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Sam Francis painting

Sam Francis painting draws attention to Michaan’s Dec. 6 sale

Sam Francis painting
Sam Francis (California 1923-1994), Untitled, 1983, acrylic on paper laid on canvas. Estimate: $150,000-$200,000. Michaan’s image

ALAMEDA, Calif. – In a special auction event on Friday, Dec. 6, Michaan’s Auctions will present exceptional property from fine estates including the Sylvia Blumenfeld Trust. Sylvia Blumenfeld was a sophisticated collector whose education and world travels informed her interests, shaped her taste and guided her selection of fine art, jewelry, furnishings and decorations. This fine property forms the core of Michaan’s Winter Fine Sale, which also features the contents of an apartment designed by San Francisco’s celebrated interior designer Steven Volpe. The apartment was featured in Architectural Digest in August 2017. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.

Sylvia Blumenfeld (1921-2018) collected modern art for many decades. The works in this sale came from galleries such as John Berggruen, Solomon & Co. Fine Art and Hirschl & Adler Modern. An untitled 1983 work by Californian Sam Francis (1923-1994) is a leading highlight. Estimated at $150,000-$200,000, the massive Sam Francis acrylic, on paper laid on canvas, is a dynamic work that will thrill collectors.

Hans Hoffman’s exuberant oil Circles (1951) is offered at $50,000-$80,000. The Bay Area Figurative Movement is well represented in this collection with works by James Weeks, Elmer Bischoff and Nathan Oliveira. Watercolor portraits by Diego Rivera and Toulouse-Lautrec are offered, each at $20,000-$30,000.

Michaan’s Furniture & Decorative Arts department offers beautiful property from the Sylvia Blumenfeld Trust. A pair of fine commodes, a center table and a bench feature beautiful woods and elegant craftsmanship. A group of fine Mexican silver of .920 and .930 standard includes a tea and coffee service with an urn en suite. Its bold lines and shimmering surfaces will make an elegant statement in its next home.

Sylvia Blumenfeld’s exquisite taste extended to her collection of fine jewelry. Designers include Van Cleef & Arpels, Bulgari and Buccellati. Piaget’s “Miss Protocole” diamond and 18K white gold, leather wristwatch is offered at $4,000-$6,000. The Blancpain diamond and platinum covered wristwatch, circa 1950, is estimated at $5,000-$7,000. Fine jadeite jade and diamonds are featured in the 18K white gold ring ($8,000-$12,000). Sterling silver jewelry pieces include the designs of Antonio Piñeda, David Yurman and John Hardy.

The superstar of the Blumenfeld Trust jewelry collection is the ring centering a pear-cut diamond weighing 7.92 carats, flanked by additional pear-cut diamonds set in a platinum mounting and accompanied by a yellow gold ring guard. This treasure of astonishing proportions and superb quality is estimated at $80,000-$100,000. The Winter Fine Sale will also feature jewelry and timepieces from other fine estates, curated by Michaan’s jewelry specialist and GIA gemologist, Elise Coronado.

Sam Francis painting
Diamond, platinum ring with 18K yellow gold guard. Estimate: $80,000-$120,000. Michaan’s image

In addition to the Sylvia Blumenfeld Trust collection, the exciting works of fine art offered include sculptures by Robert Indiana and Louise Nevelson. Indiana’s PREM – a variation on the theme of his famous work, LOVE – spells out “love” in Hindi. The steel sculpture, an earthy terracotta in color, is estimated at $250,000-$300,000. It would make an outstanding focal point in a meditation garden or on a campus lawn. The Nevelson work is an abstract collage assembled from wood and paper. It measures 40 by 30 inches and dates to 1957.

Sam Francis painting
Robert Indiana (American 1928-2018), ‘PREM’ (LOVE in Hindi), steel sculpture. Estimate: $250,000-$300,000. Michaan’s image

Michaan’s Winter Fine Sale also boasts two fine and complementary collections of Art Deco furniture and decorations. The first, from a San Francisco apartment appointed by interior designer Steven Volpe, has some extraordinary examples of furniture and decorative appointments by design houses such as Adnet, Ramsay and Maison Baguès, and designer-architects such as Prue, Adnet, Colon and Marx. Gilt bronze and chic appointments by Line Vautrin, among others, make this small but fine collection compelling.

A notable highlight is the rare all-glass guéridon by Colon and Adnet, possibly designed for the 1937 Paris Exposition. The round tabletop is black and engraved SECURIT. The tripodal, angular legs are formed of flat clear, uncolored glass. Chromed brass accents complete the design. The table stands roughly 17 inches high and is estimated to realize $8,000-$10,000.

Sam Francis painting
Rene-Andre Coulon and Jacques Adnet glass gueridon. Estimate: $8,000-$10,000. Michaan’s image

A collection of Art Deco from a San Francisco house includes bronzes and furniture by Majorelle, cold-painted gilt and silvered bronzes by French, German and Eastern European artists; glass by Lalique; porcelain and pottery by Robj and Rosenthal; and fine furniture of extraordinary woods. A vase by Daum, sheathed in a bronze frame by Majorelle, is estimated at $2,000-$3,000. Most pieces from this collection will be offered at Michaan’s monthly Gallery Auction on Saturday, Dec. 7, but highlights will be sold at the Winter Fine Sale on Friday, Dec. 6.

Sam Francis painting
Emmanuel Pontremoli (1865 – 1956) attributed rare set of two Klismos chairs for Villa Kerylos, Beaulieu-sur-Mer, France. Estimate: $10,000-$15,000. Michaan’s image

In the United States one does not often encounter the designs of Anthony Redmile, the quirky English designer of posh animalier furnishings. A quartet of Redmile articles, circa 1975, will bring the furniture and decorative objects section of the Winter Fine Sale to a modern plateau. The pair of fine low round tables of glass, horn and “stone” is expected to realize $7,000-$10,000. The crane vessel on stand and the resting stag are also outstanding.

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Sam Francis painting