Los Angeles, CA — It was high noon, Tuesday, July 26, 2022, when clickin’ cowboys with fast-draw fingers saddled up at their computers to tune in to the John Moran Auctioneers’ Art of the American West online auction. This sale featured a wide variety of collectibles including fine art, including Northwest Coast art, sculptures, Puebloan pottery, well-crafted rugs and textiles, American Indian jewelry, and a stylish selection of Western-style belts.
This sale’s fine art collection included dramatic Western landscapes and vibrant contemporary images by artists such as Dorothy Sklar, Fritz Scholder, Edward Borien, Bud Boller, RC Gorman, and more. The top lot in this category was lot 2057, the mixed media work of Tony Abeyta, The Navajo Yei Council of Gods, estimated at $2,000-4,000, but with a price realized of $7,500 (including buyer’s premium). Other noteworthy work was Sunset in May, by Heinie Hartwig. This painting, lot 2001, had an estimate of $2,000-3,000, but brought in $3,750 (including buyer’s premium). Then, lot 2113 was Langdon Smith’s 1000 Palms’, Calif, 1934. All in at $1,750 (including buyer’s premium), shattering its low estimate of $300-400.
While there was some strong fine art offered in this auction, one piece of decorative art roped in quite the crowd. Lot 2229, a bronze sculpture from Sid Burns, Eight Plus Two, 1977, went for $3,750 (including buyer’s premium), achieving its estimate of $2,000-4,000. Sid Burns is an award-winning Western sculptor, known for his depictions of rough moments in the life of a cowboy. In this piece, Burns is demonstrating the most dangerous 8-seconds a rodeo rider must stay atop a bucking bronco for his overall score to even count.
“Other popular Southwestern decorative art featured in this sale were various lots of Puebloan pottery.”
Other popular Southwestern decorative art featured in this sale were various lots of Puebloan pottery. There was some from Santa Clara by LuAnn Tafoya, Kaa Folwell, and Harrison Begay, Jr., including lot 2084, a group of Santa Clara Pueblo Sgraffito Seed Pots including a piece by Joseph Lonewolf. This group of 10 pots was estimated to be $600-800 but surpassed that, reaching $1,500 (including buyer’s premium). Lot 2072 also performed well, two Hopi polychrome potter vessels estimated at $200-300, achieved $1,375 (including buyer’s premium).
The 33 lots of Navajo rugs and textiles garnered much attention: some being from weavers such as Bertha Chee and Isabel John. Lot 2046 was a Navajo pictorial weaving from John, estimated at $500-700, then selling for $2,812 (including buyer’s premium). Other Navajo rugs, lots 2012 and 2019, with estimates ranging between $200-$700, went for $1,875 and $1,500 (both including buyer’s premium).
While there was a generous group of American Indian jewelry offered, including cuffs, necklaces and rings in turquoise and silver, the most popular accessory in this sale was a belt! There were leather belts with Western-style buckles, and intricate concho belts. Lot 2133, a large Navajo silver concho belt, was estimated at $1,000-1,500, but ended with an impressive final bid totaling $2,500 (including buyer’s premium).
—Brenda Smith, John Moran Auctioneers
As we head into Fall 2022, John Moran Auctioneers will wrap up the summer season with the Made in Mexico auction, Tuesday, August 23rd, followed by the Summer Modern & Contemporary Fine Art sale, Tuesday, August 30th. Be sure to mark your calendars for these upcoming auctions so you don’t miss out on the action, and the treasures!
Made in Mexico: Tuesday, August 23rd | 12:00 pm PST
Summer Modern & Contemporary Fine Art: Tues, Aug 30th |12:00 pm PST
Studio Fine Art: Tuesday, September 13th | 10:00 am PST
Fine Jewelry: Monday, September 19th | 10:00 am PST
Traditional Collector: Tuesday, September 20th| 12:00 pm PST
Art of the American West: Tuesday, October 4th | 12:00 pm PST
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 our website; bidding is also supported by telephone or absentee.
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