Gold coins, Chinese clock among rare pieces in Michaan’s sale Aug. 12

Chinese pavilion-style automaton mechanical clock. Estimate: $80,000-$100,000. Michaan’s Auctions image


ALAMEDA, Calif. – Rare American coins and fine collectible coins of the world are featured in Michaan’s monthly Estate Auction on Aug. 12. Specialist Michael Rosenberg will present over 100 lots consigned by discerning collectors. Top highlights include 19th century and prewar 20th century U.S. gold coins. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

Among the older coins in the auction is the 1852 Liberty Head $20 (ANACS, AU-50) estimated at $2,200-$2,500.

U.S. 1852 $20 gold coin ANACS AU-50. Estimate: $2,200-$2,500. Michaan’s Auctions image


A $3 gold coin from 1854, featuring the beautiful Indian Princess Head motif, is offered with estimates of $1,200-$1,300. A Liberty Head $20 gold piece dating from the close of the 19th century is estimated at $1,600-$1,800 (1897, NGS MS62).

Collectible clocks are highly sought at auction, and Michaan’s offers a truly spectacular opportunity for collectors in August with the pavilion-style automaton mechanical clock (top), estimated to sell for $80,000-$100,000. The design of this gilded confection was inspired by the splendor of the Orient. Elephants in ceremonial dress form its feet. The housing for the clock face evokes a high temple or royal palace. Its moving parts include eight twirling tropical trees, and the tune played by the clock echoes the delicate music of temple bells. The clock has an irresistible charm that will make it a leading attraction at the August Estate Auction and a great source of pride for the winning bidder.

California Impressionist William Franklin Jackson (1850-1936) is Michaan’s featured fine artist in August. His California Landscape with Poppies and Lupine (below) would make a fine addition to any collection of American Impressionist paintings. With its colorful indigenous wild perennials including the state flower, the work will have a special appeal to Californians. Jackson was the first museum director of the Crocker Art Gallery in Sacramento, where he served for 50 years while also painting and teaching. He was an important figure in the California art world of his day, and his splendid plein-air landscapes continue to inspire artists working in the Golden State today.


William Franklin Jackson (1850-1936), ‘California Landscape with Poppies and Lupine.’ Estimate: $10,000-$15,000. Michaan’s Auctions image


Many of August’s Asian art highlights come from the Sacramento estate of a selective collector who purchased them primarily from Sotheby’s Parke-Bernet, Los Angeles. Bids will reflect the excellent provenance of these fine pieces. Beautiful Chinese furniture to be sold includes items of rosewood such as the table and chair estimated at $3,000-$4,000. Garden stools of colorful famille rose porcelain are offered at $800-$1,200 for the pair.


Pair of Famille Rose garden stools. Estimate: $800-$1,200. Michaan’s Auctions image


Auction buyers with a taste for luxury goods will find many compelling lots including the three-piece set of Louis Vuitton luggage and the Fortuny-style “Grand Canal” pattern velvet coverlet ($2,500-$3,000) in gorgeous shades of bronze and gold.

Of particular interest to Bay Area collectors is the pair of bronze Polynesian-themed candelabra ($800-$1,200) designed and signed by the late Victor Bergeron of Trader Vic’s fame.


Victor Jules ‘Trader Vic’ Bergeron (1902-1984) pair of bronze Polynesian-style candelabra. Estimate: $800-$1,200. Michaan’s Auctions image


Diverse estate furniture in the August auction ranges from the Brutalist burlwood table ($800-$1,600) to the ebonized Eastlake 12-piece dining suite 11837-1 ($1,000-$1,500) by venerable 19th-century American furniture maker Berkey and Gay.