The first of Moran’s bi-annual Made in Mexico Auctions is filled with symbolism

• 20th century fine art from traditional to political will excite a variety of collectors
• Silver table settings will jazz up any home cooked meal
• Symbolism is rampant throughout works in the auction
• 150+ pieces of Mid-Century Mexican jewelry will find new homes

Los Angeles, CA – John Moran Auctioneers is pleased to present another installment of “Made in Mexico” on February 9th, 2021 to collectors of art, objects and jewelry from across the border. With more than 150 lots of Mexican jewelry from all of the preeminent designers represented, collectors will find it hard to not find something distinctive to add to their collection. A fully illustrated digital catalogue is available now to whet the appetite along with full cataloguing, condition reports and additional photographs so that bidders can make informed decisions before buying.

Lot 130 An Antonio Pineda silver and turquoise necklace 1953-1979; Taxco, Mexico Designed as a stylized pendant of twisted silver and oval turquoise rays suspended from an attached neck chain Estimate: $700-$900

Lot 130 An Antonio Pineda silver and turquoise necklace 1953-1979; Taxco, Mexico Designed as a stylized pendant of twisted silver and oval turquoise rays suspended from an attached neck chain Estimate: $700-$900

Antonio Pineda’s interpretation of traditional Mexican themes can clearly be seen as influence here with this turquoise set pendant that alludes to the double headed serpent. The British Museum displays a mosaic turquoise serpent that was reportedly given by Montezuma II to the Spanish conquistador Herman Cortez in 1519. The double headed serpent is considered a sign of rebirth from the serpent’s ability to shed its skin. Other theories suggest the duality of life and death with the serpent god being an essential part of the of iconography of Mexico. The use of turquoise here by Pineda is also symbolic for its reference to water, new growth, and possibly even the feathers of the quetzal bird. The Aztecs believed their god Quetzalcoatl taught them the how to refine this stone. In fact, the Spanish conquistador Bernal Diaz Castillo observed the more significant value the Aztecs placed on turquoise compared to gold. This is just one of many works feature in “Made in Mexico” that Antonio Pineda’s modern take has been added to. This power statement or one of his other pieces will make a crowning addition to the jewelry collection of the new buyer.

Perhaps jewelry does not pique your interest, but his elegant designs do; beautiful examples of Antonio Pineda’s craftsmanship and design mastery can be seen in his housewares in this auction. From the elegant rosewood and sterling flatware to the decadent sterling cigar holder and the luscious amethyst bracelets and onyx set jewels, there is enough variety to appeal to even the most jaded collector.

Lot 124 is Another Antonio Pineda silver piece with a fish motif that is heavily laid with symbolism. While fish have a long history of symbolic meanings in many cultures among story tellers and religions alike, the Mexican tradition of celebrating the fish rises from the Axoloti. It is actually not a fish but a salamander and never outgrows its gills and refuses to live on land. For this reason, it is hailed as representing independence, creativity and a long youth. Perhaps Pineda was channeling this fountain of youth with his line of skeletal jewelry.

“Mexican art has many faces.”
Lot 70 Mario Uribe b. 1943, Mexican/American

Lot 70 Mario Uribe b. 1943, Mexican/American "Toll Road (Immigration Control)," 1992 (Quadriptych) Acrylic on Masonite Each panel: 20" H x 27" W x .5" D Estimate: $4,000 - $6,000

Mexican art has many faces. From Diego Rivera and Frieda Kahlo to Alfredo Ramos Martinez, their artwork has always spoken about the country and the people who bring it to life, the people who are underserved and a life of struggling farm workers to political revolutionaries, their art exemplifies the life of the countries people.

Anyone who grew up in Southern California has seen signs like this along the automobile corridors that connect the metropolitan areas. For Mario Uribe, a Mexican American born in 1943, the signs were more than cautionary tales, they were the de-humanizing iconography of desperation, “In the 1970s, 80s and 90s, hundreds of illegal immigrants coming into the US from Mexico died crossing freeways in Southern California, unfamiliar with the speed that vehicles were traveling. The heavy toll prompted Cal Trans to create a freeway sign warning motorist of crossing illegal aliens, like we have for deer or cattle. I wasn’t sure if the purpose of the signs was to protect the immigrants or the motorists. My perspective has changed in the last 28 years however, and now, when I contemplate that work, I remember what my feelings were about the sign – not exactly positive. I feel the same about the sign, but now foremost in my mind and heart are the people who sacrifice so much in order to better themselves, and I am filled with admiration and respect for them. I’ll never know what it’s like to cross a border illegally or run across a freeway with my family in tow, and hope I never do.” Mario Uribe Regardless of your political belief, this his quadriptych is a powerful reminder that we have a long way to go politically and socially to see everyone as human.

Towards the end of the sale Moran’s is delighted to offer more than a dozen Pre-Columbian objects from an important Los Angeles collection. Dubbed the ‘Cloud people’ of Mesoamerica, the Zapotec culture dates back to 500 BCE – 900 CE. Their capital at Monte Alban was a trade hub that linked the Olmec, Teotihuacan and Mayan civilizations. As a large ceremonial center, Monte Alban thrived as a necropolis with elaborate funerary architecture. This example offered at Moran’s may have served as a guardian figure or as an escort effigy that would deliver one into the afterlife.

The other offerings be presented on February 9th including Hector Aguilar, William Spratling and Matilde Poulat (Matl), Los Castillo and Ledesma to name a few. For upcoming highlights, online catalogues, and more information on these sales, visit Moran’s website: 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 our website; bidding is also supported by telephone or absentee.
Consignment inquiries are always welcome.

Auction Highlights