Los Angeles, CA— John Moran Auctioneers is starting the summer HOT! They just presented their Art of the American West sale Tuesday, June 6th, 2023, which brought phenomenal results, specifically in the fine art category. The star of the show was the Native American artist, Oscar Howe, best known for his innovative and expressive depictions of traditional Dakota culture and mythology. He had two works in the sale, each reaching six-digit bids, but one achieving a new world action record for the artist at $325,000! Other standout works include a Navajo Late Classic child’s blanket, a sculpture by Allan House, Native American pottery, and some beautiful Hopi and Pueblo jewelry.
Two works from Oscar Howe highlighted the summer auction with a combined total of $550,000. Together, lots 1071 and 1072 brought ten phone bidders, including private collectors, museums, and other institutions from California, New Mexico, Arizona, South Dakota, New York, and Florida. Each of these works, sold on behalf of a private Los Angeles area estate, had pre-sale auction estimates of $12,000 – $18,000 but sold well into the six figures. Crushing his previous auction record of $58,000 (achieved back in 2020), was lot 1072, Howe’s “Camte Waste, No No Wa” (“Good Heart Forever”). Two phone bidders fought back and forth until the victor walked away with the work for $325,000 (including buyer’s premium)— making it the new world-auction record for the artist! The second work, lot 1071 “Koda, Nape Ciuza” (“Friend, I Shake Your Hand”), 1966, also brought in a whopping $225,000 (including buyer’s premium)!
Another fine art highlight featured Grafton Tyler Brown. Lot 1031, Grand Canyon From Lookout Point, Yellowstone National Park, 1886. It is the quintisential late 19th century view of American landscape grandeur with a result of $25,000 (including buyer’s premium), performing within its original estimate of $20,000-30,000.
After the Howe works, the next top lot was a Navajo Late Classic child’s blanket, selling for a staggering $31,250 (including buyer’s premium)! This weaving, lot 1093, had an estimate of $5,000-7,000 and was woven in the 1870s with cochineal red, cream, and black wool displaying three bands of crosses divided by horizontal ticking.
Mother And Child, 1989, by Allan House represented the selection of sculpture in the sale. This abstract figurative bronze is an elegant representation of this relationship that changes with the viewing direction. The bronze work was lot 1073 and went for $10,625 (including buyer’s premium), surpassing its $6,000-8,000 estimate.
Collectors turned out for the impressive variety of Native American pottery resulting in some exceptionally strong results. Leading the category was lot 1075, by Christine Nofchissey McHorse. This micaceous ceramic pot brought in $5,313 (including buyer’s premium). Lot 1125, a 3-inch-high sgraffito redware jar by Tony Da, sold for $4,063 (including buyer’s premium), and lot 1180, a black on white olla by Marie Z. Chino, had a winning bid of $3,125 (including buyer’s premium).
No American West auction would be complete without a stunning array of unique jewelry, and lot 1061, a Hopi gold stone inlay ring proved to be a favorite. This gorgeous piece by Charles Loloma started with an estimate of $2,000-3,000 and after multiple bids, ended at $8,125 (including buyer’s premium). Lot 1087, a Pueblo turquoise and shell necklace also performed well, bringing in $3,438 after a modest $200-400 estimate.
For over fifty years, John Moran Auctioneers has grown to be an industry leader and now presents their Art of the American West auction four times a year. This would not be possible without their VP and Western and American Indian Art Specialist, Maranda Moran. Maranda has been Moran’s go-to source for Western and Native American fine and decorative art for over two decades. To learn more, or to request a complimentary valuation, please visit www.johnmoran.com.
—Brenda Smith, John Moran Auctioneers
“Two works from Oscar Howe highlighted the summer auction with a combined total of $550,000. Together, lots 1071 and 1072 brought ten phone bidders, including private collectors, museums, and other institutions from California, New Mexico, Arizona, South Dakota, New York, and Florida. ”
John Moran Auctioneers will continue their 2023 lineup with the ReDesigned auction, Tuesday, July 11th, followed by the California Living sale, Tuesday, August 1st. Be sure to mark your calendars for these upcoming auctions so you don’t miss out on the action, and the treasures!
ReDesigned: Tuesday, July 11th | 12:00pm PST
California Living: Tuesday, August 1st | 10:00 am PST
Art & Design: Tuesday, August 29th | 12:00 pm PST
Art of the American West: Tuesday, September 12th | 12:00 pm PST
Fine Jewelry: Tuesday, September 26th | 10:00am PST
The Traditional Collector: Wednesday, September 27th | 10:00am PST
For upcoming highlights, online catalogues, and more information on these sales, visit Moran’s website: www.johnmoran.com and follow us on social media: @johnmoranauctioneers. Along with our website, bidding is now available online via Moran’s new mobile app, Moran Mobile, available on both iOS and Android operating systems. You may also choose to bid by phone or absentee.
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