Archive for the 'Fine Art' Category



29
Feb
16

The Importance of Provenance at Art Auctions

The value of artwork is often determined by a number of factors, including what collections it has been part of, where it has been shown, and how many times it has been sold. Art auctions are often considered to be the most transparent marketplace in the art world for the simple fact that they value items according to history and provenance. They also publish sales results, usually alongside the pre-sale estimates, that helps both dealers and collectors understand how particular artists perform at market.

The Basics of Provenance

Typically, an art piece’s provenance will include key factors in that work’s history. This both contributes to the price valuation of the piece and helps to authenticate it as a legitimate work by the artist. Collectors may look for pieces that have been at auction before, as this will typically mean that several appraisals of the piece and its provenance have already been done.

Art auctions at reputable houses will collect related materials such as certificates of authenticity, exhibition catalogue material, and receipts for previous sales. The supporting information for the provenance is itself deemed to be authentic, and the piece’s history can then be tracked.

The Guarantee

The point of collecting a piece’s provenance is to guarantee future buyers that the piece is legitimate and authentic. Ideally, this helps auction houses price their objects and removes the chance for any future disputes and liability.

Problems of Provenance

While art auctions will typically seek to disclose as much information about a piece for sale as possible, often it is impossible to know the full history of a piece. Sometimes past owners wish to keep their possession or liquidation of a piece a secret. Other times, wrong information can be presented such as incorrectly including work in shows.

Particularly with older pieces that have been sold and resold countless times, a clear timeline of ownership and exhibition is typically impossible. However, the provenance of a piece can still be relatively understood based on where the piece has traveled, and through examination of related documents like museum exhibition catalogs. If there is doubt of the piece’s authenticity, it will typically be listed as “attributed to” the artist.

09
Feb
15

Going, Going…Gone? No!

Missed Michaan’s last estate auction? For the following 5 business days post sale, you now have the opportunity to purchase unsold lots. Michaan’s presents “Buy It Now,” giving you a second chance at owning an unclaimed treasure. For more information and to view unsold estate auction lots, please click here.

mgallery copy

 

09
Jan
15

Feel the Love on Saturday, February the 7th

Ruby, 18k Yellow Gold Heart Pendant, jewelry lot 027, $600-800. Sweetly simple, featuring twenty-two calibre-cut rubies.

rubyheart copy

 

Five Red Glass Snuff Bottles, Asian lot 190, $1,500-2,500. May you be prosperous in all endeavors of the heart.

redsnuff copy

 

Viacheslav Vasilevich Kalinin “Lovers” Pastel, fine art lot 230, $1,000-1,500. Love cannot be defined, for it is a feeling within.

lovers copy

 

Six Paperweights For Your Valentine, decorative lot 346, $300-400. These adorable pieces are part of an 18 lot fine paperweight collection in the February sale.

paperweights copy

 

 

The illustrated auction catalog will be posted online at www.michaans.com when it becomes available. Previews for the February Estate Auction will be held on January 30th to February 1st and on the day of sale, Saturday, February 7, 2015. 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.

10
Nov
14

2014 December Fine Sneek Peek

The end of the year means bringing the best property to bidders at Michaan’s, in the form of two fine auctions.  The first is scheduled on Monday, December the 8th, encompassing jewelry, fine art, furnishings and decorations.  The second event will be held on Monday, December the 15th as a stand-alone Fine Asian Works of Art auction.  The following provides a first look into each department’s offerings with a selected auction highlight; a sneak peek into what is looking to be a noteworthy December fine season.

Fine Art – “Angels with Flower (from In the Bottom of the Garden),” $6,000-8,000.

The Andy Warhol signed watercolor upon lithograph will be joined in the December 8th fine auction by two additional works in the series (“Deux Cherubins – Two Cherubs and a Flower” and “The End”).

WarholAngels copy

 

Furniture & Decorative Arts – Daum Nancy Cameo Pictorial Glass Lamp, $8,000-10,000.

Daum Nancy is favored by many amongst Art Nouveau lighting, with this lamp bearing the delicate foliage motifs coveted by many collectors.

Lot3234

 

Jewelry – Pierre Touraine Diamond & 18k Yellow Gold “Ram’s Head” Ring, $6,000-9,000.

This particular ring was declared the winner of the 1974 “Diamond Today Competition” as published in the April 1978 issue of “Arizona Highways” magazine.

RamRing copy

 

Asian – Pair of Champlevé Enamel & Gilt Bronze Jardinières, $10,000-15,000.

From each Qianlong period jardinière springs forth a painstakingly assembled rendition of a fruit-bearing tree, glistening in amber, glass and hardstone elements.

AsianTrees copy

 

The illustrated auction catalogs will be posted online at www.michaans.com when they become available.  Previews for the fine art, jewelry, furnishing and decoration auction will be held on December 5th to December 8, 2014, the day of sale.  Previews for the Fine Asian Works of Art auction will be held on December 5th to December 8th, in addition to December 12th to December 15, 2014, 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.

 

 

 

 

24
Sep
14

Halloween Imagery Appears Amongst October Estate Property: Part 3

Halloween can be a bit frightening, but protection can be found amongst the angels. Still counted as one of the most enduring Halloween costumes around, the angel combats the forces of darkness on All Hallows’ Eve. This classically painted angel could be hung in the most haunted of mansions, restoring a sense of light and balance within the ghostly realm.

European School oil painting “Angel with Lilies,” $400-600.

European School oil painting “Angel with Lilies,” $400-600.

 

Find out more about our October Estate Auction.

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.

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)

16
Dec
13

U.S. Auction Record Set as Bidders Favor Asawa

A Ruth Asawa tied wire sculpture was the top selling lot in Michaan’s Fine Art, Furniture, Decorative Arts and Jewelry Auction held on December 6, 2013.  The sculpture became the highest selling Asawa wire wreath form sold at U.S. auction, realizing a price of $102,660 (lot 1059, $80,000-90,000).  Michaan’s Twentieth Century Design Specialist Mr. Greg Favors was instrumental in bringing the piece to auction from its debut at a Michaan’s appraisal event.  When the sculpture first came in, Greg knew right away that he had something special on his hands.  Weeks of preparation followed to present the piece at sale, ending with a finale of a winning bid from a prominent New York gallery owner.  From Mr. Favors to the favor of bidders at auction, a successful sale was indeed achieved.

RUTH LANIER ASAWA

RUTH LANIER ASAWA (Californian 1926-2013) Wire Sculpture, tied wire branching wall mounted wreath, Sold for $102,660

Complete results for Michaan’s Fine Art, Furniture, Decorative Arts and Jewelry Auction as well as future sale information and bid submission is available online at www.michaans.com.  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.

29
May
13

June Fine Auction Offers Shipshape Collection

Five lots of Captain Jacob Stone’s personal items will be sold in Michaan’s fine sale on June 7, 2013.  Jacob Stone (Dec. 4, 1764 – June 23, 1831) was an authentic sea captain based in the small coastal city of Newburyport in Essex County, Massachusetts.  Stone joined Newburyport’s Marine Society in 1801, climbing its ranks from Secretary to Vice President.  His first entry at the Newburyport Custom House chronicled a cargo journey from the East Indies in March of 1805.

In line with auction house lore, it is believed that spirits loom amongst their beloved belongings as they journey between this world and the beyond.  I wonder what Jacob Stone would say…

Lot 2297 - An American painted leather fire bucket, circa 1775 ($500-700)

Lot 2297 – An American painted leather fire bucket, circa 1775 ($500-700)
“Batten down the hatches! Had a flashback. This here bucket kept me and my hands adrift.”

Lot 2298 - An 1805 watercolor painting of the American Brig Industry of Newburyport ($1,000-1,500)

Lot 2298 – An 1805 watercolor painting of the American Brig Industry of Newburyport ($1,000-1,500)
“Surrender the loot! A wonderful painting from my collection, vexes me to see it go.”

Lot 2299 - Oil on canvas portrait of Jacob Stone in a period frame ($800-1,200)

Lot 2299 – Oil on canvas portrait of Jacob Stone in a period frame ($800-1,200)
“Shiver me timbers! The best lot of the sale in my eyes.”

Lot 2300 - An early 19th century black leather portfolio ship log ($1,000-1,500)

Lot 2300 – An early 19th century black leather portfolio ship log ($1,000-1,500)
“Anyone who took this out of my cabin without me: walk the plank!”

Lot 2301 - A group of fifty-four Chinese export Canton blue and white china pieces ($3,000-5,000)

Lot 2301 – A group of fifty-four Chinese export Canton blue and white china pieces ($3,000-5,000)
“These cups helped  get me three sheets to the wind many times.”

The Jacob Stone Collection will be offered amongst the fine Furniture and Decorative Arts selection, along with artworks and jewelry.  Previews will be held on May 31, 2013 until June 7th, the day of sale.

Michaan’s Auctions is located at 2751 Todd Street, Alameda, CA 94501.

20
Mar
13

Consign Fine Art

Michaan’s is actively seeking quality consignments for the upcoming fine sale season of June 2013.  Fine auction property is considered to be high-end, top tier items for the discriminating buyer.  Whether it is fine art, period furniture and decorations, jewelry or Asian works of art, Michaan’s is looking to find the best of the best.  This blog series from our in-house experts provides insights as to what they are seeking in order to present exceptional fine auctions to the bidding public.

Fine Art Department Director Thomas De Doncker:
“I see Michaan’s biannual fine sales as an excellent opportunity to present a range of masterworks and vintage photography to the educated collector.  I aim to fill these auctions with a range of categories that embody a rich representation of genres, themes and mediums.  In general, I look for exceptional examples of American and European artworks from acclaimed artists from the 1500s to the present day.  Specifically, popular categories at auction are found in vintage California landscape and pleine air painters.  Quality Old Master and turn of the century prints are also worthy finds at auction.  Blue-chip 20th century contemporary works on paper by both domestic and international artists are yet another collectible, strong bidder draw.  Also, local buyers in particular seem to find great interest in offerings of Bay Area regionalist artists.”

Joseph Rusling Meeker

JOSEPH RUSLING MEEKER (American 1827-1889) “Near the Atchafalaya,” Oil on canvas. To be offered June 7 at Michaan’s Auctions.

Mr. De Doncker can be reached at (510) 740-0220 ext. 140 or at thomas@michaans.com.

Information regarding Michaan’s Auctions fine sales will be posted on the web at www.michaans.com. Michaan’s Auctions is located at 2751 Todd Street, Alameda, CA 94501.




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