John Moran Auctioneers goes modern with twin-session sale

Tom Wesselmann (1931-2004 New York, N.Y.), ‘Study for Sunset Nude with Pink and Yellow Tulips,’ pen and colored pencil on 100 percent rag tracing paper, image: 3.75 in. high x 4.5 in. wide. Price realized: $14,400. John Moran Auctioneers image

MONROVIA, Calif. – John Moran Auctioneers started out a two-session day April 24 with their 20th-Century and Contemporary Art + Design catalog, which featured 167 lots of furniture and fine art ranging from the Art Deco period through to contemporary works by living artists. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.

Modern and contemporary works by American artists were popular with collectors, including a sketch by New York-based pop artist Tom Wesselmann (1931-2004). The diminutive Study for Sunset Nude with Pink and Yellow Tulips was offered with a $10,000-$15,000 estimate, going for $14,400 after all available phone lines were reserved for bidding on the lot (above).

A contemporary abstract composition in black and white oil stick on paper by Bernar Venet (b. 1941) titled Indeterminate Line brought an exceptional $27,000, well over the estimated $6,000-$8,000 (below).

Bernar Venet (b. 1941 French), ‘Indeterminate Line,’ oil stick on paper under Plexiglas, paper: 29.5 x 41 in. Estimate: $6,000-$8,000; price realized: $27,000. John Moran Auctioneers image

A dining set by master craftsman and Southern California native Sam Maloof also caused  a stir; consigned from a local private collection, the table and the group of six chairs were offered as two separate lots, with each lot earning an impressive $21,600 and going to a dedicated telephone bidder (each estimate: $18,000-$22,000).

Sam Maloof (1916-2009, Alta Loma, Calif.), walnut dining table. Price realized: $21,600. John Moran Auctioneers image

Following the first session, Moran’s hosted a short Prints & Multiples auction; while composed of only 85 lots, the sale achieved 95 percent of its projected value with an 82 percent sell-through rate.

The second session opened strong, with a run of Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) ceramics earning exceptional prices; the first lot of the session, a large Service Visage Noir art pottery charger was presented with a $4,000-$6,000 estimate, and quickly found a buyer for $6,600. Shortly after, one of the artist’s iconic owl vases achieved $7,500, squarely within the $6,000-$8,000 estimate.

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973, Spanish) for Madoura, owl vase. Price realized: $7,500. John Moran Auctioneers image

Works by the prolific artist were peppered throughout the catalog and proved to be enduringly collectible; one of Picasso’s Farol [Bluff] linocuts depicting an abstracted bull and fighter sold for $9,600, while a lithograph listed as being “after” the artist titled Tête de Femme Au Chapeau [Head of Woman in Hat] astounded bidders on the floor when it flew to an $18,000 price realized in a matter of moments (estimates: $6,000-$9,000; $5,000-$7,000).

After Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), ‘Tête de Femme au Chapeau,’ color lithograph on BFK Rives wove paper, image: 25.75 x 21.25 in. Price realized: $18,000. John Moran Auctioneers image

Joan Miró’s (1893-1983) Mannequin Parade in Bahia was highly anticipated by collectors in the days running up to the auction date. Carrying a $10,000-$15,000 estimate, the large-scale abstract lithograph earned $18,000.

Near the end of the final auction, Moran’s was pleased to present Sea Turtle, a colorful screenprint by pop artist Andy Warhol (1928-1987) which was one of the most requested lots for telephone bidding (all available lines were booked for bidding). The popularity of Sea Turtle earned it a final selling price of $40,625 after fierce competition between a dozen telephone bidders.

For more information contact John Moran Auctioneers via email info@johnmoran.com or telephone 626-793-1833.