Taxco silver achieves stellar prices at Moran’s

A Matl silver and coral necklace, price realized: $8,750. Moran’s image

MONROVIA, Calif.  – The buyers were out in force on a rainy Sunday at Moran’s Timeless Taxco: The Collection of Cindy Tietze-Hodosh and Stuart Hodosh­ auction event. Collectors were astounded by the selection of rare finds filling the March 1 auction, leading to robust bidding throughout the day. A curated selection of pieces from the Hodosh collection will be featured in future sales, poised to perform just as well. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.

Among the many success stories of the day was the performance of Matl. One of the top female silversmiths working in Taxco during the golden era, several top examples of Matilde Poulat’s work more than tripled their high estimates when they hit the block. Among the best works was a dramatic branch coral necklace won by a determined floor bidder for $8,750 (above). All prices realized include Moran’s 25% buyer’s premium.

A dove-themed turquoise and silver necklace charmed everyone at the preview and brought $6,250. A whimsical set of fish-themed jewelry swam to an impressive $9,375 at the block, the top price paid for jewelry at the auction (below).

A set of Matl silver and turquoise fish jewelry, price realized: $9,375. Moran’s image

A pair of copper candlesticks caused a bidding war when they hit the block, selling to an avid phone bidder for $2,000.

Tablewares from Taxco’s most coveted silversmiths stole the show at the auction. A pair of ebony salad servers from William Spratling, designed in the clean geometric aesthetic so prized in his Third Design Period, flew past their $1,500 high estimate to bring $6,250.

A pair of William Spratling ebony and sterling silver salad servers, price realized: $6,250. Moran’s image

One of the top-selling lots of the night was a stunning “Nautilus” flatware service from Antonio Pineda which brought $12,500 after a protracted bidding war (PHOTO 4).

An Antonio Pineda ‘Nautilus’ silver flatware service, price realized: $12,500. Moran’s image

Jewelry and stonework from the Pre-Columbian era to the present were among the top lots of the day. A carved stone Olmec figure was one of the most highly anticipated lots, making it no surprise when it brought $13,750 at the block.

A Pre-Columbian Olmec-style carved jadeite figure, price realized: $13,750. Moran’s image

A rare gold necklace from William Spratling centering carved jade sold for $8,750. A wonderful set of jewelry from Los Castillo soared past its $600-$800 estimate to bring $3,437.50. A stunning Fred Davis necklace with rows of silver beads suspended from a Pre-Columbian influenced necklace brought $6,250.

A Fred Davis silver necklace, price realized: $6,250. Moran’s image

The eagle, a national symbol of both Mexico and America was a fitting design for American-born Taxco silversmith William Spratling. His “Eagle” pitcher with its carved wood handle soared past its $1,200-$1,800 estimate to bring $6,250.