Archive for December, 2013

30
Dec
13

Understanding the Misunderstandings Pt 2 – Refurbishment

20th Century Design Specialist Greg Favors:
“Unlike the case with many period furnishings, refurbishment of modern furniture is not necessarily a negative thing.  If done properly, it can even increase the value of a piece.  Often times, foam and upholstery deteriorates with use and time.  Bringing these elements back to their original condition often improves the overall condition, making the furniture more sellable in today’s market.  The authenticity of let’s say, the foam of a couch cushion, is not a sticking point for a modern furniture enthusiast.”

Vladimir Kagan Free Form Sofa - recovered in a teal microfiber upholstery

Vladimir Kagan Free Form Sofa – recovered in a teal microfiber upholstery

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

18
Dec
13

Understanding the Misunderstandings Pt 1 – Buddhist swastika

Even if you are not new to “the auction game,” antique collecting can throw you a curve ball now and again.  While browsing lots or even looking at your own property, you may have thought, “I wonder what this design element means?” or “Should I in fact bid on this lot?”  Michaan’s Auctions Specialists and staff make it their business to keep you informed on making smart moves at auction as well as with your property.  Our staff members have shared some prime examples of understanding the misunderstandings relevant to their departments.

Asian Art Business Manager Kim Jee:
“One of the most commonly misunderstood symbols in Asian works of art is the Buddhist swastika.  It bears a resemblance to the Nazi Hakenreuz, but upon closer inspection, the Buddhist representation is a clockwise mirror image of the symbol of the Nazi regime.  In fact, the Buddhist symbol was created first and is associated with well being and good fortune.  In Asian works of art, it can often be seen imprinted upon an image of Buddha, as a repeating symbol on decorative borders, on altar cloths, banners and as a decorative element on clothing.”

A Blanc-de-Chine Buddha - the swastika is front and center on his chest

A Blanc-de-Chine Buddha – the swastika is front and center on his chest

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

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.

10
Dec
13

Countdown to the New Year with Fine Asian Works of Art

Listed highlights are selections from Michaan’s final auction of the year

Five – A Pair of Famille Rose Lidded Food Containers – Lot 5294, $2,000-3,000
The porcelain containers are each finely painted with five boys at play.  They stem from the Reynold Tom Collection, whose exceptional property has consistently dazzled bidders at Michaan’s.  The Republic Period pieces bear Linzhi Chengxiang marks and remain in wonderful original condition.

A Pair of Famille Rose Lidded Food Containers

A Pair of Famille Rose Lidded Food Containers

Four – A Set of Four Hanging Panels Inset with Porcelain Plaques – Lot 5269, $4,000-6,000
Four 19th century wood panels feature twelve beautifully painted famille rose porcelain plaques of various form and imagery.  The plaques are delicately painted with nature scenes of differing species of birds in their natural environments.  The plaque depicting a Red-crowned crane is prominently featured on the cover of the December 15, 2013 auction catalog.

A Set of Four Hanging Panels Inset with Porcelain Plaques

A Set of Four Hanging Panels Inset with Porcelain Plaques

Three – A Carved Coral Trio Figural Group – Lot 5200, $7,000-9,000
The fine coral is carved with three standing figures, centering Guanyin flanked by her two attendants.  Carvings of various elements of nature support and surround the trio, held by an intricately carved, fitted, pierced stand.  The detailed workmanship coupled with unique form and composition make the piece quite an unusual and artistic find.

 Carved Coral Trio Figural Group

Carved Coral Trio Figural Group

Two – Qi Baishi’s “Rabbits Under Osmanthus Tree” – Lot 5243, $50,000-70,000
This playful watercolor is a quintessential piece from the artist, showing a delightful pair of rabbits behind a trellising Osmanthus branch.  The painting was acquired directly from the artist in Beijing in 1947 and it has remained in the same private family collection since.  A Baishi painting titled “Eagle Standing on Pine Tree” achieved a record-setting price of $65.5 million in 2011, becoming one of the highest selling paintings ever sold at auction.

Qi Baishi’s “Rabbits Under Osmanthus Tree”

Qi Baishi’s “Rabbits Under Osmanthus Tree”

One – Zhang Daqian’s “Bamboo” – Lot 5245, $40,000-60,000
The countdown ends with one exemplary brush painting, by none other than master Zhang Daqian. His new bamboo shoots are lively and dynamic, with precision brushwork of the perfect balance between control and spontaneity. The variation of the ink’s intensity provides a wonderful sense of depth and nuance as well, from one of the most internationally celebrated Chinese artists of the 20th century.

Zhang Daqian’s “Bamboo”

Zhang Daqian’s “Bamboo”

The illustrated auction catalog for the Fine Asian Works of Art auction is available for review at www.michaans.com. Previews open at Michaan’s on November the 29th to December 1st and December 13th to December 15th, 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.




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