LOS ANGELES — John Moran Auctioneers presented its latest Made in Mexico auction on April 4. Bidders near and far showed interest in the 290-lot sale, which featured fine and decorative art and jewelry from Mexico as well as Cuba, Central and South America, and some from the Los Angeles Latino community.
Arnold Belkin’s Patzcuaro / (Del Ballet Tarasco ‘Los Pescadores,’) from 1951 lead the fine art category. Starting with an estimate of $4,000-$6,000, this oil on Masonite brought in $9,375. Another work by the Mexican-Canadian artist, Two Figures from 1953, attained $5,000.
Lots 2086 and 2142 were sculptures that garnered a lot of attention. Victor Salmones was represented by lot 2086, which was a life-sized patinated bronze seated figure with a turned head. This piece started with a modest estimate of $1,000-$2,000 but, after a brief bidding war, achieved more than four times its estimate to settle at $8,750. Lot 2142 was a Mixtec-style Xantil deity censer dating to the late Postclassic period, circa 1200-1500. Valued at $800-$1,200, bidders were definitely intrigued by the ceramic effigy brazier, bringing the price realized to $7,500.
The April 4 sale featured more than 20 lots from the popular American silversmith William Spratling (1900-1967). A pair of Spratling candelabras, estimated at $3,000-$5,000 and sporting scrolled rosewood bases, had an exciting final bid of $8,750. Then there was a beautiful set of sterling silver highball glasses with an estimate of $1,500-$2,500. Made between 1949-1951, this eight-piece set brought in $7,500. Another example of Spratling silver that sparked a lot of interest was a Jaguar cream and sugar set. Originally valued at $800-$1,200, this two-piece set with ebony handles and jaguar finials sold for $5,000.
A selection of Huichol yarn paintings was highlighted by a contribution from Jose Benitez Sanchez. It depicted multiple spiritual figures, animals, plants and symbols and was done with polychrome yarn on a gray, purple and black background. It brought in a whopping $4,550, almost quadrupling its $800-$1,200 estimate.
A John Moran Made in Mexico sale wouldn’t be complete without carved animals from Manuel Jimenez Ramirez. Lot 2119 featured four of his carved wood animals: a donkey, a rabbit, a squirrel and a large cat, all with an $800-$1,200 estimate. Ramirez is credited as the originator of the Oaxacan version of “alegrijes,” animal creatures carved in wood and painted in strong contrasting colors with intricate designs. Collectors of his work continued the bidding all the way to $4,375.
Last, but definitely not least, was the stunning collection of Mexican jewelry within the April 4 auction, especially the Matl and Antonio Pineda pieces. A necklace and earrings set of Matl snake motif silver jewelry by Matilde Poulat and Ricardo Salas, estimated at $1,000-$1,500, featured natural and faux turquoise and earned $3,438. A chunk sterling silver hinged link bracelet with an oversized chevron motif and onyx crescent shapes by Antonio Pineda, offered with an estimate of $700-$900, went for the healthy sum of $3,125.
Click to view top auction results on LiveAuctioneers: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/pages/recent-auction-sales/