BOULDER COUNTY, CO - Provenance and
pedigree combine to form a compelling reason to bid in Antiquities Saleroom’s
Feb. 1 sale of premier Pre-Columbian art. The 150-piece selection offered in
the absentee, phone and Internet auction comes from the carefully curated
collections of two Hollywood notables – an Emmy Award-winning executive
producer/writer, and a producer/director who specializes in movie trailers.
Together, the collections provide an unbroken timeline that traces the
fascinating and mysterious ancient civilizations of Central and South America.
auction showcases all of the better-known cultures, such as Aztec, Incan and
Mayan; as well as the Pre-Columbian Moche, Salinar, Chancay and Chinesco
cultures. Together, the collections are valued at no less than $900,000. “We
are accustomed to handling very fine pieces, but the examples in these two
collections are genuinely investment grade and would be welcomed with open arms
at any major museum in the world,” said Bob Dodge, co-owner of Antiquities
first collector – the TV producer – specialized in Mayan and Southeast Mexican
artifacts, including pieces from Veracruz and Olmec. The second collection is
very wide ranging and includes articles from far south Peru and Chile to
Northern Mexico and the West Coast cultures. The owner immersed himself in the
antiquities trade so he could become a well-educated buyer. He attended all of
the major shows and bought from every prominent dealer.”
pieces in the auction boast provenance from distinguished sources, including
Sotheby’s, Christie’s, the Denver Art Museum and even Andy Warhol, who
reportedly had a discerning eye for antiquities. In addition, several artworks
are of monumental height, exceeding 30 inches. “That is almost unheard of in
this business and is always exciting to collectors,” Dodge noted. Some of the finest Moche art to reach the auction
market in a decade will be featured in the Feb. 1 sale. According to Dodge,
Moche artisans (Peru, circa 400-500 CE) were among the earliest to incorporate
portraiture and humor into their pottery production.
prime example is the erotic drinking vessel of a male with well-defined facial
features and a disproportionately large, erect phallus that serves as a spout.
It is expected to make $12,000-$15,000. Other Moche highlights include a
terracotta stirrup vessel shaped as a stern-faced warrior with a diminutive
prisoner of war hoisted onto his shoulder, est. $8,000-$12,000; and a
beautifully patterned pottery jar modeled as a mythological creature, part
serpent and part jaguar with deer antlers. Formerly in the Platt Friedenberg
and University of Virginia Art Museum collections, it is estimated at
$6,000-$10,000. Very rare and desirable, a Colima (West Mexico, circa 200 BCE –
200 CE) terracotta redware vessel is formed as a row of three finely detailed
ducks with a spout emerging from one side. It measures 11 inches wide and could
reach $5,000-$7,000 at auction.
the Central Mexico Mixtec culture comes a carved redstone stele carved with the
image of a fierce running warrior in full battle dress, holding a feather
shield and war club. “This object would have been used as a boundary marker to
warn intruders to stay away or their warriors would come after them,” said
Dodge. Formerly in a Zurich museum, the lot is expected to sell for
$20,000-$30,000. A two-tone janiform Jalisco (Mexico, circa 0-200 CE) pottery
jar depicts a pair of dogs conjoined on four feet. Acquired many years ago from
the Ron Messick Gallery, the Pre-Columbian rarity is entered in the sale with a
the Mayan Territories, a circa 500-900 CE carved volcanic stone skull exhibits
deep eye sockets and applied shells to replicate teeth. A large-beaked bird is
carved into the top of the skull and points its beak into the center of the
skull’s forehead. Macabre and alluring at the same time, it is estimated at
in the personal collection of pop art genius Andy Warhol, a three-tiered
Pre-Columbian Mayan polychrome jar from Honduras, circa 500-900 CE, features
dancing stick figures, glyphoids and lotus blossoms on its bands. It commands
an auction estimate of $3,000-$4,000.
high-carat gold antiquities are included in the sale. A Pre-Columbian Moche
(Peru, circa 100-400 CE) royal ceremonial scepter or “atl atl” is decorated
with a standing lord carved from bone on a turquoise mosaic platform. Highly
important, it carries a pre-sale estimate of $30,000-$40,000.
are several bas-relief gold masks in the auction, as well as a Sican (Chimu
Culture, Peru, circa 800-1,000 CE) beaker with the face of the god Naylamp
crafted in relief on its surface. The deity wears gold earrings with turquoise
beads and has repousse “hair.” The piece formerly belonged to Ian Arundel,
proprietor of The Curiosity Shop on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. In the 1950s
and ’60s, Arundel’s shop was a magnet for collectors of the day, including
Vincent Price and John Wayne. The beaker is estimated at $15,000-$20,000.
Dodge stressed that all items offered for sale in the Feb. 1 auction have been
legally acquired, are legal to resell and are unconditionally guaranteed to be
authentic and as described in the catalog. “We do not sell replicas or anything
‘in the style of’ any ancient culture. Also, no sale is ever final. We want
only satisfied customers,” Dodge said.
Saleroom’s Exceptional Pre-Columbian Art from Hollywood Auction will commence
at 12 noon Eastern Time on Friday, Feb. 1, 2013. Bids may be placed through a
variety of methods: absentee (including absentee online), by phone or live via
the Internet on auction day through LiveAuctioneers.com. View
auction catalogue / Register to bid by clicking here.
About Antiquities Saleroom
Antiquities-Saleroom.com offers online-only auction sales of Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Pre-Columbian antiquities, as well as Near Eastern, Far Eastern, Tribal and Ethnographic art. All artifacts offered for sale are guaranteed ancient/authentic, and have been legally acquired and are legal to sell.