Seated Figure, Nayarit, Mexico, Proto-Classic, 100 BC–250 AD

LONDON - This ancient terracotta figure – Lot 190 in this sale – has seen many things in its long life, but who would guess among them was the attempted seduction of Stanley Seeger by Ava Gardner. Christopher Cone, Stanley’s partner of 32 years, recalled in a recent article in the Financial Times how, as a part of a group of Mexican figures, it was kept in the bedroom. One evening when she came to dinner in their London flat. “She asked Stanley to show her the bathroom. He took her upstairs, and she tried to seduce him. She flung herself on the polar bear rug in the bedroom, looked around, and said, ‘Honey those pre-Columbian figures!’”