American art appreciated at John Moran Studio Auction

American art

Charles William Bartlett (Hawaii, 1860- 1940), figure paddling outrigger canoe, woodblock on paper, est. $1,200-$1,800. Price realized: $4,200. John Moran Auctioneers image

MONROVIA, Calif. – John Moran Auctioneers rang in the new year with strong prices realized for quality fine and decorative art in their Jan. 23 Studio Auctions. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.

With approachable price points under $2,000, the Studio Auctions have proved to be popular with collectors looking for quality on a budget. Moran’s is expected to keep the momentum going with strong selections coming up throughout the year as Studio events are planned for May, August, and December.

Collectors of American and California fine art flocked to the first Studio Fine Art auction of the year, resulting in many lots in the auction realizing exceptional prices. The first lot of the sale, a woodblock print of a figure paddling an outrigger canoe under a warm yellow sky from artist Charles William Bartlett (1860-1940, Honolulu, Hawaii) set the tone for the strong sale by realizing $4,200 (above). (All prices noted include Moran’s buyer’s premium.)

From sun to snow, mountain landscapes once again inspired strong interest from collectors. A Sydney Laurence (1865-1940, Anchorage, Alaska) watercolor of a craggy, snow-dusted mountain set against an evergreen forest showed the strength of the artist’s market by selling for $3,300 (estimate: $1,500-$2,000).

For collectors of landscapes, none proved as inspiring as the several works by Albert De Rome (1885-1959, Carmel, California). The first of 20 artworks by the artist in the sale, Three Sisters, Monument Valley, Navajo Hogan, shows off his strong composition skills, achieving a balance between the earthy tans of the monuments and dwelling place with the delicate blues of the cloudy sky. The landscape realized $480 at auction, within the $400-$600 estimate (below).

American art

Albert Thomas De Rome (California,1885-1959), ‘Three Sisters, Monument Valley, Navajo Hogan,’ watercolor on paper, est.: $400-$600. Price realized: $480. John Moran Auctioneers image

Women artists had a strong presence in the auction with more than 30 artists represented. A lot of five Nell Brooker Mayhew (1875-1940, Los Angeles, California) woodblock prints of California missions was popular with the online audience, selling through LiveAuctioneers for $4,062 (estimate: $1,000-$2,000).

American art

Nell Brooker Mayhew (California, 1875-1940), woodblock prints depicting California missions, est. $1,000-$2000. Price realized: $4,062. John Moran Auctioneers image

Several works by Orange County artist Mary Zarbano (20th century, Fullerton, California) sold well at the Studio Fine Art Auction, with a monochromatic oil on paper of a mother and child capturing the most attention. The stark black background and figures outlined in white with flashes of yellow and red highlights garnered strong interest before the sale, ultimately hammering within estimate for $540.

The first sale of the day was the Studio Decorative Art auction, filled with 290 lots of furniture, rugs, art glass, pottery, and much more. Desirable art glass ruled the day as the auction began with a selection of beautiful iridescent glass shades from such makers as Quezal and Steuben. The second lot of the auction, an early 20th-century pair of variegated green stripe and white floral shades from Steuben, sailed past its $200-$400 estimate to hammer at $840.

American art

A pair of Steuben iridescent green art glass shades more than doubled the estimate, selling for $840. John Moran Auctioneers image

French mainstay Lalique realized strong prices for its classic designs throughout the day. The company’s relief-decorated “Bacchus” vase sold well beyond its $300-$500 estimate, going home with one lucky bidder for $1,376.

Not all the attention went to art glass at the auction. Bronzes earned respectable prices, including Mark Rossi’s sculpture depicting a jackrabbit scratching its ear, which realized $3,900 (estimate: $4,000-$6,000).

American art

Mark Rossi (American, 1952-), ‘Jackrabbit.’ Price realized: $3,900. John Moran Auctioneers image

Asian art objects were some of the most popular lots of the sale, with several lots selling above the high estimate. A bright yellow silk pleated apron with skillfully done embroidery of butterflies and flowers inspired fierce bidding before realizing $720 at the block (estimate: $300-$500). A lot of eight carved jade items earned the status of the top lot during the Studio Decorative Art auction thanks to frenzied bidding from online, phone and floor bidders, one of whom ultimately succeeded in taking home the lot for $7,800 (estimate $200-$400).

American art

Eight carved jade and stone objects, est. $200-$400. Price realized: $7,800. John Moran Auctioneers image

For contact John Moran Auctioneers via email: or phone (626) 793-1833.