Asian Art From A Fine Private San Francisco Collection Featured At Michaan’s March 7 Gallery Auction

Art Daily
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Chinese Pewter Covered Tureen with Hardstone Inlay. Estimate: $300. /400.

ALAMEDA, CA.-Michaan’s Auctions in Alameda will hold a Gallery Auction on Saturday, March 7 featuring prominent American and international fine artists. A distinguished San Francisco private collection anchors the offering of Asian art. Designer and period jewels are offered, along with furniture and decorative pieces to suit many tastes and wallets.

Just two months into the new year, Michaan’s Fine Art department has already seen noteworthy sales in 2020. “Michaan’s has nurtured the connections that continuously bring wonderful works of art to auction, and we are finding plenty of opportunity for art buyers and sellers alike,” says specialist Susan Paffrath. Featured in the March 7 Gallery Auction is William Keith (1838-1911), renowned painter of California landscapes, whose works are held in many museum collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The National Gallery of Art, LACMA and San Francisco’s de Young Museum. William Keith paintings have sold very well at Michaan’s, where California artists are often in the spotlight. Keith’s large oil “Figures Walking on a Path with Sheep” is estimated at $6,000-$8,000. It was purchased in the early 20th century and passed through the family to the current owner by descent. A second William Keith oil offered in March,”Pond Among the Trees,” is estimated at $3,000-$5,000. Both works exhibit the characteristic contemplative mood and subdued palette of the Tonalism Movement, in which Keith was a leading figure.

Michaan’s selection of American art offered in March includes fine works on paper by Dale Chihuly, Jim Dine and Chet Reneson. Chihuly’s colorful oil on paper ($2,000-$4,000) conveys great exuberance and energy, just like his iconic glass sculptures. Jim Dine’s lithograph “The Wolf-Man’s Dream” ($700-$900) depicts a seminal event in Sigmund Freud’s study of dreams. With its expressive brushstrokes and theme exploring identity and memory, “The Wolf-Man’s Dream” is classic Jim Dine and a must for collectors of his work. Chet Reneson’s “Fishing at Sunset” is offered in March at $2,500-$4,500, a wonderful find for admirers of Reneson, the great sporting watercolorist.

Carl Morris (American, 1911-1993) had an expansive career in modern art, his works ranging from WPA murals to Abstract Impressionism. Offered at Michaan’s in March is “Forms in Landscape” ($2,000$4,000) a Carl Morris oil painting that was shown at the Art Institute of Chicago’s American Exhibition of 1947. Kim Frohsin (b. 1961) is a San Francisco artist who has exhibited paintings and assemblage art across the US. Her work can be found in the collections of the Crocker Art Museum and the San Jose Museum of Art. Three Kim Frohsin mixed media pieces await Michaan’s bidders in March.

Michaan’s great finds in fine art are not limited to works by Americans. Offered at $3,000-$5,000 is Joan Miro’s “L’Homme au Balancier,” a color etching, aquatint and carborundum on paper. The famous image is so delightfully Miro with its bright colors, bold lines and modern spirit. Also in this sale are lush European paintings by Italian and Belgian artists, among others. The auction also features a number of contemporary fine art photographs.

Asian art treasures are always in high demand at Michaan’s. The March 7 Gallery Auction features Asian art from a private collection of exceptional diversity and quality, amassed by a prominent local antiquarian and designer over many decades. The consignor is a celebrated San Francisco interior designer. Many of the auction’s highlights come from this distinguished collection.

Fine Chinese porcelains continue to captivate Michaan’s buyers. In March the superb famille rose pink sgraffito-ground ovoid vase is a top lot, estimated at $6,000-$8,000. The sgraffito (Italian: “scratched”) technique dates to ancient times and is found in pottery from various cultures along the Silk Road; this graceful vase will attract true connoisseurs of Chinese porcelain. Also leading the March auction highlights is the pair of Han Dynasty fang hu, bronze ritual wine vessels. These important pieces from the height of the bronze age are offered in one lot estimated at $8,000-$12,000. Also featured are the Dingyao carved white dragon-handled amphora ($2,000-$3,000) and the Dingyao persimmon-brown glazed Meiping vase, offered at $800-$1,000.

Images of Buddha have held sway with auction buyers for some time, as interest in Buddhism continues to spread throughout the world. On March 7 Michaan’s bidders will vie for the Tibetan gilt-bronze statue of a Buddhist monk seated on a double-lotus throne ($900-$1,200), just one of several fine old Buddhist figures from China and Tibet in this sale. Another interesting piece is the Chinese pewter covered tureen, decorated with hardstone inlay ($300-$400). Pewter played an important role in the history of Chinese art and craftsmanship and should find a place in any comprehensive collection of Chinese antiques and collectibles.

Luxury timepieces, emblematic of style and taste, are among the most highly sought highlights at Michaan’s Auctions. Boucheron is featured in March. The ladies’ 18k yellow gold wristwatch with black lizard band is offered at $1,000-$1,500, while the ladies’ stainless steel wristwatch is $500-$700. Both feature clean lines and subtle diamond accents.

A similar spirit of refinement infuses the white gold diamond ring centering an emerald-cut stone of just over one carat ($1,500-$2,500). Diamonds and sapphires bedazzle the 18k gold leaf motif ear clips ($400-$800) attributed to Tiffany & Co. Amethysts and citrines join diamonds in the yellow gold link bracelet, a luxurious look estimated at $800-$1,200. “Personal luxury goods such as jewelry and watches represent the fastest-growing segment of the global auction marketplace,” notes Michaan’s specialist and GIA gemologist Elise Coronado, who sees another year of exciting jewelry sales ahead.

Gemstone rings offered in March include cabochons of tourmaline ($400-$600) and jadeite jade ($300$500), each presented in an elemental yellow gold setting. Beautiful jade is also showcased in the carved butterfly brooch ($300-$500).

Gold is the standard for timeless fine jewelry, and Michaan’s March 7 Gallery Auction offers many lovely choices. The woven link “knotted” necklace is a sophisticated statement for day or evening; the braided choker embodies fine craftsmanship and classic taste. Each is of 14k yellow gold and estimated at $600$800.

Period jewelry includes several fine Victorian lots. The Grand Period pearl, blue enamel and yellow gold brooch ($500-$700) is a jaunty piece that layers circle, ribbon and star motifs. The lot of two mourning period jewelry items ($300-$500) comprises a cross pendant and bar brooch of black onyx, with tiny pearls and delicate gold embellishment.

The search for inspiration — and fabulous finds — often leads interior designers and their clients to Michaan’s Auctions. In March the department of Furniture and Decorations offers quite a few examples of modernist and contemporary furniture, including the puzzle chair by Eugenia Butler, circa 1990 ($700$1,000) and the stacking set of enclosed shelves by Castelli ($2,000-$2,500). The Eames black leather lounge chair model 438, and ottoman model 423, are offered in one lot estimated at $1,200-$1,800.