family is involved and we only sell our jewelry and we specialize in Turquoise. We own five Turquoise Mines in Nevada and have a very nice business going for ourselves.
As you can see, my mind has wondere away from collection old Antique Indian Beadword and old west. I am older now (57 years old) and have lost interest in my collection. For this reason - I am selling it and because we do a lot online with our jewelry business, I have talked Nattarika, Dillon's wife to put it up for me.
I can tell you this, the items I have for sell were the items that I was attached to for one reason or another. All of the items in my collection are authentic. I really did, and still do, know my stuff about early frontier items. I also have old people that I used to deal with offer me items and if they are great, I buy them, however, I no longer collect. They will be for sale as well!
I am always interested in purchasing good Old Indian Beadwork, early Western Frontier items and Antique Firearms collections.
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