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Jack Cassinetto, ‘Eucalyptus Row,’ $2,000

John Moran’s California Living sale delivered West Coast vibe

 Jack Cassinetto, ‘Eucalyptus Row,’ $2,000

Jack Cassinetto, ‘Eucalyptus Row,’ $2,000

MONROVIA, Calif. – On November 16, John Moran Auctioneers presented buyers with a feast for the eyes in its California Living sale. From classic arts and crafts to ultramodern and everything in between, lot winners found standout pieces to compliment every part of their home or office.

Framed works had a strong turnout, in various styles by a variety of artists, such as Jack Cassinetto, whose 2017 oil painting, Eucalyptus Row, epitomizes the California Arts and Crafts coastline. Inspired by hours spent studying early Plein Air painters, he brings that mood-setting influence to areas of light and shade. His paintings reflect the changing light throughout the day, inviting the viewer to enjoy the subdued colors of the trees and coast. Cassinetto’s distinct style is certainly in demand, with this work reaching $2,000, well above its top estimate of $900.

Galen Rowell, ‘Yosemite,’ $1,040
Galen Rowell, ‘Yosemite,’ $1,040

Another California landscape was featured in the form of Galen Rowell’s stunning color photograph, Yosemite, his early 1970s image of Yosemite Valley with El Capitan and Half Dome lit with pink afterglow, which achieved a satisfying $1,040.

William Scott, ‘Spatial Displacement, Series (A),’ $8,125
William Scott, ‘Spatial Displacement, Series (A),’ $8,125

A work by British artist William Scott gave an abstract contrast to the classic California landscapes. Scott’s 1964 chalk and pastel work on paper, Spatial Displacement, Series (A) achieved $8,125, double the high estimate of $4,000. This work is a good example of Scott’s characteristic style, featuring flat areas of color and descriptive lines with primitive and simple geometric forms and motifs inspired by everyday life, in compositions often extending beyond the edges of the piece itself.

Mel Kendrick,‘Large Mahogany with Holes,’ $12,500
Mel Kendrick,‘Large Mahogany with Holes,’ $12,500

Sculptures large and small were featured in the sale, with Mel Kendrick’s six-foot abstract Large Mahogany with Holes performing well. The abstract sculpture embodies all of the artists re-occurring motifs such as scale, geometry and process. It outpaced its $7,000-$9,000 estimate and ultimately sold for $12,500.

Eli Harvey, ‘Standing Bear on Ball,’ $3,125
Eli Harvey, ‘Standing Bear on Ball,’ $3,125

Eli Harvey’s 1898 bronze Standing Bear on a Ball, finished at $3,125, returning to the artist’s family in fine style. Harvey was artistically inspired at an early age by the natural landscape of his native Midwest and preferred to express the natural beauty of his animal subjects. His bear may be familiar to any alumni of Brown University, as they adopted a popular eight-foot bear sculpture by Harvey as a mascot.

Antonio Pineda silver and obsidian necklace, $2,625
Antonio Pineda silver and obsidian necklace, $2,625

An abundance of inspiring works of modernist jewelry, including iconic pieces by Bjorn Weckstrom, Pal Kepenyes and other Scandinavian designers all sold well alongside desirable Mexican artists including Margot de Taxco and Antonio Pineda. A silver and obsidian necklace by Pineda landed nicely above its top estimate to attain $2,625. Pineda’s works continue to be popular and reinforce his standing among the top Mexican silversmiths. A former apprentice to the renowned William Spratling, he has been described by some as the most lasting, most successful, and most daring of artists from the Taxco area.

Dunbar modern two-toned wood credenza, $5,525
Dunbar modern two-toned wood credenza, $5,525

Furniture and decorative arts included a handsome credenza by Dunbar that made a respectable $5,525 as well as an arresting pair of Steuben art glass torcheres, at $3,250. A Rookwood vellum glazed porcelain plaque entitled Colorado also finished in a top position, making $4,375 and beating its top estimate of $3,000.⁠ In 1880, Rookwood pottery was founded in Cincinnati, Ohio by Maria Longworth Nichols, making it one of the first female-owned manufacturing companies in America. It is still in production today. ⁠

Rookwood vellum glaze Colorado pottery wall plaque, $4,375
Rookwood vellum glaze Colorado pottery wall plaque, $4,375

However, the star of the category was a Japanese-style Nihonga Byobu folding screen by artist Robert Crowder. Nihonga is the term used for Japanese-style painting, and Robert Crowder spent several years in Japan studying it under master Mochizuki Shunko in pre-war Japan. Crowder adopted Shoji Kuroda as his artist name and spent years perfecting his love of the genre with his favorite subject matter, nature.

Japanese-style Nihonga Byobu folding screen by Robert Crowder, $6,250
Japanese-style Nihonga Byobu folding screen by Robert Crowder, $6,250

The beautiful screen graced with birds, trees, and flowers caught the eye several buyers and sold at almost four times its estimate for $6,250.

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California scenes