Archive for April, 2013


Getting “Crafty” with Michaan’s Jester

Michaan’s Auctions announces an exciting new addition to its auction categories in the form of an Arts and Crafts Department.  The new department will encompass all forms of the Arts and Crafts genre, including but not limited to, furnishings, decorations, glassware, textiles, art pottery and works of art.  Bay Area Arts and Crafts expert Lee Jester has been appointed to take the reins of the department, serving as its consultant in charge.  He has already begun to build an intriguing sale scheduled for October with a diverse selection of pieces.  Jester’s experience in the field has also given Michaan’s the confidence to schedule a follow-up Arts and Crafts auction, even before the debut sale takes place (to be announced on

Arts and Crafts

Lee Jester’s local Arts and Crafts roots run deep, as he established The Craftsman Home in Berkeley, California in 1995.  The home furnishings store was opened in the heart of the Berkeley-Oakland Arts and Crafts district with Jester as its proprietor.  The Craftsman Home came to garner substantial recognition as notable artisan works were carefully selected.  Pieces from Warren Hile, Caledonia Studios, Ephraim Faience Pottery and the Mica Lamp Company were just a few of the coveted designers Jester chose to offer his clientele.

Jester is undoubtedly thrilled at his new partnership with Michaan’s.  “This position allows me to do what I love while bringing Arts and Crafts into the lives of others.  I believe Arts and Crafts improves the quality of life, in all aspects from supporting talented artists to making a home feel like a home.  Arts and Crafts has timeless appeal, surpassing fickle trends and cultural transitions.  These pieces have a way of making a home creative, comfortable and soothing to the soul.  I personally believe Arts and Crafts feeds the soul and brings timeless beauty into a living space.”  Jester will be accepting quality consignments for his October 2013 sale through August the 1st.  Arts and Crafts artisans such as Stickley, Roy Croft and Limbert are highly desired.  American art pottery names such as Rookwood, Gruby and Fulper are also prized at auction.

For future Arts and Crafts sale and department information at Michaan’s Auctions, please visit  Michaan’s Auctions is located at 2751 Todd Street, Alameda, CA 94501.


Appraising the Situation

Harry Huang Asian Art Appraiser

Asian Art Appraiser, Harry Huang

With every passing week it seems that Michaan’s Auctions Appraisal Event has grown in attendance.  It appears that the power of television has caused a flood of new traffic to stream through the event at rates never seen before.  For those of you who are not quite as familiar with Michaan’s Wednesday Appraisal Events, I’ll try to show you the ropes.  Let’s count down some helpful facts and information regarding the free service.

5)Each person can have up to five pieces appraised at the event. Not to worry, it works like this: grandma’s chair counts as one. Grandma’s silver service set for eight counts as one.

4)The event is held every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. An easy way to remember: it’s hump day, it’s lunchtime, bring it on over!

3)You have an Asian vessel, a World War II firearm, an old coin, a framed print and a diamond ring.  Can someone be helped at the appraisal event with such a mishmash of items? The answer is yes!  Not only are specialists on hand that cover specific categories such as Asian art, but more than one generalist appraiser is usually available to look at the unusual and the curious.

2)You made it to Michaan’s Main Gallery with your things; what do you do to get seen? It’s so very simple.  When you walk in there will be a sign in desk. Fill out your information on the provided sheet.  Then just have a seat and when the appropriate specialist is available your name will be called and you will be seen.  If you have a variety of items and need to see multiple specialists, you will continue to be helped on a first come, first served basis – it’s that simple.

1)Your main goal is to have your items appraised so they can be auctioned at Michaan’s.  Can this be expedited at the appraisal event? Of course; if that is the case we actually have the same goal.  After the specialist evaluates your item(s) and provides estimate(s), a contract can be opened on the spot and your item(s) slated for future auction.  Terms and conditions will be laid out in detail; all you need is a minimum of $1,000 in sellable property and we are ready to roll!

Please visit the 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.  Find out if you are sitting on a treasure


What Time Is It? It’s Time To Get Modern!

Modern furniture and decorations are back in a major way.  Generation X and hipsters at heart make up a major part of the genres fan-base and it’s not hard to see why.  Modern pieces are cutting-edge, creative, interesting, fun and functional, providing an artisan sense of originality to any living space.  Most major auction houses with a modern department or offered mod lots have seen great demand for these pieces, with final sales often commanding premium prices.  Michaan’s 20th Century Design Auction offers many lots that can not only spice up your décor, but maybe even your life.  See how a little touch of mod can do just that in the following April 6 sale highlights.

George Nelson Multicolored Ball Clock

George Nelson Multicolored Ball Clock. Original Howard Miller 1950s production with original paint.

Multicolored Ball Clock by George Nelson – lot 1201, $500-700
Is it time for fun?  I think so!  Reflecting modern design’s playful and distinctive side is a multicolored ball clock by George Nelson for Howard Miller.  Hour markers are fashioned by skewered, painted wooden balls in powder blue, coral, olive green and black.  Animated hour and minute hands compliment the overall look, set upon a simple white, round face.  Now you can say, “It’s half past the second black ball.”

Vladimir Kagan Free Form Sofa

Vladimir Kagan Free Form Sofa. Recovered in a teal microfiber upholstery.

Vladimir Kagan Free Form Modern Sofa – lot 1132, $3,750-4,250
You.  Lounging on a fluid, sinuous couch by one of the most important furniture designers of the 20th century.  Cigarette holder in hand.  Perfect sheath dress on from the Alameda Point Vintage Fashion Faire.  Louboutin heels.  Jackie O. sunglasses.  No smile.  Best. Facebook. picture. ever.  (That is if you are a woman).

Harvey Probber Rosewood Gentleman's Cabinet

Harvey Probber Rosewood Gentleman’s Cabinet.

Harvey Probber Rosewood Chest – lot 1258, $1,800-2,250
Clearly mod items can add some fun to life, but let’s not forget just how practical and functional they can really be.  Point in case is a Harvey Probber rosewood chest.  Numerous shelves and drawers are condensed into the interior, making it a most effective storage unit.  The fact that it is crafted in bookmatched Brazilian rosewood is the icing on the cake.  The harvesting of this wood has been extremely controlled for over a decade, making it quite an expensive and sought after material.  As beautiful as it is useful!

Visit us on April the 6th for Michaan’s 20th Century Design Auction and take a modern approach to life!


Consign Jewelry

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.

Jewelry Department Director Rhonda Harness:
“Fine sales are the time when we can present the best property we have to our clients.  I look for unusual and antique pieces in good condition from all time periods, from contemporary to Georgian, Victorian, Art Deco and Art Nouveau.  The market for fine diamonds is on fire and at auction they are commanding premium prices.  High demand is also seen for the entire spectrum of colored gems.  Bidders also find great interest in unique gold pieces and if it comes from a prominent artisan, even better.  For instance, gold jewelry from David Webb and Tiffany & Co. are great names that buyers find confidence in.  Signed designer pieces from artisans such as Jean Vendome and Georg Jensen, novelty items in the form of animals and bugs, fine Mexican silver and gentleman’s watches and accessories from makers such as Patek Philippe and Rolex are all strong collector items I would like to see in a fine sale.  It is also hard to go wrong with quality platinum jewelry; it seems to stand the test of time.”


DIAMOND, PLATINUM RING. To be offered June 7 at Michaan’s Auctions.

Ms. Harness can be reached at (510) 740-0220 ext. 125 or at

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