Mexican Mask with Dark Hair and Beard M898

This particular mask has a huge amount of personality and quite a range of moods, as the pictures attend. A really first-rate example of this deeply Mexican art and practice.

9″ x 6″ x 3″.  12″ high on its metal stand

Price on request.

Mexican mask-folk art refers to the making and use of masks for various traditional dances and ceremony in Mexico. Evidence of mask making in the country extends for thousands of years and was a well-established part of ritual life in Mexico when the Spanish arrived. In the early colonial period, evangelists took advantage of native customs of dance and mask to teach the Catholic faith although later, colonial authorities tried to ban both unsuccessfully. After Independence, mask and dance traditions showed a syncretism and mask traditions have continued to evolve into new forms, depicting Mexico’s history and newer forms of popular culture such as lucha libre. Most traditional masks are made of wood, with others made from leather, wax, cardboard, paper mache and other materials. Common depictions in masks include Europeans (Spanish, French, hacienda owners, etc.), Afro-Mexicans, old men and women, animals, and the fantastic/supernatural, especially demons/the Devil.

Mexican Mask “Dance of the Moors” M896

A character from the traditional Dance of the Moors and Christians. This rather old mask hails from Chiapas, Mexico or perhaps Guatemala. Here we have one of the Moors, the villains of course, with his beardy face and terrifyingly bushy eyebrows belying his rather pleasantly regular features. Wonderful high coloring to suggest a high degree of choler, that medieval signifier for a fiery temperament.

6″ wide x 9″ high x 4 1/2″ deep.

Price on request.

Mexican Devil Mask M897

We don’t measure the beard. Out of respect. Mask is 6″ wide x 11″ high x 4″ dee, and 16″ tall on its metal stand.

Price on request

Masks depicting devils and other fantastic creatures

Apart from masks depicting humans and animals, other masks deal with the fantastic, abstract and supernatural. In the Nahua community of Zitlala, Guerrero, the mask for a ceremonial jester is red, with lizards on the cheek and sometimes the nose. Masks to indicate the indigenous in the Tastoanes dance often originally had scorpions painted on them, but evolved to include hooked noses and other grotesque features. Today the noses are made of wood and images of bikini-clad women are painted on. Skull masks have their origins in the pre Hispanic period. The depiction of death in pre Hispanic Mexico was not fearful but rather part of life. Skull masks represent death still, and can be basic white or with fanciful decorations. Some are serious and others are laughing. Some masked characters represent abstract concepts such as time and the Seven Deadly Sins.

However, the most common fantastic masks are those which depict the devils, demons and Satan himself. These vary from near normal human faces to those with wild and/or grotesque features, with human features, animal features or both. Depictions of old pre Hispanic gods remain in masks. Tlaloc was commonly depicted as having serpents around his eyes and with the fangs of a viper. These elements can be found in devil masks today. Tezcatlipoca was a night god, whose colors were black and red. These are also applied to devil masks.

Depictions of demons/devils have been adopted to various dances and rituals from morality plays to satires. Satan appears in dances such as Los Tecuanes and Moors and Christians as well as in Carnival celebrations. Christmas pageants called pastorelas have masked devil characters that try to keep shepherds from seeing the Baby Jesus .

Mexican Festival Mask M899

9 1/2″ x 4″ x 4″, 12″ high on metal stand.

Price on request.

Masks in Mexico are used in a wide variety of dance, ceremony, festivals and theatre, with their wearing not separate from the event in which they are used. The most common uses are with traditional dances, which are a form of theater, with characters, storyline and music, but the performers are not professionals. The purpose of the masks it convert participants into other beings or characters. This element is so important in many events that if a dancer does not use a mask, he often wears dark glasses to indicate that he is not his normal self. A double sense of masking is to use dark glasses over a mask. With few exceptions, dances are performed by males, who play female roles wearing masks.

Mexican Child’s Mask M900

5″ x 5″ x 4″

Masks depicting Afro-Mexicans

A number of dances in several parts of Mexico include or feature masks imitating African or black faces. These have their origins with the importation of African slaves by the Spanish. These slaves had contact with the indigenous peoples, often as intermediaries between them and the Spanish overlords. This experience was incorporated in indigenous dances, with the dancers called “negritos” (little black ones). Negrito masks vary by region. Those from the Costa Chica region of Oaxaca and Guerrero have realistic or exaggerated Negroid features, and other from the Sierra de Juarez of Oaxaca are more primitive with small tusks protruding from the mouth. Those from Michoacán have fine features and a gentle expression. Sheepskin is often added to suggest hair. The masks are worn as part of a costume which usually has the dancer elegantly dressed, with colorful fabrics and headdresses. In the colonial period, blacks had a wide range of occupations so this was portrayed in dances. Although most of the Africans intermarried with the rest of the population, the masks remain.

Price on request.

Antonio Saldano Mustachioed Mexican Mask M901

A wonderful face. This mask was carved in the village of Tocuaro, Michoacan by the master carver Antonio Saldano. Part of the Christmas tradition of San Juan Nuevo (near Uruapan, Michoacan) known as the dance of the Curpites, four men who assist the Virgin Mary and St Joseph in finding the lost Baby Jesus.

7″ x 6″ x 3″.

Price on request

Mexican Pale Mask M903

A ghost face. But this ghost is way more scared than scary. Fantastically expressive. Feel free to thread ribbons through the holes that frame the face. Objects such as this are alive and enjoy the attention.

7 1/4″ x 7″ x 3 1/2″.

Price on request

Catalina Island Mandarin Yellow Shrimp Cocktail Bowl C407

A terrific design, purpose built: so we recommend using it for that very purpose. Have a classic: an American shrimp cocktail!

Price on request

Catalina Island Set of 7 Ivory Shrimp Cocktail Bowls C408

Very exciting to have a set of these. And we totally recommend bringing the classic iced shrimp cocktail appetizer back for a party meal. We didn’t know how much we’d missed it until we saw these rare beauties.

Price on request.

Monterey Classic Two Door Cabinet with Dec-Art Tiles RARE F1414

An early triumph of the Monterey line (circa 1929). Bought new by the family we acquired it from, it is one of only six known to exist. And the Dec-Art tiles are a great rarity in themselves. Original finish, and missing its back, it shows the wear and tear of continuous use. We are leaving it as is.

36 1/4 wide x 34″ high x 19″ deep

Price on request.

Super Special Sheriff Salsa Holiday Gift-Pak Offer!











All five flavors of Chef Garcia’s ground-breaking Salsas, plus a vintage hand-painted Mexican pottery serving dish. A delicious way to make the holidays unforgettable.

Only $99.  Available while they last.

Some of you may remember my dear old dog and buddy of fourteen years, Sheriff the Boston terrier. Well, like all good dogs he went to heaven, but he is now the mascot of my new business, Sheriff Brand Salsas, that I am launching in partnership with Chef Gabriel Garcia. Great Salsa for Great Food. The Alpha Dog is here.

Sheriff brand salsas are the best you’ve ever tasted. We’ll tell you how and you’ll taste why.

Chef Gabriel Garcia has created five brilliant salsas, each with its own unique flavor profile. Rich and tasty, complex and vibrant, made with the freshest organic heirloom produce from the Southwest, Mexico and California.

Five classic peppers each lend their names to the five different salsas they define.

The Hatch Japones Red Salsa is roasted to perfection and blended to a fine texture. Hot enough to let you know you’re eating salsa but not so hot you won’t want to pile it on with every bite. Goes great with eggs first thing in the morning, and, when your day is done, it’s a regular chip magnet. Time for that beer.

The Jalapeño Hatch Green Salsa : we roast these too (we roast them all, it’s the right way to treat them). Creates a salsa so mild and smooth even the biggest salsa scaredy-cat will crave it. And all our Hatch peppers come from Hatch, New Mexico. They’re the real deal. Great with fish, and your tortillas will thank you too.

The Güeritos Yellow Salsa stakes a claim to its roots in this mild and subtly sweet salsa. These tiny heirloom chiles are central to classic native Mexican cuisine. From garden veggies to tofu, for seafood and poultry, on rice and beans, this salsa lends itself to many dishes and is guaranteed to whet your appetite.

The Habañero Orange Salsa Spice will wake the most jaded palate right up. Although it won’t burn down the house, it WILL set off the fire alarm. Made with the finest chiles and rare orange heirloom tomatoes, this is the Yin to our green salsa’s Yang. The simplest roasted or barbecued meats come alive in the shadow of the volcano, with this, our spiciest salsa.

The Chile Negra Black Salsa possesses perhaps our most unusual flavor profile. Its secret ingredients are a mixture of spicy and sweet, with an umami that is part fermentation and part… we’re not telling. Its subtle fragrance, deep flavor and sumptuous texture are pure magic on chicken, roasted pork, grilled steak… not to mention what it’ll do to a humble plate of nachos. Out of this world.

Anders Aldrin Red Coast P1431

Magnificent, large scaled and utterly original. Anders Aldrin throws colors down the way a gambler deals the cards. And he plays them brilliantly. Here he wins the bet without cheating. Superb gambit beautifully executed.

From the Anders Aldrin Family Archive, in excellent condition, oil on canvas, 38″ x 30″.

Price on request.

Anders Aldrin Silverlake Boulevard 1935 P1427

We are always excited by what we can only call Los Angeles Landscape. Few great cities are so intermingled with the natural world. And few painters were better suited to capture these unique scenes, so many of them now vanished or overbuilt, than Anders Aldrin, one of California’s most innovative painters. This corner of LA remains, as does that tiny copse of trees overlooking the waters of the reservoir. A gem.

From the Aldrin Family Collection, oil on board, signed, in good condition, some crumbling at the edges, 16″ x 12″.

Price on request.

Silver Lake reservoir in the 30s

Silver Lake reservoir in the 30s

Anders Aldrin Washington State Farmland P1428

Aldrin ranged up and and down the entire length of the west coast in his career as one of California’s most original plein air painters. A late bloomer as an artist, he never lost his hunger to capture what seized his eye, in a way no one else did. The only painter he can be said to resemble in his approach to the American landscape is the great David Hockney. Just plain terrific. Oil on canvas 20″ x 16″ in excellent condition, from the Aldrin estate.

Price on request.

Anders Aldrin California Winter Fields P1429

A fairly thick impasto in no way impedes the subtlety of this gorgeous fluent plein air landscape by the California master, Anders Aldrin. The light and the tawny colors evoke that state of pause that is the California winter. Remarkably fresh condition, oil on canvas, unframed, 18″ x 14″. From the Anders Aldrin Estate. Signed.

Price on request.

Girl Showing a Cockerel to her Dog P1426

This lovely genre painting, so typical of the late 19th century, exactly the kind that enjoyed pride of place in its salons and parlors, is signed indecipherably, but is undoubtedly the work of a top-flight painter of the period. Oil on canvas, unframed, 23″ x 30 1/4″, in excellent condition.

Price on request.

Portrait of a Lady in 1810s Dress P1430

This unsigned oval portrait of a ravishing brunette beauty of the Napoleonic era evokes the English school of Sir Thomas Lawrence. Oil on canvas, in excellent condition, 24 1/2″ tall and 20″ wide.

Price on request.

Catalina Urn C405

Great elegance of form and a gorgeously subtle orange glaze with an underlay of autumnal greens make this classical piece an ornament to any setting. Some chips, clearly seen in the pictures, to the base. 7″ diameter and 11″ tall.

Price on request.

Mexican Monumental Polychrome Tin Mirror M895

Absolutely spectacular, exuberant and joyful: superb metal working and wonderful colors. And at 41″ in diameter and 5″ deep this giant kaleidoscopic flower composed of many smaller flowers is a major statement.

Price on request.

Pair of Monterey Classic Armchairs with Original Finish F1357

Super sweet. And solid. Very nice pieces. Definitely lived in. And a trip to the upholsterers would not come amiss. But the decorations are first-rate. No way we were going to mess with those.

Price on request.

Robert Martin DeWitt High Meadow and Mountain P1354

Born in Ohio on June 19, 1912. During the 1930s “Bob” DeWitt lived in Los Angeles and studied at UCLA and Chouinard Art School. He was a pupil of Roger J. Sterrett and Aimee Bourdieu at Los Angeles High School and of Millard Sheets at Chouinard. He died in Los Angeles on Dec. 20, 1964.
Exh: Painters & Sculptors of LA, 1933-37; LA County Fair, 1935, 1941; Calif. WC Society, 1935-45; UCLA, 1936; Chouinard Gallery, 1940; Calif. Art Club, 1943.
Edan Hughes, “Artists in California, 1786-1940

7″ x 8″/ Frame 13.5″ x 15.5″

Price on request.

Los Castillo Handwrought Silver-plated Tray M882

Inlaid with turquoise and lapis. 14″ x 21″ x 1″. Playful and elegant, and claiming its pre-Columbian roots, to boot.

Price on request.