Important American, Asian artists stand out at Michaan’s May 11

Important American artists

Cecil Crosley Bell (American 1906-1970), ‘Go Boys! Go! Go!,’ oil on board. Estimate: $3,000/$5,000. Michaan’s image

ALAMEDA, Calif. – Michaan’s presents extraordinary opportunities to collectors on Saturday, May 11. Top names and rising stars in fine art are a focus. Estate jewelry set with fine old diamonds is a leading attraction. The selection of art and artifacts from Asia, Africa and Europe is outstanding. Michaan’s May Gallery Auction lots, culled from private collections and elite estates, promise exciting discoveries in every category. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

David Hockney, Wayne Thiebaud and Richard Diebenkorn are among the featured artists. Works by these California artists of international renown are favored by museums, investors and private collectors, and Michaan’s specialist Susan Paffrath anticipates great interest in these lots. Exciting 20th century American paintings also include works by Cecil Crosley Bell (above; 1906-1977) and his contemporary Gertrude Abercrombie (1909-1977), two artists in increasingly high demand whose works have sold very well at Michaans. Abercrombie’s Surrealist paintings were the subject of a weighty 2018 book and buzzworthy exhibition at New York’s Karma gallery. Her Still Life with Carnations is estimated at $12,000-$18,000 and her Snail Shell at $5,000-$7,000.

The wry, brilliant Children Generals (below; $15,000-$20,000) by Tang Zhigang (b. 1959) is a highlight of the May sale. Tang spent a decade creating propaganda art for the Chinese army. His paintings comment on bureaucracy and the military with great charm and sly humor. The impressionistic Old Singapore Shophouses by Tan Choh Tee (b. 1942) is offered at $10,000-$15,000 and the watercolor Market Place, 1980, by Singaporean Kim Seng Ong is estimated at $2,000-$3,000.

Important American artists

Zhigang Tang (Chinese b. 1959), ‘Children Generals,’ oil on canvas. Estimate: $15,000/$20,000. Michaan’s image

Two lithographs by John Lennon, signed and numbered, were printed from a portfolio known as Bag One depicting John and Yoko in their early married life. When the Bag One portfolio debuted at the London Arts Gallery, New Bond Street in 1970, the exhibition was raided by police who confiscated eight of the original artworks on the grounds of indecency. Each of the John Lennon lithos offered by Michaan’s is estimated at $1,000-$2,000. Pop culture buffs will also be intrigued by two original Charles Schulz Peanuts strips, offered at $8,000-$12,000 each. Many original Peanuts strips are preserved in the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center, located just north of the San Francisco Bay Area in Santa Rosa.

The rare tintype of a fascinating 19th century American, Mary Edwards Walker, is a cultural artifact of the Civil War, the women’s suffrage movement and LGBTQ history. Walker’s unconventional life, a life of service to her country, is described in extensive biographical notes in the auction catalog, presented by Michaan’s specialist Jill Fenichell. The tintype featuring Mary Edwards Walker is estimated at $3,000-$5,000.

Important American artists

Rare 19th Century tintype, Dr. Mary Edwards Walker. Estimate: $3,000/$5,000. Michaan’s image

A top furniture highlight in Michaan’s May Gallery Auction is the fabulous Chan etched and patinated bronze coffee table by Philip and Kelvin Laverne. Laverne designs are coveted for Mid Century, Hollywood Regency and Haute Bohemian interiors, and the Chan table would make a smashing centerpiece in a minimalist living room. Michaan’s has been a leading resource for Laverne tables, their popularity and value skyrocketing in recent years.

Important American artists

Large famille rose enameled porcelain ‘nine peach’ moon flask. Estimate: $9,000/$12,0000. Michaan’s image

From a private San Francisco collection, Michaan’s will offer fine Italian furnishings and decorative arts, Himalayan bronze deities and figures of Buddha, Art Deco furniture, fine Chinese pottery and many more delights too numerous to mention. The Japanese pictorial Tale of Genji screen and the dazzling pair of antique carved Moroccan doors are typical of the consignor’s fine taste and imaginative eye.

Important American artists

Sino-Tibetan gilt-bronze large Yamantaka. Estimate: $10,000/$15,000. Michaan’s image

Michaan’s Asian art department offers many exemplary pieces and decorative delights in May. Famille rose porcelain of exquisite quality is a highlight. The carved bamboo birdcage ($1,000-$1,200) would be right at home in a Tony Duquette-inspired interior, as would the 52-inch-tall lacquered wood guardian figure, a formidable presence in the auction gallery ($5,000-$7,000). Treasures of cloisonne, bronze and jade are offered.

Diamonds are abundant in May’s selection of fine jewelry and timepieces presented by Michaan’s specialist and GIA gemologist Elise Coronado. Period estate pieces include the French Edwardian diamond, platinum and gold pendant necklace ($6,000-$8,000). The coral, turquoise, diamond and gold brooch ($600-$800) by Dessin, Paris will beguile collectors of vintage fine jewelry with its whimsical design of a turbanned cat with his hookah. From the design house of Raymond Yard, who created jewels for Rockefellers, Vanderbilts and DuPonts, Coronado presents a stunning retro accessory set for ladies. This diamond, ruby and 14K gold treasure is estimated at $5,000-$7,000. A brooch dating to the turn of the 20th century is set with old European cut and old mine cut diamonds ($4,000-$6,000). Jewelry is a top draw at each of Michaan’s monthly auctions, attracting collectors of everything from Native American silver and turquoise to contemporary designer wristwatches. Gemstone rings never disappoint, such as the Victorian 14K yellow gold ring set with nine old mine-cut diamonds totaling approximately two carats and the star ruby ring with diamonds set in platinum, each estimated at $2,000-$3,000.

Michaan’s specialists anticipate great interestand welcome inquiries by phone (510-740-0220 or 800-380-9822) or email (