MONROVIA, Calif. – When Cindy Tietze married Stuart Hodosh they, like many couples, looked for a hobby they could pursue together. That hobby would lead to amassing one of the best collections of Mexican silver in private hands. Rare and wonderful works from Taxco-based masters William Spratling, Antonio Pineda, Los Castillo, and more of Mexico’s most important artisans will be represented at auction March 1, including nearly all the pieces included in the landmark Fowler Museum exhibition Silver Seduction. Moran’s will bring this extraordinary collection to market. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.
Antonio Pineda was a unique voice to emerge during the golden age of the Mexican silver renaissance, and his jewelry and housewares are well represented in the sale. A Hodosh personal friend (they would regularly spend vacations at Pineda’s Taxco ranch), some of the best examples of Pineda’s Modernist aesthetic can be found in the auction. A stunning and rare pair of columnar candlesticks are believed to be one of only three pairs in existence and come to the block with a $8,000-$10,000 estimate (above).
A beautifully balanced group of rosewood and silver flatware would make a stunning addition to any hacienda and are sure to bring $10,000-$15,000. Lovers of jewelry will find plenty of tempting options in the auction, including a gorgeous amethyst necklace with bracelet and earrings en suite, heading to the block with a $4,000-$6,000.
Several fine examples from Margot de Taxco, whose designs are prized for its vibrant enamelwork, feature in the auction. Chief among them is a stunning suite of white floral jewelry sure to appeal to buyers at its $1,500-$2,000 estimate. A more modern approach to jewelry is celebrated in the striking “Tree of Modern Art” brooch from famed Mexico City-based artist Fred Davis. Suspending fire opal apples from its stylized tree branches, the brooch heads to the block with a $3,000-$5,000 estimate (below).
Nearly all the examples at the auction from Antonio Pineda were featured in the exhibition catalog for “Silver Seduction,” the important show featuring Antonio Pineda and the Taxqueño master silversmith’s work held at the Fowler Museum and featuring rare examples from the artist.
No auction of Mexican silver could be complete without the father of the Mexican silver renaissance, William Spratling. The American from New Orleans fell in love with Taxco and on the advice from friend Diego Rivera as well as the former American ambassador from Mexico, he set about reviving and establishing a silver industry in Mexico that would directly benefit the local industry. A stunning “Buttons & Bows” tea and coffee service with its gorgeous proportions and imitable design was made during the brief period Spratling designed for Conquistador and is sure to bring $1,500-$2,000 at auction.
Just before Spratling began his silver business, a monumental discovery of Tomb 7 at Monte Alban, a Pre-Columbian complex, took Mexico by storm. A wealth of metalwork from the goldsmiths of the era, the Mixtec, were unearthed and their influence would have a profound impact on Spratling’s designs. A gorgeous gold necklace centering a Pre-Columbian inspired jade carving comes to the block with a $8,000-$12,000 estimate (below).
All the masters of mid-century Mexican silversmiths feature prominently in the auction. An impressive flatware set from Hector Aguilar with its delightful rope-motif is sure to make a splash when it comes to the block with a $15,000-$25,000 estimate.
Los Castillo is most treasured for their work with mosaic parrots resting on a silver-over-copper body, two delightful pitchers from the firm is set to bring $300-$500.