Archive for January, 2014

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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