Inspiration at Michaan’s first auction of 2021.

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Inspiration at Michaan’s first auction of 2021.

ALAMEDA, CA, USA, January 13, 2021 / — Inspiration, in all its many forms, can illuminate the darkest of winters. At Michaan’s Auctions we are inspired by the ancient and the modern, by the historic and the ephemeral; by families, and cultures, and all that is beautiful. As the new year unfolds, we invite you to join our journey of discovery and inspiration, and find your treasure at Michaan’s. January’s Gallery Auction is set for Saturday, January 23, preceded by the Annex Auction January 18, 19 and 20. Fresh-to-themarket modern furniture by top designers of the 20th century, from collections formed in the 1950s and 1960s, is a strong feature of January’s Gallery Auction. A Miro biomorphic aquatint is a leading fine art highlight. Asian art treasures include the Chinese crackle glazed moon flask from a Northern California estate. A wonderful selection of solid gold pocket watches is among the jewelry highlights.

Original Mid-Century Modern furniture is highly sought at auction, and Michaan’s is a leading Bay Area resource for collectors and designers. George Nakashima, an American innovator of inestimable and enduring influence, is featured in the January 23 sale. Nakashima’s three-leg slab table, estimated at $6,000-$9,000, is a triumph of his craft, with its partial free-edge top supported by sprightly tapered round legs. Another exciting find for collectors is the wood stool by Wharton Esherick (1887-1970), the American fine artist and interior designer best known for his sculptural furniture creations. Esherick’s studio near Paoli, PA is a National Historic Landmark for Architecture where more than 300 of his works are preserved and exhibited.

Michaan’s offers the Wharton Esherick tripod stool with asymmetrical seat, in very good condition, estimated at $4,000-$6,000. Another modern classic is the brown leather egg chair by Arne Jacobsen for Fritz Hansen, made in Denmark c. 1958 ($2,000-$3,000). The collection of four side chairs by Jens Risom for Knoll is offered at $1,500-$2,500. With its deep red webbing on a simple maple frame, this chic and comfy chair was among the first designs conceived for and manufactured by Knoll in the early 1940s.

The art of Joan Miro transcends time and place and feels familiar even to those who have never seen it before. This is the power of biomorphic abstraction, its forms suggestive of organisms but truly representational only of ideas and feelings. A superb example of the genre is Miro’s 1959 aquatint, “Fusees: One Plate,” offered in Michaan’s January Gallery Auction at $2,500- $3,500 and sure to draw many bids. A Chagall etching with excellent and interesting provenance is offered at $1,200-$1,500; full cataloging can be found at A vibrant oil by Henrietta Berk (1919-1990), of the Bay Area Figurative Movement, brightens the auction gallery this month. The expressionist “Figural,” estimated at $2,000-$4,000, is an intensely colorful work with strong lines depicting two figures in a landscape suggestive of the seaside. Equally color-drenched is “Water Slows it Down” by Chris Gwaltney ($1,000-$2,000).

Many fine landscapes are offered at Michaan’s in January, among them “Autumn Landscape” ($2,000-$4,000) by Joseph Greenwood (1857-1927). A New Englander who was also a charter member of San Francisco’s storied Bohemian Club, Greenwood painted mostly landscapes in a singular style that embraces both Impressionism and Realism. Collectors of American paintings will also be thrilled to find a work by Nell Blaine (1922-1996): her watercolor and pastel, “Carolyn at the Table,” is offered at $1,500-$2,500. Sculptures in the January 23 sale include a monumental steel pine cone by the contemporary Canadian artist, Floyd Elzinga. Estimated at $3,000-$5,000, the Elzinga pine cone is just the thing for the art lover’s Tahoe deck or coastal garden.

Asian art has delivered many of Michaan’s Auctions’ most exciting highs, dating back to the company’s early days and continuing to the present. 2020 brought noteworthy sales of Asian art treasures from fine private collections and estates; January’s Gallery Auction promises to sustain the momentum. Among the rare finds is the Chinese gilt bronze folding album stand, estimated at $4,000-$6,000. Bearing a Qianlong four-character mark, the piece is incised with botanical and symbolic decorations as well as a couplet inscription. A fine hanging scroll attributed to Huang Shen (1687-1773) is offered at $2,000-$3,000. The stylized landscape in black ink on white paper has an inscription with a signature and three seals. A scroll painting of graceful white birds and flowers on golden silk, with ten artist’s and collector’s seals, is attributed to Li Di, c. 12th century, and is estimated at $600-$800. Porcelains include the yellowground famille rose lotus bottle vase and the crackle glaze moon flask, each estimated at $1,000-$1,500. To request condition reports and inquire further, please contact Asian Art Specialist Annie Zeng, [email protected].

Fine jewelry was a runaway hit at Michaan’s in December, achieving 100% sell-through in the Winter Fine Sale followed by a starring role in the December Gallery Auction. The selection in January includes period and estate jewelry as well as Native American pieces, all perennial specialties of Michaan’s jewelry department. Collectors won’t want to miss the excellent selection of fine 14k and 18k gold pocket watches. The Paul Vallette 14k gold split seconds, open face pocket watch is estimated at $800-$1,200. Fine diamonds add brilliance to every Michaan’s auction; in January the diamond and platinum ring is $1,500-$2,500, and the bar brooch of diamonds set in white gold is $800-$1,000. The Victorian bracelet, of braided 14k gold with pearls, is $500-$700. Among the Native American jewelry highlights is the turquoise and sterling silver cuff bracelet estimated at $400-$600.

For convenient and comprehensive access to our auction events, install the Michaan’s Auctions app. The app supports consignors as well as buyers. The app and offer online catalogs for the Gallery Auction as well as the Annex Auction. These are held primarily online, with a limited number of live attendees permitted at each event in accordance with county pandemic protocols.

Gallery Auction
Saturday, January 23 at 10am
January 20 & 21 by appointment only
January 22: 12pm – 5pm
Michaan’s Auctions
2751 Todd Street
Alameda, CA 94501

Talesa Eugenio
Michaan’s Auctions
+1 (510) 740-0220
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