ALAMEDA, Calif. – Bay Area artists of international renown, designer fine jewelry and Art Deco furnishings were top sellers at Michaan’s December auctions. A pair of sales on consecutive days, the Winter Fine Sale followed by the December Gallery Sale, featured property from the Sylvia Blumenfeld Trust and property from a San Francisco apartment designed by Steven Volpe. Two fine collections of Art Deco and Art Moderne were offered, both attracting international interest. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.
Tiffany Studios glass, a longtime specialty of Michaan’s Auctions, was a leading highlight. An exceptionally fine example of the Tiffany Studios Dragonfly lamp, with its luminous glass cone shade and twisted vine bronze base, realized $180,000 on Dec. 7.
A large acrylic painting by Sam Francis (1923-1994) was among the works by California artists that shone brightly in the Winter Fine Sale on Dec. 6. The untitled 1983 Sam Francis painting realized $110,000.
The Bay Area Figurative Movement was featured, and collectors flocked to works by Nathan Oliveira, James Weeks and Elmer Bischoff. Lot 2157, Robert Kelly’s oil and mixed media work, Thicket XLIII, garnered many inquiries from designers in New York and beyond. Estimated at $3,000-$5,000, the Robert Kelly work sold for $15,000. It was one of many pieces from the San Francisco apartment designed by Steven Volpe, the contents of which sold very well in Michaan’s Winter Fine Sale.
Important South Asian artists of the 20th century were featured in Michaan’s Gallery Auction on Dec. 7. Lot 326, Mother with Dove by Maqbool Fida Husain, realized $19,200. Village Scene, a watercolor by Syed Haider Raza, sold for $3,800.
Works by American artists of the early 20th century sold well, including Fishing at Sunset by the wildlife painter Lynn Bogue Hunt brought $5,000.
The Winter Fine Sale offered unique opportunities to collectors of fine furnishings, presented by Michaan’s specialist in furniture and decorations, Jill Fenichell. A leading highlight was the set of dining chairs from Villa Kerylos, a Cote d’Azur house that has been a French historical monument since 1966. The rare set of eight elmwood Klismos chairs, circa 1910, is attributed to the architect and archaeologist Emmanuel Pontremoli, designer of Villa Kerylos, and realized $22,800. Another top lot was 2152, the Jacques Adnet attributed low table of gilt brass faux bamboo topped in black leather. Estimated at $3,000-$5,000, the Adnet table, circa 1950, realized $20,400.
The Sylvia Blumenfeld Trust included a collection of fine jewelry that dazzled Michaan’s bidders and brought a fitting close to a stellar year of jewelry sales presented by Michaan’s specialist and GIA gemologist, Elise Coronado. In both December auctions, diamonds were plentiful, led by the 7.92 carat pear-cut diamond ring, Lot 2092 in the Winter Fine Sale, which realized $150,000. The glamorous multistone, 18K yellow gold “Rainbow” jewelry suite by H. Stern, Lot 2076, brought $10,200. Also sold for $10,200 was the Marina B two-tone jewelry suite, a striking 1980s design of yellow gold and contrasting blackened gold.
Among the Art Deco finds that resonated with collectors is the burl walnut and black marble furniture suite, Paris circa 1930. Lot 2172, comprising a buffet and side cabinet, was estimated at $3,000-$4,000 and realized $7,800. Another Art Deco highlight: the striking modernist glass and wrought iron vase by Daum and Majorelle, Lot 2185. The pink lavender circa 1930 vase realized $3,900 in the Winter Fine Sale on Dec. 6.