John Moran Auctioneers to Offer Native American Objects and Jewelry; Modern and Contemporary Works of Art Side-by-Side


• Catalogue comprises over 300 curated auction lots
• High quality Native American jewelry from private collections makes up approximately a quarter of auction lots
• Modern and Contemporary works of art expected to achieve strong prices; will be offered alongside mid-century modern objects and furniture

MONROVIA, CA – In sharp contrast to the heavily 18th, 19th and early 20th century Continental offerings displayed at John Moran Auctioneers’ July 30th Decorative Art Auction, Moran’s September 10th Decorative Art Auction features a wide array of Native American and Western jewelry, objects and art alongside a stunning selection of Modern and Contemporary artworks, furnishings, sculpture and even automobiles. This fully catalogued auction boasts over 300 lots, with estimates ranging from the low hundreds to prices in the six figures.

Some wonderful examples by contemporary artists have already incited a fair amount of pre-auction interest, including Rufino Tamayo’s (1899-1991 Mexican) “Cabeza Roja” in gouache, watercolor and crayon . Tamayo’s visually arresting abstract work will go to the block with a $100,000 to $150,000 estimate. Additional works by Tamayo will also be offered with more approachable estimates, including two brightly colored mixografias: “Demi-Poisson [Half Fish]” will be offered with a $1500 to $2500 estimate, while “Personajes Con Pajaros [Personages With Birds]” is expected to bring $4000 to $6000. Graphic works by another Mexican Modernist, Rudolfo Nieto (1936-1988 Mexico), are also slated to go to the block with conservative estimates; one energetic colored pencil and graphite abstract in bright primary colors is expected to earn $1500 to $2500.

Contemporary and modern sculpture is also well represented in Moran’s September 10th auction catalogue; this summer, Moran’s saw the consignment of a rare “Lampe Femme” ceramic sculpture by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973 Spanish) for Madoura. The sculpture, which takes the form of an abstracted standing female figure, was brought in during one of Moran’s “What’s It Worth?” valuation days, and has been assigned an $8000 to $10,000 pre-auction estimate. An intriguing cast stone abstract sculpture by Japanese-American abstract expressionist painter and sculptor Masatoyo Kishi (b. 1924) is also on offer, and is expected to bring $1500 to $2500.

Approximately a quarter of the September 10th catalogue is comprised of Native American jewelry lots, the majority of which were consigned from a private Culver City, CA collection. Curated selections feature primarily modern and contemporary examples, with many by well-known makers. Highlights include a group of substantial, well-crafted sterling silver jewelry items by Navajo silversmith Orville Tsinnie, comprising a handsome concho belt, a wire-wrapped lapis lazuli-set bangle and two domed rings with stamped geometric motifs (estimate: $2000 to $3000). A stunning Santo Domingo shell and gemstone necklace is also slated for sale in the September catalogue; featuring gorgeous tumbled malachite beads alternating with heishi shells, the necklace has been assigned a $1500 to $1800 estimate. A definite statement piece in tones of light pink and emerald green, a fifteen-strand heishi shell and tumbled turquoise necklace is also to be brought to the block with a conservative $1500 to $2000 pre-sale estimate.

Native American objects include Pacific Northwest carvings from a private Ventura, CA collection alongside Apache and Mission basketry and Navajo weavings from private estates and collections across Southern California. Highlights include a carved and polychromed shaman’s rattle dating to the 19th century; the figural rattle hails from the aforementioned Ventura, CA collection, and is conservatively estimated to bring $1500 to $2000 at Moran’s September 10th event. A small collection of California Mission baskets from the Los Angeles, CA Estate of Julius Hauser are to be offered, all of which are in excellent original condition. A particularly attractive large Cahuilla polychrome basket decorated in foliate and geometric motifs is set to go to the block with a $1200 to $1800 estimate. Moran’s will also offer three figural Apache baskets in the September catalogue, including a large (over 17’’ wide) shallow bowl-form basket decorated with male and female figures, dogs and horses from a private San Marino Estate (estimate: $4000 to $6000). An exceptionally graphic mid-20th century Navajo woman’s wearing blanket featuring a traditional banded and stepped linear design with unusual pops of bright coral is also sure to turn heads at Moran’s auction (estimate: $1000 to $1500).

Dovetailing nicely with the Native American objects and jewelry, a selection of Western-themed objects and fine art are also slated for sale, and are expected to do well at the September 10th Auction. A few cold-painted bronze sculptures with Native American and Western themes, the majority modeled by celebrated Austrian artist Carl Kauba (1865-1922) will make their way to the block with conservative estimates ranging from $800 to $2000. Highly collectible photographs by documentary portraitist Edward Curtis are expected to do well at the block. Three rare Curtis orotones are on offer, including the iconic “Signal Fire to the Mountain God”, which is expected to hammer between $4000 and $6000. Another Curtis orotone titled “The Vanishing Race” depicts a group of Navajo men on horseback, and carries a more conservative $2500 to $3500 estimate. Conrad Buff’s (1886-1975 Laguna Hills, CA) painterly Arizona landscape “Lee’s Ferry”, which depicts the historically important Colorado River crossing of the same name, rounds out the offerings with a $1200 to $1800 pre-auction estimate.

Classic car aficionados will be pleased to see that Moran’s has acquired two very well-maintained single-owner vehicles for the September 10th catalogue, including a classic 1970 Dodge Charger 500 in excellent condition, which is expected to hammer between $25,000 and $30,000. Also on offer is a quite attractive cherry red 1957 Chevrolet 150, assigned an $18,000 to $25,000 pre-sale estimate.

Hoping to achieve a repeat performance from their January 2016 Decorative Art Auction, John Moran has slated three Baranger Studios Motion Displays for sale this fall. The South Pasadena-based Baranger Studios’ highly collectable and ever-charming automaton displays achieved strong prices earlier this year (each brought over $10,000 at the auction block), and Moran’s hopes the September 10th results will follow suit. Of particular interest is a diamond-themed Davy Crockett display, which features Crockett and a young woman on the back of a galloping horse while Native American figures shoot arrows over their heads. Each of the three displays are offered with a conservative $4000 to $6000 estimate.

Bidding in John Moran Auctioneers’ Saturday, September 10th Decorative Art Auction is available in person, via telephone, absentee, or online through Liveauctioneers.com, Invaluable.com and AuctionZip.com. Fully illustrated auction catalogues and condition reports for each lot are available through all the above platforms as well as through Johnmoran.com.

The Decorative Art auction will commence on September 10th at 12pm. Preview is available Friday, September 9th from 10am to 4pm, as well as on the day of the sale beginning at 10am. Private preview is also available by appointment; call John Moran Auctioneers directly for more information.

The Catalogued Decorative Art session will be followed by an uncatalogued Discovery Auction. Featuring nearly 300 lots, the Discovery Auction features American Decorative Arts, Native American objects and jewelry, California and American prints, paintings, sculpture, and Mid-century modern furniture and art pottery, all offered without reserve.

John Moran’s previews and auction events are always open to the public and free to attend.

John Moran Auctioneers is currently consigning for their September 24th Continental and Asian Decorative Art and Studio Fine Art Auction sessions, as well as for their December 6th Jewelry Auction. To inquire about consignment or for additional information about upcoming auction events, please contact John Moran Auctioneers directly via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone: (626) 793-1833.

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