Moran’s Art of the American West auction closed out the summer with over 350 lots of fine art, objets d’art, and jewelry from the leading artists and craftsmen of the American West. With a few new auction records, some sleeper hits, and strong prices realized, this sale brought a keen interest in key categories.
“Works by Modernist artists achieved some of the strongest prices of the day. Morgana Blackwelder, the Fine Art Director noted “buyers are competing for works that have a mix of historical context and modern flare.”
A new auction record was set by Cosmic Aspirations from John Nieto, one of the finest works from the artist to come to auction. Beautifully composed and vividly painted, two phone bidders battled it out until one finally took the prize for $28,750 (all prices realized include Moran’s 25% buyer’s premium). An abstract American Indian figure from Otellie Loloma, whose husband was famed jeweler Charles Loloma and a gifted artist in her own right, soared past its $1,000-2,000 estimate to bring $5,200, a record for the artist. American Portrait #20 from Fritz Scholder features a figure in movement against a color blocked background and brought $15,000.
An array of exquisite Navajo weavings and Southwestern basketry brought out the collectors. A Navajo Classic women’s half dress, woven circa 1860 of fine indigo blue, raveled lac and cochineal-dyed red yarns, and natural brown wool brought $6,875 at the auction. A large Navajo Germantown weaving dating from the turn of the last century woven from colorful yarns in an all-over stepped diamond pattern created a bidding war between two floor bidders when it hit the block, finally selling at double the low estimate for $12,500. A beautifully woven Apache pictorial basket tray sold for $3,750.
Classic prints and bronzes from leading Western artists achieved sturdy prices at the block. A gorgeous Karl Bodmer hand-colored aquatint of “Periska-Ruhpa—Moennitarri Warrior in the Costume of the Dog Danse,” from 1841 brought $25,000. A coveted orotone of one of the most iconic photographs by Edward Curtis, The Vanishing Race, brought $7,500. Canyon of the Old Ones from Oreland Joe Sr. is a beautifully sculpted bronze and was one of the most popular lots on view before the auction, bringing $3,437.
An Apache pictorial basketry tray
Sold for $3,750
Oreland Joe, Sr. (b. 1958 New Mexico)
Sold for $3,437
Moran’s fall auction schedule will roll along with The Traditional Collector and the Studio auctions on October 13th. California & American Fine Art and California Living will start November off on a high note. Moran’s popular 20th Century Art + Design and Prints and Multiples auctions are slated for November 17th. Fine Jewelry & Timepieces, Studio Jewelry and a selection of Luxury, Couture & Accessories will end the year with a glittering selection of jewels and goods just in time for the holidays.
For upcoming highlights, online catalogues, and more information on these sales, visit Moran’s website: www.johnmoran.com. Bidding is now available online via Moran’s new mobile app Moran Mobile, available on both iOS and Android operating systems. Live bidding on a desktop is available through bid.johnmoran.com; bidding is also supported by telephone, absentee, or in person.