30
Jun
14

Bidders on “Plaque Attack” at Asian Fine Auction

Michaan’s Fine Asian Works of Art auction on June 23, 2014 was a resounding success, raking in over $2,400,000. A variety of Chinese ceramic plaques wowed at auction, but, the undisputed star of the day was an offering of two famille rose porcelain plaques listed as lot 7435 ($20,000-30,000). The Republic period pieces by Wang Qi were a rare find from the artist, but who saw this sale price coming – ? After a rapid succession of phone bids, things wrapped up at $463,000; a total that exceeds the high estimate well over 15 times!

Two Famille Rose Porcelain Plaques, Republic Period

Two Famille Rose Porcelain Plaques, Republic Period, By Wang Qi (1884-1937), Sold for $463,000

I spoke firsthand with the consignor and her story of the plaques is just as cool as their result. Earlier this year she purchased the plaques at an estate sale for $2,000. She eventually brought them to a dealer who offered to pay her $5,000 for the set. Deciding to do a little more detective work, she brought them to Michaan’s free Wednesday appraisal event. Asian Art Specialist Mr. Harry Huang knew he had pieces of quality in his midst and the deal was done. The story ending with an overall return of 231 times the original investment? The consignor, who attended the auction live, expressed that she thoroughly enjoyed the moment and is very happy with the result.

 
27
May
14

Mr. Huang’s Asian Fine Highlight-A-Polooza

Michaan’s will close the 2014 June sale schedule with a Fine Asian Works of Art auction on Monday the 23rd.  The auction will hold the largest volume and diversity of property of any fine sale conducted under the direction of Asian Art Specialist Mr. Harry Huang.  Exceptional works abound, with a list of highlights that will undoubtedly whet your appetite for the over 400 lot sale.  So, get ready, put on your reading glasses and click here.

 
27
May
14

Stone Cold in Love with June Fine Highlights

Michaan’s 2014 fine sale season begins with a June 6th auction encompassing fine art, jewelry, furnishings and decorations.  A highlight has been selected from each department represented in the sale, giving you a glimpse into the caliber of the offered property.  Fine Italian marble, Warhol cherubs plus a large fancy yellow diamond: hoping the combination leaves you stone cold in love with what you see at auction.

Andy Warhol lithograph

Fine Art – Andy Warhol lithograph “Two Cherubs and a Flower (from In the Bottom of the Garden)” ($10,000-15,000)

 

Carved Italian marble cistern

Furniture & Decorative Arts – Carved Italian marble cistern ($6,000-8,000)

Fancy yellow diamond ring

Jewelry – Approximate 5.19 carat fancy yellow diamond ring ($50,000-80,000)

The auction will be held on June 6, 2014 at 10:00 a.m.  The online catalog is available at www.michaans.com.  Previews begin on May the 30th and continue until June the1st, as well as on the day of sale.  For general information please call (510) 740-0220 ext. 0 or e-mail info@michaans.com.  Michaan’s Auctions is located at 2751 Todd Street, Alameda, CA 94501.

 
18
Apr
14

The Cabella Collection – Que Bella!

Steve Cabella, owner of Modern i, remains a recognized founder of the Bay Area modernist movement.  His groundbreaking shop is known as one of the earliest dedicated to modern design, as it opened its Marin doors in 1976.  Items from his collection have been internationally exhibited, including at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, the Eames Office Gallery and the San Francisco Airport Museum.  An Eames expert in his own right, Cabella runs eamescollector.com, a not-for-profit website documenting obscure Eames design moments.  In addition, he recently produced a film titled “Ray and Charles Eames: The Hollywood Connection” that delves into their contribution to Hollywood movie making.  The “Modern Maven” will debut choice selections from his coveted collection in Michaan’s 2oth Century Design Auction slated for May 8, 2014.  Approximately 80% of the sale lots will stem from the Cabella Collection, providing a wide range of mid-century modern pieces to the bidding public.  Some highlights from the sale that will have you saying “Que bella!”

Numerous extremely rare and one-of-a-kind pieces from modern icon Margaret de Patta:

Margaret De Patta Flatware.

Margaret De Patta Flatware

This four piece sterling silver, copper and stainless steel flatware set is embossed with original de Patta insignias.  Only five of these sets are known to exist, with remaining suites held in museums and esteemed private collections ($12,000-16,000).

Margaret De Patta Ring

Margaret De Patta Ring

This sterling silver Margaret de Patta ring of fluid abstract design will also be presented, standing as an excellent example of her limited studio production work ($2,400-3,200).

Collection of Margaret De Patta Paper Ephemera

Collection of Margaret De Patta Paper Ephemera

Perhaps one of the rarest de Patta offerings in the auction stems from this group of her original design paper ephemera ($1,200-1,400).  The three handmade, one-of-a-kind, abstract Christmas cards are accompanied by original brochure photos from 1950, 1951, 1961, 1962 and 1964.  This extremely rare collection was exhibited in both Oakland and New York Craft Museum Margaret de Patta exhibits.

1963 Avanti by Studebaker

1963 Avanti by Studebaker

This 1963 Avanti by Studebaker automobile designed by Raymond Loewy will be offered at an auction estimate of $20,000-25,000.  The car is one of only two thousand and eight produced by hand in 1963, bearing a serial number of 777.  The automobile remains in exceptionally clean, authentic condition with all of its original parts.

Eames Storage Unit

Eames Storage Unit

Also of note in the auction is this scarce Eames storage unit ($3,500-5,000).  The coveted model ES2U100 is fashioned in a rarely seen perforated metal panel.  This first year production piece remans in exceptional showroom condition, with its original colors of red, white, blue and grey.

Previews for this not to be missed collector event will be held on May 2nd to the 4th, as well as on the day of sale, May 8, 2014.  The sale will consist of a wonderful selection of modern and contemporary furniture, artwork, lighting and decorative objects.  For general information please call (510) 740-0220 ext. 0 or e-mail info@michaans.com.  Michaan’s Auctions is located at 2751 Todd Street, Alameda, CA 94501.

 
13
Mar
14

Asian Decoration Elation

Michaan’s April 7, 2014 Asian Decorative Arts Auction presents a comprehensive representation of works, including but not limited to, Chinese paintings, jade and hardstone carvings, silk textiles, cloisonné enamel wares and highly decorative ceramics.  Approximately 300 lots will be offered from both private and public collection sources, providing exciting bidding opportunities worthy of genuine bouts of elation – !

Wang Yachen (1894-1983): Birds and Prunus, Ink and color on paper

Wang Yachen (1894-1983): Birds and Prunus, Ink and color on paper

Wang Yachen’s (1894-1983) “Birds and Prunus” ($1,500-2,000)
The artist was a founding member of the art collective known as the “Silent Society.”  So beautifully rendered, how could I keep quiet about it?

A Brocade Purple-Ground 'Dragon' Robe, Late Qing Dynasty

A Brocade Purple-Ground ‘Dragon’ Robe, Late Qing Dynasty

A late Qing dynasty brocade dragon motif robe ($2,000-3,000)
Such a powerful piece!  Created for nobility, this royal purple robe buzzes with activity – sinuous golden dragons, flaming pearls, swirling clouds and crashing waves.

A Group of Amber and Jadeite Beads

A Group of Amber and Jadeite Beads

A 19th century amber and jadeite bead court necklace ($2,000-3,000)
The waves of elation will undoubtedly carry overseas and beyond for this piece.  Quality amber such as this is in high demand in the Asian marketplace.

The illustrated auction catalog will be posted online at www.michaans.com when it becomes available.  Previews open at Michaan’s Auctions on April the 4th until the 7th, the day of sale.  For general information please call (510) 740-0220 ext. 0 or e-mail info@michaans.com.  Michaan’s Auctions is located at 2751 Todd Street, Alameda, CA 94501.

 
12
Mar
14

Planting a Tiffany Garden

Michaan’s Auctions is honored to announce its third offering of spectacular Tiffany Studios treasures from Japan’s esteemed Garden Museum Collection.  The fine Tiffany masterworks will sold at 1:00 p.m. on April 12, 2014, providing discriminating buyers from around the world another exclusive opportunity to bid on these magnificent Tiffany treasures.  The following provides a sneak peek into a few Garden Museum Collection highlights in the sale.

Tiffany Studios Peacock Chandelier

Tiffany Studios Peacock Chandelier

This Tiffany Peacock chandelier is an expected high point from the sale’s Garden Museum Collection lots ($250,000-300,000).

Tiffany Studios 22 Inch Peony Table Lamp On A Reticulated Bronze Base.

Tiffany Studios 22 Inch Peony Table Lamp On A Reticulated Bronze Base

A Tiffany Studios Peony table lamp illuminates the sale at an estimate of $250,000-350,000.

Tiffany Studios Landscape Window

Tiffany Studios Landscape Window

Enjoying the view: a circa 1910-1920 Tiffany Studios landscape window ($250,000-300,000).

For more information on Michaan’s April Tiffany Auction please call (510) 740-0220 or visit our website at www.michaans.com.  A printed, full color catalog will be made available five weeks prior to the auction.  Previews will be held at Michaan’s on April the 4th through the 6th, on the 11th and the day of sale.  Michaan’s Auctions is located at 2751 Todd Street, Alameda, CA 94501.

 
30
Jan
14

Love Is In The (Decorative) Details

Good ol’ fashioned love.  Love can of course be found in many different kinds of relationships, but perhaps some of the best old fashioned love stories are the ones held between a man and a woman.  Michaan’s February 2nd estate auction will present numerous lots celebrating the spirit of St. Valentine’s Day.  But, it is a select few offerings from the Furniture & Decorative Arts Department that seem to convey this blush of romantic love the most traditionally and beautifully.

Meissen Figural Group of Courting Couple

Meissen Figural Group of Courting Couple, with Deutsche Blumen decoration

Meissen Figural Group of a Courting Couple, Lot 498, $1,000-1,500
I like to think their names are Betty and George.

Large Louis XV Style Gilt Painted Trumeau Mirror

Large Louis XV Style Gilt Painted Trumeau Mirror

A Large Louis XV Style Gilt Painted Trumeau Mirror, Lot 102, $1,500-2,000
Their names are Venus and Adonis.  Look into the mirror and repeat, “My relationship will not end in the same way.”

Feel the love when previews open on January the 31st until February the 2nd, the day of sale.  XOXO

 
21
Jan
14

Rare Bird Sighting at Michaan’s Auctions

A very special collection of American bird prints by Alexander Wilson will grace Michaan’s auction room floor on March 2, 2014 ($20,000-28,000).  Images derive from original engravings from “American Ornithology, or The Natural History of the Birds of the United States” by Wilson, in which nine volumes were published between 1808 and 1814.  The volumes were acquired by a Bay Area corporate firm in 1975, at which time they were then sent to the Boston Museum in Massachusetts.  It was at the institution that they were removed from the volumes and restored, resulting in the archived works.

Original engravings, from “American Ornithology / The Natural History of the Birds of the United States”, 1st edition.Alexander Wilson (1766 – 1813)

Alexander Wilson (July 6, 1766-August 23, 1813) has been dubbed the “Father of American Ornithology” and is largely regarded as the greatest American ornithologist to have existed before Audubon.  Numerous species of bird have been named in reverence to him, including Wilson’s Plover, Wilson’s Phalarope and Wilson’s Warbler.

Original engravings, from “American Ornithology / The Natural History of the Birds of the United States”, 1st edition.Alexander Wilson (1766 – 1813)

 
14
Jan
14

Bunnies Keep Sales Hopping at Auction

Michaan’s Fine Asian Works of Art auction closed 2013 with a bang, grossing $1,949,260 with an approximate 78% sell-through.  A Qi Baishi painting titled “Rabbits Under Osmanthus Tree (Tian Xiang)” soared amongst phenomenal results, as the star lot commanded $383,500 (lot 5243, $50,000-70,000).  The quintessential work from the painting master of one black and one white rabbit huddling behind an Osmanthus branch was secured by a Shanghainese floor bidder at over 5 times the high estimate.  Asian Art Specialist Mr. Harry Huang reflected, “Qi Baishi remains one of the most highly regarded names in the Asian antiquities marketplace; a definitive artist preferred by many collectors.  The quality of the painting as well as the acquisition from Mr. and Mrs. Lieutenant General Yu Pingtung made it an absolutely stellar piece at auction.”

Qi Baishi: Rabbits Under Osmanthus Tree

Qi Baishi (1864-1957): Rabbits Under Osmanthus Tree, Ink and color on paper, Sold for $379,000

Click here for complete results for Michaan’s December 2013 Fine Asian Works of Art auction.  Hopping indeed!

 
06
Jan
14

Understanding the Misunderstandings Pt 3 – Sterling Silver Marks

Furniture and Decorative Arts Assistant Katie O’Connell:
“There is so much confusion in understanding what determines whether a piece is sterling silver or is, for instance, a silver plated item.  With very few exceptions, sterling silver is always marked.  If you cannot find a mark that says sterling, bears a number or see evidence of English hallmarks, then it is not a sterling silver piece.  The look of the piece has little to do with making this determination; it is all about the mark or lackthereof.”

Preisner Sterling Four Piece Tea and Coffee Service marking

Preisner Sterling Four Piece Tea and Coffee Service marking

Please visit Michaan’s Auctions appraisal event every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Main Gallery located at 2751 Todd Street, Alameda, CA 94501.  This free service is a wonderful opportunity to not only find out information on up to five pieces, but to potentially find out if you are sitting on a treasure!

By Laura A. Baker

 



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