The Berjonneau-Munoz Collection Fulfilled All its Promises

On 02 October 2017, by Anne Doridou-Heim

What flowed from this shamanistic cup was not deer's blood, but a rich result of €142,399… The sale of the Berjonneau-Muñoz collection of pre-Columbian art, expected to be a key event of the new autumn season at Drouot, fulfilled all its promises with a final result of €2,005,228 including buyers' premiums.

Mochica, Peru, 100-500 AD, shamanistic cup with deer's head foot, gourd, wood, gold leaf and nails, mother-of-pearl, black and blue stones, 18.5 x 18.5 x 13 cm.
Result: €142,399

All the major pieces were sold. €199,999 went to an anthropozoomorphic idol personifying the god of wind, a stone statue considered by the collector as a "masterpiece of Aztec art," and €72,800 to a brown basalt Teotihuacan dignitary's mask. Pre-Columbian peoples were keen practisers of sport, particularly ball games: no fewer than 13 pitches have been identified at the site of Chichén Itzá. And though archaeological discoveries have not always elucidated the question of who, victors or vanquished, had the honour of being sacrificed by decapitation at the end of the game, they have unearthed three components in the ceremonial equipment: the "yugos", the "hacha" and the "palma". Gérald Berjonneau built up a fine collection of these spectacular stone items dating from the Classic Veracruz period. The profile of a young warrior carved on a hardstone hacha has come down through the centuries unscathed, garnering €130,000 in all his glory, followed closely, at €119,600, by a "crocodile" palma with a spiralling tail and excrescences radiating towards heaven, like a greeting to the Sun. 

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