Carter B. Horsley
Pre-Columbian Art auction
at Sotheby's May 12, 2005 is highlighted by some fine Mayan works,
a good Veracruz yoke, some fine gold pieces, a nice Nayarit joined
couple and an excellent Mezcala stone figure.
is an impressive Mayan
brownware lidded tripod vessel that is dated Early Classic, circa
A.D. 250-400. The 10-inch-high vessel has an estimate of $100,000
to $125,000. A thin-walled bowl has finely carved cartouches of
conflated images of serpent and avian elements with segmented
scrolls and plumes and the fitted lid has a majestic head oof
a stylized hummingbird as a handle with a long beak. The catalogue
entry for this lot notes that "The hummingbird, although
seemingly a delicate creature, with resplendent plumage and adept
physical endurance, was a powerful symbol from the Olmec through
Aztec eras. Its long needle-like beak was associated with bloodletting
rituals." The lot failed to sell.
Another handsome Mayan
brownware object, a
bowl, is Lot 292, which is dated later, Late Classic, circa A.D.
550-950. The bowl is 7 inches in diameter and with deeply carved
on one side with a cartouche of a young lord. It has an estimate
of $35,000 to $45,000. It failed to sell.
is a Mayan polychrome
bowl from the same period as Lot 292. It is 4 3/4 inches high
and is painted in Holmul style with a band of three cormorants.
The lot has an estimate of $45,000 to $55,000. It sold for
$90,000 including the buyer's premium as do all results mentioned
in this article. About 71 percent of the offered lots sold.
Mayan bowl of the same
period as Lot 292 is Lot 297. It is 4 3/4 inches in diameter and
and has a mythological scene of three animals making sacrificial
offerings. "The voluminous toad or Uinal Monster
a flared bowl containing a bone, a severed hand and eyeball, the
mischevious crouching toad with bead necklace draped around the
scaly body, the profile image of God C with gaping mouth on his
back wearing a waterlily headdress with frond being nibbled by
a fish behind a corpulent dog. It has an estimate of $55,000 to
$65,000. It sold for $204,000.
is a large and elegant
Mezcala stone figure, type M10, Late Preclassic, circa 300-100
B.C. The figure is 12 1/2 inches high and comes from the Alexander
M. Bing Collection. It has an estimate of $15,000 to $25,000.
It sold for $222,000.
auction has a good selection
of Pre-Columbian gold objects. One of the best is Lot 231 is dated
circa A.D. 1000-1500 and is a Tairona finial. The four-inch-high
object depicts a male figure carrying a basket on his back with
a monkey perched o top the basket. The lot has an estimate of
$40,000 to $50,000. It failed to sell.
is a lively Costa Rican
gold jaguar pendant that is dated circa A. D. 800-1200. The 4
1/4-inch long pendant has an estimtae of $25,000 to $35,000. It
sold for $51,000.
Lot 271 is a delightful and
fine joined Nayarit
couple in Ixtlan del Rio style, Protoclassic, circa 100 B.C.-A.D.
250. The 16 1/4-inch high couple has an estimate of $12,000 to
$18,000. It sold for $26,400.
is an excellent Veracruz
effigy yoke in deep blackish green stone. Dated circa A.D. 450-650,
it is 16 1/4 inches long. It has an estimate of $25,000 to $35,000.
It sold for $27,600.