Business and Professional
March 29, 2017
Another successful monthly Estate Auction, held on Saturday March 11, sustained Michaan's robust sales trend for 2017. Bidders in the house were joined by online and phone bidders for a lively auction with the lots offered selling through at a high percentage rate. "We are especially pleased to see many new names added to our list of winning bidders each month so far this year," says Michaan's Vice President and C.O.O. Scott Bradley. "The community of buyers keeps growing, thanks to the ease of our online portals as well as our record of continuous, comprehensive auction service to Bay Area consignors and collectors."
Jewelry lots are offered near the beginning of each Estate Auction, and March jewelry created excitement that established momentum for excellent results throughout the sale. Buyers showed their appreciation for designer names such as Tiffany and Cartier. "Brand names of this caliber always strengthen the auction value of estate jewelry," says specialist Elise Coronado, "but this month we saw interest that exceeded our own high expectations." A highlight was Lot 140, the slender diamond and platinum link bracelet by Tiffany & Co., which was estimated at $2,000-$3,000 and brought $6,600. Another Tiffany top seller was the diamond and platinum ladies' wristwatch with elegant oval dial, sold at $3,300 (Lot 181). The Cartier name resonated very well among buyers, with the signed chain and zodiac pendant of 18k yellow gold (Lot 71) selling at $1,440 on estimates of $400-$600. The pair of signed Cartier earrings composed of many yellow and white gold circles (Lot 46, $400-$600) sold for $900. "It's gratifying for those of us who love fine jewelry to see that the auction value of these beautifully designed pieces greatly transcends the value of their precious metals," notes Coronado. Cartier wristwatches also sold through, including the classic "Tank" watch (Lot 187, $1,440). The selection of fine wristwatches was especially good in March, and all sold well including designs for ladies by Chopard, Bulgari and Raymond Weil. A lot of two men's Omega stainless steel "Speedmasters" generated many inquiries and finished at (lot 182) $4,500 on estimates of $300-$500.
Rare antique and vintage estate jewelry also did very well in this sale, such as the pair of Victorian buckle motif bangle bracelets (Lot 113, $2,400) and the Art Deco diamond and platinum ring (Lot 138, $3,000). The intriguing Walton & Co. Art Nouveau opal dragon motif ring (Lot 166) and the Egyptian Revival multi-stone scarab brooch (Lot 102) each finished at $1,020. Native American silver and multi-stone jewelry also continued its long winning streak at Michaan's, with especially good prices realized for the designs of Thomas Singer.
Strong provenance was recognized by Michaan's fine art and Asian art buyers in March with the top lot, a 20th Century Chinese calligraphy piece, selling for $48,000. This work came from a family collection, having been passed down from the original owner, a prominent Kuomintang statesman. Another top lot was a Dutch School oil portrait of a young girl (Lot 290, $12,000) that was acquired by a late 19th Century descendant of President William McKinley and passed down through generations of his family.
Additional exciting auction results include the sale of the early Qing Dynasty imperial edict, its text written on silk and mounted as a hand scroll featuring decorative images and numerous seals. This lot 259 was estimated at $4,000-$6,000 and brought $14,400. Fine textile artifacts sold included a Tok Wi altar cloth (Lot 256, $720) and a blue ground embellished brocade dragon robe (Lot 257, $1,320). The excellent selection of Japanese woodblock prints sold very well, with several lots estimated around $500 reaching prices in the $2,500 to $4,500 range. A set of four by Utagawa Hiroshige (1796-1858) brought the highest price among the woodblocks in the March auction, followed by a Katsukawa Shuntei triptych. Sales of fine Japanese woodblocks continue next month, when two wonderful winter scenes by Kawase Hasui (1883-1957) will be offered at the Estate Auction on Saturday, April 8.
European artists of the 20th Century were popular with March fine art collectors, who bought works by Jean Deyrolle and Salvador Dali lot 325 (one lot each at $3,4600), as well as paintings by Maurice de Vlaminck and Karel Appel. Buyers also collected several biblical etchings after Rembrandt van Rijn, and three lots depicting ancient architectural subjects after Rossini and Piranesi (posthumously printed). Spirited American works sold include Fleur Cowles' mixed media "Flowers In Flight" (Lot 310, $1,200), Gayle Blair Tate's trompe l'oeil painting, "American Icons" (Lot 311, $2,400) and a pair of ceramic pendants attributed to Keith Haring (Lot 364, $480). Fine art collectors also bought two silvered bronze sculptures (cast posthumously Lot 365, 366) by Alexander Archipenko (1887-1964): "Torso in Space" and "Flat Torso" sold for $1,080 and $720 respectively.
As in February's monthly Estate Auction, fine silver was a highlight of the sale on March 11. Several lots of Wallace sterling "Grand Baroque" were among the top sellers. A "King Richard" sterling flatware set by Towle brought $2,280 (Lot 385). An elegant sterling tea and coffee service (Lot 386) by Shreve & Co. sold at $1,560. Mexican sterling (including Camusso and Sanborn pieces), Peruvian and Spanish Colonial silver sold well, along with a water pitcher by the renowned Taxco designer William Spratling, together with two Peruvian repoussé silver Aztec motif cups (Lot 425, $1,440). A Taxco design pedigree is also behind one of the top furniture lots, the handsome Los Castillos patinated wrought iron dining suite (Lot 500, $2,700). Furniture buyers flocked to the Philip and Kelvin Laverne (Lot 524) brass coffee table, bidding it up to $3,600. Pieces by the Lavernes are in high demand, and more will be featured in upcoming Michaan's auctions, including a large rectangular Chinoiserie coffee table in the April 8 Estate Auction.
Among the tabletop collectibles in this sale, the standout was a large dinner service of Royal Crown Derby china, which brought $3,000 on estimates of $500-$700 (Lot 570). Art glass highlights include the Emile Gallé pictorial vase (Lot 586, $900) and the Tiffany favrile vase, dark bronze in color and ovoid in shape (Lot 589, $1,800). Over two dozen lots of diverse Native American, Inuit, and Northwest Coast art objects were sold, including rugs by Two Grey Hills weavers, many woven baskets, and various charming beaded pieces. A lovely Inuit bentwood rocking chair (Lot 639) realized $450.
Michaan's next monthly Estate Auction will be held on Saturday, April 8. Special highlights include collectible art and furnishings from San Francisco's iconic Lion Pub, a Pacific Heights landmark for 48 years. A collection of posh designer clothing from the estate of philanthropist Jeanne Taylor, longtime head of San Francisco's esteemed Lilli Ann fashion house, will also be featured. For more details visit http://www.michaans.com
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Featuring fine art, decorative arts, Asian art and jewelry
March 11, 10am
March 4, 5 10 and day of sale
2751 Todd Street
Alameda, CA 94501