Asian artists expected to excel in Michaan’s Jan. 13 sale

Asian artists

Liu Jiyou (1918-1983), ‘Lady by Bamboo.’ Estimate: $80,000-$100,000. Michaan’s Auctions image

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The art of Chinese painters Liu Jiyou and Huang Leisheng will ignite bidding at Michaan’s Jan. 13 Gallery Auction, which opens with fine jewelry and timepieces. Absentee and Internet bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

The excitement extends well into the fine art category where Robert Motherwell, Dale Chihuly and California’s Millard Sheets are featured.

Liu Jiyou (1918-1983) is best known for spirited works in which traditional Chinese painting techniques are invigorated by a modern, global point of view. Most often centered on animals and figural compositions, Jiyou’s paintings are striking for their freshness, achieved by quick brushwork and naturalistic rendering of lively subjects. Several fine works by Liu Jiyou will be sold on Jan. 13, at estimated prices ranging from $10,000 to $100,000.

Also offered are paintings by Huang Leisheng (b. 1928) and Li Kuchan (1899-1983), a student of Qi Baishi. Zhao Shao’ang (1905-1998), greatly admired for his way with birds and flowers, is another featured Chinese painter. Masami Teraoka (b. 1936) and Tsubaki Chinzan (1801-1854, Edo Period) are among the Japanese artists highlighted in the sale.

Collectible Asian treasures include cloisonné pieces, bronze objects such as a 17th-century brush rest ($1,000-$1,500) and a set of Qing Dynasty seals ($800-$1,000), and textiles like the embroidered women’s silk robe ($800-$1,200). Satsuma, Imari and Famille rose porcelains are featured. Bidders may inquire further with Michaan’s Asian art specialist Harry Huang (

Robert Motherwell (1915-1991), a bold pioneer of Abstract Expressionism, is a giant figure in the history of American modern art. His hand-colored lithograph Burning Elegy (below) is estimated at $40,000 to $60,000 in Michaan’s January auction.

Asian artists

Robert Motherwell (American 1915-1991), ‘Burning Elegy,’ color lithograph. Estimate: $40,000-$60,000. Michaan’s Auctions image

Glass collectors have found important works in many of Michaan’s recent monthly auctions. January’s highlight is a Chihuly vase ($8,000-$12,000).

Asian artists

Dale Chihuly (American b. 1941), glass vase, orange cylinder with abstract colored patterns. Estimate: $8,000-$12,000. Michaan’s Auctions image

California artists have become especially popular with Michaan’s bidders, and the singular talent of Millard Sheets (1907-1989) is in focus this month with his Irish Gypsies watercolor and gouache estimated at $5,000-$7,000. Another fine watercolor, Daffodils by Paul de Longpré (1855-1911), is offered at $3,000-$5,000. A 1971 view of Paris, Landscape Pont Neuf by Lai Kui Fang (b. 1936), was included in the 1972 catalog of Santa Clara’s Triton Museum of Art. The oil on board is in very good condition and estimated at $6,000-$8,000.

One of January’s leading auction items is the large etched bronze dining table (est. $8,000-$12,000) from the mid-century design team of Philip and Kelvin Laverne. Laverne tables, highly sought by collectors and interior designers, had excellent auction momentum throughout 2017 at Michaan’s. This stunning Etruscan-inspired piece, a rare find, will attract many bids.

Asian artists

Philip and Kelvin Laverne Etruscan table. Estimate: $8,000-$12,000. Michaan’s Auctions image

Fine diamonds, jade, colored gemstones and gold are always top sellers at Michaan’s, where the jewelry selection ranges from one-of-a-kind period estate pieces to coveted designs from fine jewelers such as Tiffany and Shreve. Featured in January are a golden beryl and diamond ring by Oscar Heyman (est. $2,000-$3,000), an Arceau wristwatch by Hermès (est. $1,000-$1,500) and Cartier’s 18K gold “Love” bangle (est. $3,000-$5,000).

Asian artists

Hermes Arceau automatic stainless steel wristwatch. Estimate: $1,000-$1,500. Michaan’s Auctions image

Also outstanding is the bronze sculpture of a stagecoach, emblem of the enterprise and optimism that drove settlers across the American continent to the far West. Mounted on a marble stand, it is signed “C.M. Russell” (est. $2,000-$3,000).