Know Before You Bid: Mexican Jewelry and Art from the Cindy Tietze-Hodosh and Stuart Hodosh Collection

James Ardis
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Cindy Tietze-Hodosh and Stuart Hodosh spent their summer vacations in Taxco, Mexico. There, they slowly obtained Mexican silver and decorative art pieces. Although this is now referred to as their “collection,” the pair “never saw themselves as collectors,” John Moran Auctioneers wrote earlier this year, “but rather temporary custodians of the works they acquired.”

On August 16th, John Moran Auctioneers will bring pieces preserved by custodians Cindy Tietze-Hodosh and Stuart Hodosh to auction as part of their Made in Mexico event. Lots range from 20th-century jewelry by Matilde Poulat to silverwork from Antonio Pineda.

A pair of Antonio Pineda sterling silver candlesticks. Photo by John Moran Auctioneers.
A pair of Antonio Pineda sterling silver candlesticks. Photo by John Moran Auctioneers.

During their trips to Taxco, Cindy Tietze-Hodosh and Stuart Hodosh stayed at Antonio Pineda’s ranch. They were personal friends of Pineda and also purchased his internationally-recognized work. “[Pineda] was certainly one of the major modernist silversmiths in the 1950s, ‘60s and certainly into the ‘70s,” said Betsy Quick, Director of Education at UCLA’s Fowler Museum, of Pineda’s legacy.

A pair of sterling silver candlesticks (estimate: USD 6,000 – $9,000) designed by Pineda is available in the upcoming John Moran Auctioneers sale. The set comes to auction from the Hodosh Collection and was previously loaned out to the Fowler Museum as part of their traveling exhibition, “Silver Seduction: The Art of Mexican Modernist Antonio Pineda.”

Four Antonio Pineda sterling silver salt and pepper shakers. Photo by John Moran Auctioneers.
Four Antonio Pineda sterling silver salt and pepper shakers. Photo by John Moran Auctioneers.

Pineda began his career as an apprentice to designer William Spratling in Taxco. After some time away in Mexico City, Pineda returned to Taxco and opened his own jewelry workshop where he would eventually employ 100 silversmiths. His Los Angeles Times obituary notes one of his most frequent sayings: “The richness of silver is immortal. It doesn’t die.” Among the other pieces representing Pineda in this event is a set of four salt and pepper shakers (estimate: $600 – $800).

A Matl Sterling Silver Four-Strand Coral Necklace. Photo by John Moran Auctioneers.
A Matl Sterling Silver Four-Strand Coral Necklace. Photo by John Moran Auctioneers.

The Mexico City jeweler Matilde Poulat took on the working name “Matl,” meaning “water” in the Náhuatl language. Matl’s work required, as Wescover documents, “hours of chasing, the pieces often channel set with a multitude of tiny coral and turquoise stones.” Several Matl necklaces will come to auction from the Hodosh Collection, including the four-strand coral necklace pictured above (estimate: $2,000 – $3,000).

Beyond necklaces, the auction will also present Matl’s religious works. Figures depicting the Virgen de Guadelupe (estimate: $1,500 – $2,000) and Señora de la Asunción de Tonaya (estimate: $2,000-$3,000) are featured lots. Abalone, turquoise, coral, and both simulated diamonds and ruby decorate the former. Meanwhile, the Señora de la Asunción piece is set with turquoise and coral.

A Matl Nuestra Señora de la Asunción de Tonaya Silver Santos figure. Photo by John Moran Auctioneers.
A Matl Nuestra Señora de la Asunción de Tonaya Silver Santos figure. Photo by John Moran Auctioneers.

The Made in Mexico live auction will begin at 12:00 PM PST on August 16th, 2020. Collectors can register to bid online on the John Moran Auctioneers website.