Archive for the 'Asian Art' Category


Huanghuali Creates History In Asian Antiquities

Huanghuali is a special type of wood that has been used to make stunning Asian antiquities for centuries. The term Huanghuali can be translated to mean ‘yellow flowering pear’. It is a type of wood with stunning characteristics that comes from a certain type of fragrant rosewood. It is a type of wood that that is famous for creating masterful furniture during the Ming and Qing dynasties, but it is still widely used today to create high-quality furniture. Both antique huanghuali furniture and modern cuts of this wood are considered extremely rare as the tree that provides the wood is threatened near extinction due to overexploitation. While it would be considered unethical and illegal to buy new products made from huanghuali, the scarcity of this wood has made huanghuali antiquities even more valuable. Some art auctioneers have seen huanghuali antiques sell for thousands of dollars.

A Huanghuali Folding Horseshoe Back Armchair

A Huanghuali Folding Horseshoe Back Armchair, Late 20th Century, Sold for $9,440 at Michaan’s Auctions

Characteristics of a Luxurious Wood

Huanghuali wood usually possesses a yellowish brown color, but it can range from reddish brown to golden yellow. The highest quality huanghuali has a mesmerizing surface that seems to shimmer and reflect light in a particular way when it has been properly treated and polished. The grain ripples like water and reminds some of an infinite expanse of mountainous landscapes. It is a beautiful example of the majesty of nature and it possess many characteristics of hardwood that make it ideal for furniture building and artistic creations. It is a highly prized and coveted type of wood and antiques that are made of it are sold by art auctioneers all around the world for considerable sums of money. Anyone that sees a well-polished piece of huanghuali can immediately recognize why it is considered one of the finest woods in the world.

A Huanghuali Veneered Coffer

A Huanghuali Veneered Coffer, 19th Century, Sold for $35,400 at Michaan’s Auctions

Beautiful Antiques Inspired By Royalty

The majority of antiques made from huanghuali come from the Ming and Qing dynasty and were commissioned by members of the royal family. Due to the rarity of the wood, it was usually reserved for the highest quality furniture created by the best artisans. This makes huanghuali asian antiques extremely valuable in contemporary times. Particularly due to the threatened state of the tree, any antique furniture that is made of huanghuali is even more desirable and valuable. Art auctioneers continuously see huanghuali antiquities sell for much more than expected as eager bidders drive up the price at art auctions. The craftsmanship and the quality of the wood in many huanghuali pieces make them extremely durable against the tides of time and a beautiful possession that anyone would be proud to hold. No one should ever pass on the opportunity to own something of such great artistic and historical value, no matter the price.




An Exceptional Opportunity March 7, 2016: The Naomi Lindstrom Collection – Rare Worldwide Beads & Multicultural Art Auction

Michaan’s Auctions is proud to present a most singular offering on Monday, March 7, 2016, at 10 am: an auction of the prized worldwide bead and extensive art collection of Ms. Naomi Lindstrom. Collectors and lovers of extraordinary beauty will be awestruck at these objects that are steeped in cultural and historical significance.

The World’s Most Significant Bead Collection

Selling in over 290 lots, Ms. Lindstrom’s rare beads comprise the most significant collection in the world and originate from over 50 regions. One of the highlights is a set of rare Tibetan corals that Ms. Lindstrom acquired when she spent time working with the Dali Lama’s brother and sister.

Ms. Lindstrom became a renowned expert on the beads she collected, and was a sought after lecturer by museums and cultural centers around the world. She created necklaces from her beads which were true to the cultural heritage of their country of origin.

Treasured Art & World Ethnographic Objects

In addition to the stunning worldwide bead collection, Michaan’s Auctions will also offer rare items from Ms. Lindstrom’s Asian Art collection. The distinctive nature of these pieces provide buyers with opportunities to own some of the most treasured Asian Art (including figural sandstone pieces). Also for sale will be a collection of over 80 lots of world tribal and ethnographic objects.

Another incredible highlight of this auction will be over 31 lots of artwork from Ms. Lindstrom’s personal collection. Buyers can look forward to bidding on art by John Chin Young, Oscar Edwards, Fernand Leger, Jean Charlot, and many other noted artists.

The public is encouraged to attend the preview events at Michaan’s Auction House leading up to and including the day of the sale:

Friday, March 4, 12pm – 5pm

Saturday, March 5, 10am – 2pm

Sunday, March 6, 9am – 5pm

Day of sale, beginning at 9am

and by appointment.

A Truly Magnificent Auction of Exquisite Art & Rare Items

Beads, art and rare objects from Pre-Columbian, Roman and other historical periods will be featured at this auction, plus items from Africa, India, China, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia and many other regions will be offered. Fine art, furniture and many more intriguing and exquisite objects round out this incomparable sale. This is a truly one-of-a-kind auction that will appeal to a wide audience.

Please review our catalog that fully describes The Naomi Lindstrom Collection and plan to attend one of Michaan’s Auctions’ preview events for this March 7, 2016 sale.


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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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The illustrated auction catalog will be posted online at 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 Michaan’s Auctions is located at 2751 Todd Street, Alameda, CA 94501.


“Horse” Trots Off With Top Spot in Michaan’s Multimillion Asian Auction

Michaan’s December Fine Asian Works of Art auction closed 2014 with a sale realizing over $2 million USD. Artworks from the private family collection of a prominent Kuomintang government statesman dazzled at auction with a lengthy list of successes. A leading lot presented from the estate collection was 8399, Zhang Daqian’s hanging scroll titled “Horse” ($50,000-70,000). The painting was commissioned for the statesman’s daughter, who expressed a fondness for equestrian activities. The depiction of a lone horse was an unusual image for Daqian, leaving the scroll an extremely rare piece from the artist. Bidders took heated notice of the offering, pushing the price realized to a hefty $236,000, well over 3 times the high estimation. Asian Art Specialist Mr. Harry Huang noted, “The combination of rarity, an artist of Daqian’s stature and an esteemed provenance proved to be a commanding one. As a result, we saw the market respond as positively as it did.”

Zhang Daqian's "Horse" realizes $236,000 ($50,000-70,000).

Zhang Daqian’s “Horse” realizes $236,000 ($50,000-70,000).


Another top price achieved from the statesman selection was in the hanging Daqian scroll “Prunus and Bamboo” which sold for $177,000 (lot 8400, $100,000-150,000). Eleven additional artwork lots from the statesman auction grouping generously surpassed projections as well, raking in a cumulative price realized of $385,270 (lots 8391, 8392, 8393, 8396, 8397, 8398, 8401, 8402, 8409, 8413, 8415).

Zhang Daqian's "Prunus and Bamboo" realizes a price of $177,00 ($100,000-150,000).

Zhang Daqian’s “Prunus and Bamboo” realizes a price of $177,00 ($100,000-150,000).


For complete results of Michaan’s December 2014 Fine Asian Works of Art auction, please click here.  Michaan’s Auctions is located at 2751 Todd Street, Alameda, CA 94501.



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”).

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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.



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.

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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.

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The illustrated auction catalogs will be posted online at 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  Michaan’s Auctions is located at 2751 Todd Street, Alameda, CA 94501.






Halloween Imagery Appears Amongst October Estate Property: Part 2

In the Chinese culture, bats symbolize good fortune and happiness; a stark departure from the animal’s image in relation to All Hallows’ Eve. Western notions traditionally depicted bats as omens of bad luck or evil. One such superstition held was that if a bat flew around a house three times on Halloween, death would be soon to come.

Asian lacquered wood box featuring auspicious symbols, $300-500.

Asian lacquered wood box featuring auspicious symbols, $300-500.


Find out more about our October Estate Auction.


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.


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.


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