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“I am attaching photos of some pieces that my mother-in-law gave us and which we would like to know more about,” wrote Carol Hart in an email to the column recently. “The first is a bull and matador signed H. Juarez. I believe it is for Heriberto Juarez but I don’t know the name of the piece or its age …I believe that all of the items were acquired by my mother-in-law’s late husband but I don’t know when or where. She recently passed them on to us. I hope that you and your experts can help us learn more about them.”

She recently brought the piece downtown to an appraisal session held at DuMouchelle gallery and auction house in Detroit, where Jerry Anderson took a closer look. She told him that she thinks her mother-in-law’s late husband was from a Cleveland suburb and that he had traveled quite a bit, when he may have acquired the piece.

Anderson praised the work and its quality, saying that the artist is a recognized sculptor and painter, which makes his work more salable. “According to the Internet, Juarez was born in 1932 and lived until 2008,” he explained. “He was a self-taught Mexican artist who is best known for works that portray women and animals, including bulls. He had wanted to be a bullfighter as a child but gave it up when he found he could make depictions of them as an artist. His work has been exhibited throughout the world, including in Mexico and the U.S. and is in both museum and private collections.” More information on the artist and examples of his painting and sculpture can be found at heribertojuarez.com.

He found examples of the artist’s work, some with the same label, for sale on the Internet. “I found a similar one that sold for about $1,000,” he told her, estimating that hers would probably sell for about the same amount, up to about a maximum of around $2,000, at auction. “It’s hard to say how many he made,” the appraiser told Hart. “I also found a variety of different poses online.”

Hart’s piece has a few condition issues. “The sword is a bit bent, which isn’t surprisingly because metal gets bent through the years and can sometimes be a bit out of shape,” Anderson said. Hart was happy to find out more before putting the inheritance on the market.

“I like them but she gave them to us to sell for our children’s college fund, so they’ll be sold,” she said. “I’m happy that I found out a little more before I sold them.”

Anderson quipped that he wishes for her children’s sake that she had inherited a work by a better-known maker. “If it was a Remington, it would have probably paid for tuition, even if it was a college in Maui,” he told her.

Do you have an object you would like to know more about? Send a photo and description that includes how you acquired the object to: The Detroit News, Trash or Treasure?, 160 W. Fort St., Detroit, MI 48226. Include your name and daytime telephone number. You may also send your photo and description to trashortreas@aol.com. If chosen you’ll need to bring the items to an appraisal session. Photos cannot be returned.

About This Item

Item: Sculpture

Owner: Carol Hart

Appraised by: Jerry Anderson, DuMouchelle’s

Estimated value: $1,000 and up

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