John Moran bi-annual ‘Made in Mexico’ sale set for Feb. 15
MONROVIA, Calif. – The first of John Moran Auctioneers’ bi-annual Made in Mexico auctions for 2022, scheduled for Tuesday, February 15, will feature more than 200 lots of mostly mid-20th century Mexican jewelry from all the preeminent designers, as well as a selection of Latin and Central American art, including Guatemalan, Peruvian, and Panamanian silver, pottery and woodwork. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
While the striking designs and techniques found in Tonala pottery are often a mix of influences, including Indigenous, Asian and European, a Mata Ortiz pottery jar by Juan Quezada epitomizes the connection to the pre-Hispanic style traditions of Mexico. With an estimate of $2,000-3,000, this beautiful pot is one of several items from Mata Ortiz offered in this sale, with intricate designs inspired by early Mexican Pueblo pottery.
One of the main attractions of every Made in Mexico auction at Moran’s is the amazing array of stunning jewelry by a premier selection of Mexican artists. A branch coral and silver Matl necklace by Mathilde Poulat also reflects influences of early Mexican design aesthetics. The name Matl refers to ‘Atl,’ which is “water” in Nahuatl or Aztec. The highly decorated silver elements of the necklace, and of other Matl pieces, feature elaborate, often symbolic designs in applied wire, complex embossing and repousse. The Poulat necklace is estimated at $3,000-$5,000.
The auction also features mixed metal serving ware in all shapes and styles, perfect for presenting feasts at outdoor gatherings. An elegant silver coffee and tea pot pair with jaguar finials by William Spratling will do nicely for serving a digestif after the meal. Its estimate is $1,000-$2,000. The jaguar motif was used by Spratling in his First and Third Design periods not only for serving ware and various household items, but for jewelry.
As antique and vintage Mexican silver by Taxco’s mid-century designers continues to grow in popularity, the work of Antonio Pineda remains in a class of its own. Moran’s is excited to bring a large selection of highly desired Antonio Pineda styles and combinations to the floor in this auction.
In the early 1940s, Pineda began incorporating unusual stones such as Mexican jade, obsidian, moonstones, tiger’s eye, onyx and amethysts into his designs in unusual adept ways. Creative and practical solutions were required to overcome the challenges of using these stones in the high temperature conditions required when working with metal. In some designs, the stones appear to be floating, as in a dramatic overlapping zig-zag shaped silver and obsidian necklace estimated at $2,000-$3,000.
Another example shows stones set close together in rows to emphasize the structural lines of a design, as in a modernist silver and amethyst concave cuff bracelet in which the line of cabochon amethysts appear to float above the surface. It is estimated $2,000-$3,000.
Pineda also manipulated and formed silver into all manner of shapes and designs: twisting, knotting, folding, and formed into wire with garnished tips of jeweled stone teardrops, a technique nicely illustrated in a few of the Pineda brooches offered in this auction, but also in our last Pineda highlight, a curved silver link necklace with set amethyst drops. It is estimated at $800-$1,200.
This auction will of course offer exciting examples of fine art, including paintings, drawings, sculptures and lithographs by artists such as Rufino Tamayo, Carlos Merida, Jorge Leguizamo, Ed Gilliam, Roberto Gil de Monte and Francisco Zuniga. Of note is Felipe Castaneda’s 1971 work Los Amantes, a large onyx sculpture of beautifully smooth and sensuous embracing figures, estimated at $3,000-$5,000.
Equally worthy of consideration is Jorge Marin’s 1997 piece Superficie de Argon II. Presented in a classical figurative style, it depicts an angel in a blue mantle with a headdress topped with a bird, with masked cherubs and a monkey, standing on a sphere. Estimated at $5,000-$7,000, this dramatic sculpture is typical of Marin’s work, which often includes life-like winged figures, beings bent over their own weight and carnival characters with cone hats or faces covered by bird masks.
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