Museum-quality art pieces assembled from more than 65 of the world’s top dealers were on display last weekend at Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. The Los Angeles Asian & Tribal Art Show included authentic vases from Tang Dynasty China, Mughal arts from the time of Shah Jahan and Bornean shields. The aisles were filled with a vast array of historical and contemporary pieces, including sculptures, masks, pottery, baskets, textiles, furniture, Japanese prints and kimonos, ornate Chinese walking sticks and amazing silver jewelry, with buying opportunities abounding for art collectors, novice or seasoned, as well as museum professionals. With literally thousands of artifacts on display, several had particularly interesting histories. Two Zulu ceremonial hats, selling for $1,600 and $1,800 respectively, were offered by Seattle art dealer Peter-Michael Boyd who purchased them from a Belgian collection. Used only once or twice a year for special occasions such as religious celebrations, the mid-century hats were handmade by tribal women who achieved the rich red color using ochre pigment. A very rare mid-30s silver necklace with a unique floral motif by William Stratling, priced at $3,600, was on display by Maestros de Taxco. Stratling, an American designer and architect, spent more than 30 years in Taxco developing and promoting the silver craft that eventually made that city famous. Recognized as “the father of Mexican Silver,” his legacy continues to flourish today. Another very interesting piece was a bust of one of the 18 Buddhist Lohans, a follower of Buddhism’s “Eightfold Path,” who achieved full spiritual fulfillment. He reached “Nirvana,” the state of complete freedom from worldly cravings, and was therefore no longer subject to reincarnation. His eternal status made him something akin to a guardian angel that could ward off evil. It is believed that his bulging eyes are a result of reading into the consciousness of others. Made of stucco, pigments and glass, this Lohan, created in China in the 1400s, is available through Scott S. Gordon at a cost of $14,500. Art Dealers: Peter-Michael Boyd, 206.297.3184; Maestros de Taxco, 805.573.3883; Scott S. Gordon, 505.954.0000.
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