Christie’s of France will auction 33 pre-Hispanic pieces belonging to Aztec, Maya, Mixtec, and Toltec cultures at prices ranging from 2,000 to 900,000 euros.
MEXICO CITY (apro) – Under the title “Quetzalcoatl: serpent à plumes,” Christie’s of France will hold an auction on February 9 to offer 33 pre-Hispanic pieces belonging to Aztec, Mayan, Mixtec and Toltec cultures.
According to the same auction house prices, the pieces, which did not mention how they were acquired, could reach between 2,000 and 900,000 euros.
The auction went viral due to a tweet by archaeologist Daniel Salinas Córdova (@DanielSalinas00), who said that neither the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) nor the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Mexican Embassy in France had commented on the matter.
Recién me entero que Christie's esta organizando una nueva subasta de arte precolonial americano en París para el 9 de febrero. Una vez más, piezas arqueológicas de México, Chile y Ecuador de procedencia incierta se están vendiendo al mejor postor. ?? 1/ pic.twitter.com/7EUaaJlG1I— Daniel Salinas Córdova (@DanielSalinas00) January 29, 2021
The piece that Christie’s highlights the most is the sculpture of “Cihuateótl,” goddess of fertility (cataloged in “lot 13”), from El Zapotal, Veracruz, with a height of 87 centimeters. It is described with a skirt “girded with a double-headed serpent belt” and a gesture on its face as if it were talking. It could fetch between 600,000 and 900,000 euros.
Another of the pieces with high value is a Teotihuacan mask (located in “lot 23”) of 15 centimeters high, whose price could be between 350 thousand and 550 thousand euros, and whose description highlights: “the stone masks of Teotihuacan have been treasured since the XIV century, as it has been observed in the Aztec offerings discovered in the excavations of the Templo Mayor in Mexico City.”
In the auction also appears a “yoke” (located in “lot 17”), a piece that used to be placed on the waist of the warriors who performed the “ball game” and that, according to Christie’s, has a “Tlaltecuhtli,” deity of the earth. There was also a 24-centimeter vessel (in “lot 26) with an expected price between 60,000 and 90,000 euros, as well as an “Aztec Dignitary,” with a price between 40,000 and 60,000 euros.
From Paris, France, the auction house offered this month a total of 48 pre-Hispanic pieces during bidding titled “Les empires du lumiér. Art de l’Amérique precolombienne”, despite a legal procedure by INAH.