ALAMEDA, Calif. – Brilliant art glass and crystal illuminate Michaan’s September Gallery Auction of fine art, furniture and decorative arts, Asian art and jewelry to be auctioned on Saturday, September 9. The energy of the season infuses the auction gallery, where early autumn sunbeams highlight designs by Steuben, Lalique, Baccarat and Daum. Works by international artists and California painters of wide renown, period jewels, and Asian art objects are also featured in this sale of treasures from fine estates, with absentee and Internet live bidding available through LiveAuctioneers.com.
Michaan’s in September is the perfect place to expand high-quality decorative art collections. “The best names in glass and crystal were collected for decades by our client,” said the auction company’s specialist, Elizabeth Dalton, “and it’s exciting to see so many excellent pieces in a single auction.”
Various themes are represented such as “Arctic Exploration” and “Moby Dick” by Steuben (each $7,000-$9,000). The spectacular limited edition “Swan” bowl, also by Steuben, is estimated at $12,000-$15,000.
Another art glass stunner is “Las Meninas” by Manolo Valdez for Daum. The bold, stylized figure in a full-skirted formal gown and imposing headdress was inspired by the little girl at the center of one of Western art’s best-known Old Master paintings: “Las Meninas,” Velasquez’s group portrait of the Spanish royal court. Crafted of luminous red amber pâte de verre, it is estimated at $6,000-$9,000.
Lalique crystal sculptures include lovely “Venus” and the monumental “Angelique” covered vase, each $6,000-$8,000. Animal lovers will find a pair of cheetahs designed by Loet Vanderveen for Baccarat ($4,000-$6,000), a Steuben Alaskan grizzly bear ($3,000-$5,000) and a pair of Lalique cats 11921-1($600-$800). Also by Lalique, “Le Miroir aux Causeuses” ($4,000-$6,000) is from a series of decor pieces featuring graceful nudes.
Fine art has been exciting at Michaan’s throughout 2017, and September is bound to sustain the momentum with many dynamic paintings from California and beyond. Maurice Logan (1886-1997) was a San Francisco Bay area artist through and through. A top illustrator and widely admired Expressionist painter, Logan taught at Oakland’s California College of Arts and Crafts (now CCA) and exhibited regularly at the Bohemian Club, where he was a member. His oil painting “Totem Pole and Rolls-Royce” ($6,000-$8,000) presents “an intriguing juxtaposition of two radically divergent cultural touchstones,” noted Michaan’s Fine Art specialist Susan Paffrath. Contrasting the solemn ancestral icon with the latest shiny pretty thing — deep spiritualism confronting high materialism — the artist finds beauty in both.
Logan’s contemporary Carl Sammons (1883-1968), was a plein air painter of impressionistic California landscapes from the Sierras to the sea. Three of his works will be offered in September, their estimates ranging from $1,500-$3,000, a wonderful opportunity for longtime and beginning collectors alike. “Sunny Landscape” by Maurice Braun (1877-1941), another prominent California Impressionist, gorgeously conveys nature’s dreamlike qualities out West; it is estimated at $15,000-$20,000.
For collectors of contemporary fine art, a highlight in September is “One” ($10,000-$15,000) by Eric Zener. A superb example of the artist’s masterful photorealism, the work in oil on canvas depicts a couple embracing in a swimming pool. Its composition is energized by the play of light on water and grounded by the connection between the two figures.
Eric Zener (American b. 1966) “One,” oil on canvas. Estimate: $10,000 / 15,000
Dining suites, cabinetry, lighting, upholstered pieces and handwoven rugs … from iconic designs to one-of-a-kind finds, fine furniture attracts many bidders to Michaan’s monthly Gallery Auctions. September features dramatic Mid-Century Modern Murano glass chandeliers by Mazzega and Venini, classic Hans Wegner dining chairs (teak with woven cord seats, $2,000-$3,000 the suite of eight) and a 1960s Danish Modern teak secretary desk by Arne Wahl Iversen ($500-$700).
Alongside these sleek designs sit lavish 19th century gilt bronze furnishings in the style of Louis XV and Louis XVI; the eclectic mix is part of the auction fun. Charming accent pieces include the 19th-century European painted gilt sleigh ($1,000-$1,500), scaled to the size of a small child and ready for repurposing by a creative interior designer.
Unique furniture can also be found in the department of Asian Art, where a suite of rosewood armchairs ($4,000-$6,000) features variegated marble plaques as seat backs. The natural veining in the stone creates patterns suggestive of landscapes, maps, or other images conjured by the eyes of the beholder. Also offered are altar tables of Huanghuali and Zitan 11889-29 wood, the latter featuring unusual round insets of painted porcelain plaques on the tabletop ($10,000-$15,000).
Fine old Chinese textiles include a large embroidered silk panel depicting Gods of Longevity ($2,000 to $4,000) and a sheer formal summer robe ($400-$600)for a lady, in vivid peacock blue banded by linen embroidered with chrysanthemums and butterflies.
Collectors will find porcelain glazed bowls of diverse periods and colors, from Qianlong copper red and lemon yellow to Kangxi blue and Daoguong café-au-lait.
Among the Japanese antiques, lately rising in the auction market, are the graceful six-panel moriage screen ($3,000-$4,000) and the Edo Period portable shrine, a decorated lacquer case that encloses a figure of the Buddha ($800-$1,200).
September has always been a time when wardrobes are updated, and why should fine jewelry be the exception? Collectors will want to make room in their jewel boxes for auction prizes from Michaan’s: precious period pieces, Native American turquoise and silver, bold gemstones and much more. A Victorian buckle bracelet transcends its period with subtle chic, crafted of supple gold mesh accented by a single fine diamond ($500-$700). Stock up on big statement rings with lapis and diamonds ($800-$1,200) or coral ($700-$900). Or choose the rose gold Georgian ring, elliptical in shape and set with diamonds surrounded by cobalt blue enamel ($1,000-$1,500) — an elegant piece, perfect for giving.
Pair of Edwardian Diamond, Enamel, Platinum-Topped, 14K Rose Gold Bangles. Estimate: $3,000 / 5,000
Timepieces to covet include the gent’s Longines “Flagship” automatic wristwatch with luxurious gold mesh band ($1,500-$2,500) and the ladies’ retro diamond-studded white gold Bulova, attractively priced at $400-$600. GIA-certified diamonds and Mason-Kay certified jade jewelry pieces are also offered in September.
The Saturday, Sept. 9 auction will start at 10 a.m. Pacific Time / 1 p.m. Eastern Time.