MONROVIA, Calif. – John Moran Auctioneers‘ Postwar & Contemporary Art + Design sale, scheduled for November 9, is dynamic in every way. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
Leading the lineup is the Apple-1 computer, which carries an estimate of $400,000-$600,000. The year 2021 marks the 45th birthday of Apple. The world’s largest technology company is currently valued in the trillion-dollar range, and it all began with two Steves, one garage, and the Apple Computer 1, more commonly referred to as Apple-1. 200 Apple-1 computers were hand-built by Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs and a skeleton crew in the garage that belonged to Jobs’ parents.
John Moran Auctioneers is thrilled to give tech lovers the opportunity to own one of the few remaining Apple-1 computers in existence. This fascinating piece of technological history is in mint condition, contains all period-appropriate and original parts, and is in working order. Moran’s flew in the foremost expert in his field to conduct an extensive authentication, restoration and evaluation process. In addition to the motherboard, monitor and keyboard, this lot is equipped with two cassette tapes, three wires, and a period Xerox-copy of the original owner’s manual.
There are so many remarkable details on this Apple-1 but the most notable may be the koa wood case. In the 1970s, koa wood was abundant and easily accessible, especially on the west coast where the computers were produced, because the tree was native to Hawaii. Due to cattle grazing and extensive logging, koa is now considered much rarer and more expensive. There are only six known examples of Apple-1 computers in a koa wooden case, and this unit is one of them.
The sleek lines of the koa wood case speak to the mid-century design spirit, likewise evident in works by Danish furniture designer Hans J. Wegner who created a host of iconic modern pieces. Chairs were his particular specialty; Wegner designed upwards of 500 chairs in his lifetime, giving him the well-deserved title, “king of chairs.” Functionality had an integral part in his creative approach, proving that the future, as sleek as it was imagined, could also be comfortable. The 1950 Papa Bear chair and ottoman acquired its name from a critic who referenced its armrests as “Great bear paws embracing you from behind.” This modern classic is going to auction with an estimate of $6,000-$8,000.
Another mid-century Modern standout is a circular glass dining table with tubular chrome and brass bars that radiate from top to bottom in a sunburst design. The glass table has a center-mounted removeable brass and chrome champagne bucket (which can serve as a planter, if you prefer). Add the nine matching tubular chrome chairs with fabric upholstered seats and this set is basically a party waiting to happen. The Willy Rizzo-style table is estimated at $5,000-$7,000.
The party continues with a Vasa Lucite multi-toned sphere sculpture. Yugoslavian-born Vasa Velizar Mihich has been making his colorful sculptures in modern materials such as plastic and acrylic for more than 50 years. The retired UCLA professor has exhibited his work at numerous museums and completed commissions for several high-profile clients including NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, Queen Silvia of Sweden, and Google. Estimated at $3,000-$4,000, this statement piece is sure to grab buyers’ attention.
Another important work for sale is by Russian-born American artist Pavel Tchelitchew. Tchelitchew’s work tends to find its roots in Surrealism and hover in a ghostly dream state. Those attributes are seen clearly in the piece on offer, Jesus Visiting Souls in Purgatory, which has a $20,000-$30,000 estimate.
Helen Frankenthaler is a legend within the painting community, exhibiting for more than six decades and moving painting forward with each new body of work. The work on offer, West Wind, was made around 1997 and demonstrates her signature wash technique and impeccable composition. It carries an estimate of $15,000-$20,000.
Several contemporary pieces round out this statement sale. Among them are works by Jim Shaw and Marisa Takal, who both deal with narratives within their work. Shaw’s Cake (Blake) is one of several in his series of men in a seemingly tortured mental state and set against an abstract background. Takal’s narrative is revealed in her titles that seem to pull disparate excerpts of conversation from everyday life. In Asiram Lakat Cool Story, Hansel I’m Gay, an interior space is inhabited by a deep violet torso interrupted with an orange sphere that is also fragmented with bits of a prairie landscape scene peeking through. Cake (Blake) is estimated at $20,000-30,000 and Asiram Lakat Cool Story, Hansel I’m Gay is estimated at $8,000-$10,000.
View top auction results on LiveAuctioneers here: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/pages/recent-auction-sales/