Early American furniture and glamorous 20th century portraiture are among the highlights of Michaan's Gallery Auction on February 10.
One of few remaining recurrent live auction events in the Bay Area, the Gallery Auction offers buyers a traditional hands-on experience while also reaching a global base online. February's sale offers diverse estate property of fine quality and excellent provenance. Bidders are invited to visit the gallery in Alameda, CA on preview days and to view the catalog at www.michaans.com.
Fine design and craftsmanship were highly valued in Colonial and early Federal America. The burgeoning merchant and professional classes appointed their fashionable homes with furnishings that reflected their discerning tastes and high standards. Furniture from this period has long been prized by collectors for its elegant lines and lustrous woods. A prime example is the mid-18th century Queen Anne maple highboy circa 1740-1770, which features the iconic carved scallop shell decoration associated with the style and period. It is estimated at $3,500 - $4,500. A second fine maple highboy crafted in New England during the fourth quarter of the 18th century, is estimated at $3,000-$5,000. Also highlighted is the "lolling" armchair (c. 1800. With an upholstered high back and roomy seat, this piece ($1,500-$2,500) was the luxury lounge chair of its day. It is made of rich mahogany, which caught on like wildfire in the English and early American furniture industry after trade expanded with Caribbean colonial producers of mahogany timber.
Another fine piece to be auctioned in February is the upholstered walnut wing chair, of the mid- 18th century period and estimated at $3,000-$5,000. The auction also features French furniture, Parisian and provincial, with complementary decorative items like the French mantel clock of white marble and bronze, embellished with putti and estimated at $700-$900. February's sale also includes a large Flemish tapestry (2,000-$3,000), an English oak pew reputedly from Lloyd's of London ($800-$1,200), and an excellent scenic vellum plaque ($2,000-$3,000) from storied Rookwood Pottery. Rookwood was founded in 1880 by Cincinnati heiress and arts patron Maria Longworth Nichols, who discovered Japanese pottery at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia and developed a great passion for the art form. Recruiting top artisans, Nichols built Rookwood into America's premier pottery studio. The first female-owned manufacturing company in the United States, Rookwood enjoys a reputation for quality and innovation that endures to the present day.
Collectors of fine art are drawn to Michaan's not only by world-renowned artists but also by the allure of discovery. Featured in February's Gallery Auction are several stunning female portraits by Lai Kui Fang (b. 1936). Fang, a prominent Singaporean who won a scholarship to study at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris, is a skillful portrait artist with a great eye for sensuous natural beauty and stylized refinement. His paintings are unmistakably modern, with a singular freshness and more than a hint of glamour. In a sophisticated Hollywood Regency interior, a Fang portrait would fit perfectly and command the center of attention. "Woman in Burgundy" is estimated at $4,000-$6,000 in the February sale. "Christine Baranger," included in the 1972 catalog of Santa Clara's Triton Museum of Art, is estimated at $3,000-$5,000.
Also featured in February is the art of Christo Coetzee (1929-2001), a native of South Africa prominent in international avant-garde art movements. The untitled abstract offered in February's auction at $5,000-$7,000 is a mixed media work dated 1959. Coetzee was living in Osaka at that time, associating with the Gutai Group of avant-garde artists and exhibiting at the Takashimaya Gallery. The Gutai Group was a Japanese post-war phenomenon whose manifesto included this ambitious mission statement: "Discarding the frame, getting off the walls, shifting from immobile time to lived time, we aspire to create a new painting." The Coetzee work offered by Michaan's fully realizes that stated ambition. A riot of texture, lines, and curves, its energy is unbound by the canvas, expressing the clash of apocalypse with optimism that characterized the 20th century.
Each of Michaan's monthly auctions is highly anticipated by Asian art collectors. February's focus is on fine jade figural carvings, silk embroidered textiles, and a treasure trove of snuff bottles including jade, agate and carved lacquer. Also noteworthy are Japanese bronze vases such as the bamboo form vase with silver inlay ($500-$700) and the Meiji period dragon form bottle vase ($600-$800). Buddhist objects, valued highly by collectors, include the gilt lacquered wooden figure of Buddha 17th-18th century, $2,000-$3,000.
Jewelry is another of Michaan's leading departments and in February, buyers will find many one- of-a-kind estate jewelry items, perfect gifts for a lady or gentleman. Gold, diamonds, cultured pearls and fine timepieces are offered. A lovely example is the Mikimoto necklace of eleven cultured pearls interspersed with 18k gold link chain forming a 16-inch necklace ($300-$500), a contemporary way to wear fine pearls. Also striking a modern chord is the suite of a necklace and matching bracelet formed of 22k yellow gold swirls, estimated at $1,800 to $2,500. From Tiffany & Co., the pair of diamond-studded 18k gold cufflinks is offered at the attractive estimated price of $300-$500.
Michaan's offers online and phone bidding in addition to the live event at the auction gallery. For the complete 2018 auction calendar, including preview days, visit www.michaans.com.
Press Office Contact!
(510) 740-0220 x 116
Auction: Gallery Auction
Saturday February 10
February 3,4, 9 and by appointment
Location: Michaan's Auctions 2751 Todd Street
Alameda, CA 94501