Andy Warhol's iconic "Liz" and Wayne Thiebaud's "Three Cows" are among the signature works by American masters offered in Michaan's Fine Art, Furniture and Decorations Auction to be held Friday, June 9. Landscapes of the American West by Maynard Dixon, Percy Gray, Michael Coleman and Charles Partridge Adams are also highlighted in this biannual sale. "Bondage" (estimated at $8,000-10,000), a 1976 bronze by John Nelson Battenberg (1931-2012), is one of the exciting sculptures in this sale; another is Solomon Saprid's Brutalist figural bronze of a kneeling knight ($6,000-8,000). The irresistible stoneware and bronze "Bead Bird" ($10,000-15,000) by Finnish ceramic artist Birger Kaipiainen (1915-1988) has great tactile appeal and a beguiling forthright pose. Luxurious chairs by William Switzer and Lucien Rollin, and the coveted Hans Wegner "Papa Bear" chair and ottoman ($7,000-9,000), are a few of the furniture finds in the June 9 auction. Additional fine American and European furniture lots range in style from Federal, Chippendale, and Renaissance Revival to Gothic, Art Deco, and George III Chinoiserie.
The sale of fine art will open with important Russian paintings including "Wooded Clearing" ($80,000-100,000) and "Na Beregu Ruchya" ($20,000-30,000), both by Ivan Ivanovitch Shishkin (1832-1898). Like other artists featured in this auction, Shishkin broke from the Academic painting tradition that had dominated Russian painting for centuries. Rejecting classical and religious themes, Shishkin and his fellow rebels turned instead to natural landscapes and figural studies, dedicating their talent and skill to the realistic portrayal of late 19th Century Russia. A fine example is the splendid landscape, "High Water of River Pisava" ($40,000-60,000) by Petr Petrovich Vereshchagin. An artist whose works were widely exhibited internationally in his day, Vereshchagin is known for plein air painting in the countryside, and for cityscapes from across the Russian empire that document its historical splendor as well as its first steps toward industrialization. In "High Water of River Pisava," a massive mountain rises behind the tiny figures of boatmen resting on a riverbank, nature's grandeur placing mankind in humble perspective. Other top lots are the 1873 landscape with figures ($30,000-50,000) and "Coastal Village" ($40,000-60,000) both by Ukrainian painter Vladimir Donatovitch Orlovskii (1842-1914). These works depict the pastoral beauty of the artist's homeland before the upheaval that soon followed; the Tsar Nicholas III is said to have collected Orlovskii's paintings. Also in the sale is a wonderful view of the St. Petersburg landmark, "The Anichkov Bridge" ($7,000-9,000), by Nicolai Semenovich Samokich (1860-1944). Its unusual perspective, vibrant palette and soft lines give this painting the look of a French Impressionist work. There are several fine Russian portraits in the sale such as the lot of two ($5,000-8,000), both of a "Mr. Sazanov," by Ilja Efimovich Repin (1844-1930). Repin's stature as an artist in 19th century Russia has been compared to that of the novelist Leo Tolstoy. A native of Ukraine, he was not only a leading painter of his day but also was later admired by the Soviets as a model progressive and realist. The portraits in this auction show Repin's gift for capturing the interesting idiosyncrasy in his subjects' unique features.
In addition to art and furniture, fine decorative treasures complete the sale. Collectors of sterling will find Tiffany and Wallace flatware, Reed & Barton's tea and coffee service ($6,000-8,000), a pair of handsome tree trunk vases by Shreve & Co. ($3,000-4,000) and many more substantial silver lots. Native American artifacts, a folk art weathervane and an Aesthetic Movement crazy quilt are among the diverse collectibles offered in the June 9 auction, which also includes Italian marble busts and English porcelain. The sale begins at 1 p.m. PST and will be preceded at 10 a.m. by a special auction, The Private Collection of Rita Neuman, Los Angeles, featuring Continental art, furniture and decorations collected by the prominent California antiquarian. Michaan's monthly Estate Auction takes place the following day, Saturday, June 10. Visit www.michaans.com for complete details.
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(510) 740-0220 x 116
Fine Art, Furniture and Decorative Arts
June 3, 4, 8 and day of sale
2751 Todd Street
Alameda, CA 94501