MONROVIA, Calif. – John Moran Auctioneers continues to bring strong prices at their Studio Auctions featuring quality makers, artists, and objets d’art, as witnessed most recently in their Aug. 21 edition. The first session of the day saw nearly 300 lots of silver, art glass, furniture, and other decorative art come to the block. The second session featured over 300 lots of California, American and European artwork from such notable artist as Franz Bischoff, Paul Grimm, Georges Braque, and many more. Absentee and Internet live bidding was facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.
The enduring popularity of Lalique was on full display at Tuesday’s auction, with many fine examples delivering exceptional prices at the block. A classic “Seville” frosted art glass wall sconce with a conservative $600-900 estimate proved to be one of the most popular lots leading up to the auction. After a protracted bidding war between online and phone bidders the lot ultimately sold for $2745 (all prices quoted in this report include 25% buyer’s premium). An equally stunning group of three Lalique sculptures of nude dancers stole the heart of one online bidder, who took them home for $1320.
Classic examples of fine European and American furnishings proved popular with bidders on Tuesday. A well-modeled pair of gilt-bronze wall sconces depicting a male and female attendant soon outstripped the $300-500 estimate, selling at the block for $1875. A marble bust of a serious-faced man in Roman uniform was a crowd-pleaser; a lucky floor bidder took the bust home for $1750 (estimate: $600-900).
As with July’s Traditional Collector auction, fine clocks from the important collection of Harry J. O’Connor III performed well at the block. A gilt bronze-mounted mantel clock from Ansonia Clock Co. featured a dramatic domed bell design; a phone bidder took the bidding well past its $200-300 estimate to sell for $2159. One of the most endearing and popular lots leading in to the auction was a diminutive American tall-case clock. The scaled-down clock inspired some of the strongest bidding of the night, selling for $5000 (estimate: $800-1200)
The Studio Fine Art session featured quintessential images of California from some of the state’s best-loved artists. A lively Ben Abril (1923-1995) work titled “San Francisco” shows the City by the Bay at its most iconic, with a streetcar gliding along a hilly street towards the Bay Bridge. A determined online bidder ultimately snagged the work for $5312 (estimate: $2000-3000). A Charles Arthur Fries (1854-1940) view of “Eucalyptus in Moosa Canyon” in San Diego sold above its $1000-1500 estimate for $2812. A moody Carl Jonnevold (1856-1955) work depicting cows grazing in a landscape saw two online bidders battle it out to take the work home for $2375 (estimate $700-900).
Scenes of distant locales also earned excellent prices. Master watercolorist Milford Zornes (1908-2008) brought his exuberant style to “Palanque,” a Mexican village scene, with online bidders pushing the lot above the $800-1200 estimate to sell for $1750. A view of “Le Pont de Cantepie” from noted French artist Paul Emile Pissarro (1884-1972), showing the bridge wrapped in blue water and lush trees, outpaced its $1000-1500 estimate to sell for $3125.
Works with a modern flair continue to perform well at Moran’s auctions. A colorful Archie Forrest (Scottish, b. 1950-) still life with a bowl of fruit was one of the top-selling lots of the evening, selling for more than five times its $600-800 estimate at $4062.
The last quarter of the calendar year is filled to the brim with auctions at Morans. The first of three auctions in October, the Traditional Collector auction, is set for October 2, to be followed later in the month by Women in Art and California and American Fine Art auctions on October 23. John Moran’s November 13 auction will feature 20th century art and design, followed by a Prints & Multiples session. The December 11 Fine Jewelry & Timepieces catalogue is already full of highlights, including a collection of luxury accessories by Hermes and Chanel, as well as Louis Vuitton bags, from a Southern California collection. A Turn of the Century Design auction and an Art of the American West auction are scheduled to follow on the December 12. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available for all of these sales through LiveAuctioneers.
The next two-session Decorative Art and Fine Art Studio Auction will be held in January 2019. For inquiries regarding catalogues, bidder registration or consignment to future auctions, contact John Moran Auctioneers via their website: www.johnmoran.com. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 626-793-1833.