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Christie’s Pre-Columbian Art auction in Paris showcases a selection of works from distinguished private collections such as The James and Marilynn Alsdorf Collection, the Fiore Arts Collection and from a notable European collection. Represented are works from the Guerrero, Maya, Teotihuacan and Aztec cultures, as well as a cross-section of lots from ancient South America.
From a distinguished European collection are four works, including an impressive early Teotihuacan stone figure from the city-state, dating ca. 300 B. C. - A. D. 300. Together with a Chontal mask of a priest or lord, ca. 300-100 B. C., both were featured in the important institutional exhibition Mexique Terre des Dieux-Tresors de l’Art Precolombien hosted in Geneva in 1998-1999.
James and Marilynn Alsdorf spent their 38-year long marriage building a wide-ranging art collection, the Alsdorf home was akin to an encyclopedic museum of art. There are 22 Pre-Columbian works from this prestigious collection in the auction, amongst them a Veracruz Yoke fragment, featuring a striking portrait of a dignitary. This object was exhibited in 1960 at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Another eight works are from the significant Fiore Arts Collection, all exhibited at one moment in time in various North American museums, including the Fine Arts Museum, Boston. Highlights of this group are a Mayan, Jaina style, nobleman, originally from the Jay C. Leff collection, an elaborately painted and modeled pair of Mayan lidded vessels and a rare Pre-classic Mayan Stone Figure.