Tang Dynasty camels apt to ride high at John Moran sale Feb. 20

This pair of Chinese pottery Bactrian camels dates to the Tang Dynasty. Consigned from a private Southern California collection, the pair is expected to bring $70,000-$90,000 at Moran’s Feb. 20 Traditional Collector Auction. John Moran Auctioneers image

MONROVIA, Calif. –  Moran’s February Traditional Collector auction is the first of its kind slated for 2018, and features an eclectic mix of Chinese and Japanese art and objects, Continental paintings, Russian silver and gold objects, and European and Japanese silver dating from the 19th century through to the contemporary, among much more. The nearly 350 lots have been consigned from private collections and estates across Southern California, and the robust offerings are already creating a stir among collectors. Absentee and Internet bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

Sure to create a buzz among serious collector, Moran’s has consigned two pairs of Chinese Tang Dynasty burial figures from a local collector; each are accompanied by thermoluminescence tests by Oxford Authentication Ltd., which support the estimated A.D. 618-907 date of manufacture. A pair of prancing horses from the collection, each saddled and with an upturned tail, are offered with a $45,000-$65,000 preauction estimate. Two large Bactrian camels (above) surmounted by riders are also expected to do well. The camels feature slender, expertly modeled legs which make them particularly delicate (est. $70,000-$90,000).

A collection of Russian gilt silver boxes from a private Pasadena collection are also quite highly anticipated. The selections include a stunning gilt silver box commemorating the end of the Russo-Swedish war of 1788-1790 and adorned with a central medallion emblazoned with the profile of Catherine the Great (estimate: $1,000-$1,500). Also from the local collection, a stunning 18K yellow gold snuff box by maker Peter Theremin dating to approximately 1800 will be offered with a $12,000-$18,000 estimate. The box features a delicately guilloche-enameled cover centering a deftly painted figural scene of mythological maidens (below). A second example featuring an expertly rendered figural cover is unmarked, but has been tested for 14K yellow gold. Decorated with foliate sprays and light blue enameled “jewels,” the handsome trinket will head to the auction block with a $8,000-$$12,000 estimate.

Marked for Russian maker Peter Theremin, this circa 1800 18K gold snuff box has been assigned an estimate of $12,000-$18,000. John Moran Auctioneers image

High-quality silver lots by makers spanning the globe will also make their way to the auction block; an incredibly detailed bird-form centerpiece by Italian maker Buccellati is sure to turn some heads. Crafted from .800 silver, a long-billed bird with individually chased and cut feathers sits atop a nest of oak leaves serving as the cover for the oblong woven silver basket below. The Buccellati centerpiece is presented in excellent condition and carries an $8,000-$12,000 estimate.

A sterling silver coffee and tea service by turn-of-the-century Japanese silversmith Samurai Shokai of Yokohama comprises nine pieces in total and is finely decorated with iris flowers on a hammered background (below). Hailing from a private Pasadena collection, the tea service is fresh to the market and should have no trouble meeting its $8,000-$10,000 estimate.

This gorgeously decorated sterling silver coffee and tea service by Japanese maker Samurai Shokai of Yokohama will make its way to the block with an $8,000-$10,000 estimate. John Moran Auctioneers image

An Italian enameled 18K floral sculpture bears no maker’s mark but has been attributed to maker Garavelli Aldo & Co; the impressive piece has been meticulously modeled with flowers in green, orange, yellow and red enamel issuing from an oblong waved-rim solid gold bowl (below). The statement piece is expected to bring between $25,000-$30,000.

A large Napoleon III gilt and patinated bronze mantel clock cast by celebrated French bronzier Henri Picard and signed by clockmaker Maison Marquis has been assigned an $8,000-$12,000 estimate  and is one of a number of fine French clocks selected for Moran’s February catalog.

Porcelain highlights include KPM plaques, Sevres-style monumental vases, and a large Stellmacher & Co. Teplitz art pottery vase. Featuring a gold wingless dragon scaling the side of the white-ground vessel, this Eduard Stellmacher-designed example is rare, and has been assigned a $5,000-$7,000 estimate.

Signed for Eduard Stellmacher, this large-scale dragon-motif art pottery vase will be presented at Moran’s February auction with a $5,000-$7,000 estimate. John Moran Auctioneers image

Orientalist works of art by Continental painters are also expected to achieve strong prices at Moran’s February auction; a highly detailed watercolor Arab market scene by 19th-century Italian painter Mariano De Franceschi (1849-1896) is offered with a $4,000-$6,000 estimate. Francesco Ballesio’s (1860-1923 Italian) jewel-toned, romantic watercolor painting titled The Rug Merchant is also slated for sale with a $4,000-$6,000 estimate. Twentieth-century Armenian artist Yervand Nahapetian (1916-2006) is also represented with a brightly hued, highly detailed watercolor composition, this one depicting a caravan of camels laden with supplies trekking through dry, mountainous terrain (estimate: $2,000-$3,000).

One of a selection of romantic Orientalist watercolors slated for sale at Moran’s February Traditional Collector auction, this work by Italian artist Francesco Ballesio (1860-1923) carries a $4,000-$6,000 estimate. John Moran Auctioneers image

The auction will start at 2 p.m. Pacific/5 p.m. Eastern.

To contact John Moran Auctioneers, email info@johnmoran.com or call 626-793-1833.