Michaan’s sale features Escher, rare snuff bottles and porcelains, fine furniture and a Kashmir sapphire

Art Daily
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Maurits Cornelis Escher (Dutch 1898-1972) Convex and Concave (Hol en Bol). Lithograph. Estimate: $10,000 / 15,000.
Maurits Cornelis Escher (Dutch 1898-1972) Convex and Concave (Hol en Bol). Lithograph. Estimate: $10,000 / 15,000.

ALAMEDA, CA.-Michaan’s Auctions continues to serve the international community of buyers and sellers, sustaining the momentum created by many years of successful auction events. The Alameda, California auction gallery reopens this month. On Friday, June 19, the Summer Fine Sale showcases fine art, fine jewelry, Asian art, furniture and decorations curated by Michaan’s team of experienced and dedicated auction specialists.

Michaan’s selection of fine art will delight, in equal measure, the longtime collector and the novice bidder. A case in point: the iconic works of M.C. Escher. The Escher pieces in this sale were purchased from the artist, in the Netherlands, by the current owner’s grandfather. Escher’s lithograph, “Convex and Concave (Hol en Bol),” is estimated at $10,000-$15,000. “Sphere Surface With Fishes” ($7,000-$9,000) is a striking woodcut on Japanese tissue paper; the mathematical accuracy of Escher’s spirals, in this particular work, has been demonstrated at length by scholars. Both Eschers in this auction are museum-quality works by a singular artist whose creativity was matched only by his astonishing intellect.

Michaan’s Summer Fine Sale also offers diverse 19th-century European paintings of beauty and intrigue. These include “Portrait of a Woman” by Albert Lynch (1851-1912), Peruvian-born painter of Belle Époque Paris. The large oil, “Woman with a Vase” is by Austrian artist Daniel Israel (1859-1901). The artist’s widow, Rosa Israel, brought the painting to the US when she immigrated in 1923; it has passed down through generations to the current owner, Rosa Israel’s great-granddaughter. The Albert Lynch and Daniel Israel paintings are each estimated at $8,000-$12,000. Also offered is “Horse Market,” by the Dutch artist Isaac Israëls (1865-1934), an artistic prodigy who received an honorable mention at the Paris Salon of 1885. Isräels worked in various European capitals and is associated with the Amsterdam Impressionism movement. “Horse Market,” depicting a favorite subject of the artist, is estimated to realize $8,000-$12,000.

American paintings are strong sellers at Michaan’s and are well represented in June’s auctions. A Bay Area Figurative Movement artist, James Weeks, is featured in the Summer Fine Sale on June 19. A leading highlight is “Wading Through the Water” by Carl Oscar Borg (1879-1947), famous for dramatic paintings of the American Southwest including the Grand Canyon. Borg enjoyed the patronage of Phoebe Hearst and was a founding member of the California Art Club. “Wading Through the Water” is estimated to realize $12,000-$15,000 in the June 19 auction.

Works of fine Asian art have always been foundational highlights of the auctions at Michaan’s. Featured in the June 19 sale is the rare and fine Chinese porcelain apple-shaped water pot with copper-red glaze. Estimated to realize $100,000-$150,000, the porcelain water pot is exemplary of the copper-red glaze so prized by collectors. Copper’s volatility makes this glaze challenging to perfect and the resulting pieces especially rare and valuable. Among the fine textiles offered is the Tibetan ceremonial dragon robe ($5,000-$8,000) of yellow ground silk brocade, embroidered with symbolic and auspicious motifs. Scroll paintings include a fine depiction of eight immortals in paradise ($1,000-$1,500).

Michaan’s is delighted to offer in the Fine Summer Auction, from the estate of prominent physician and surgeon Elwyn A. Thayer, his extensive collection of Chinese snuff bottles. The late Dr. Thayer began assembling his stunning collection in the 1960s, when he and his wife began traveling the world over, attending professional colloquia and medical conferences in places such as China, the former Soviet Union, Australia and South America. Dr. Thayer’s world view embraced a number of cultures worldwide, and his devotion to medicine helped forge a deep interest in fine and rare collectibles from around the world, particularly China. The collection consists of ornate snuff bottles made of glass, stone, jade, agate, wood, lacquer, painted enamel on glass and mixed media. Look into this exquisite window on the life and culture of late imperial China through Dr. Thayer’s magnificent and rare collection of snuff bottles. For details please contact Michaan’s Asian Art Specialist Annie Zeng, [email protected] Fine jewelry is the heart of the auction, drawing bidders again and again to Michaan’s. Gorgeous precious gemstones steal the show on June 19. Specialist and GIA gemologist Elise Coronado presents a platinum and diamond ring centering a cushion-cut sapphire from Kashmir, home of the world’s most highly prized sapphires. Weighing approximately 1.75 carats, the stone has the superb royal blue color and velvety silken appearance for which Kashmir sapphires are so desired. The stunning ring, estimated at $10,000-$15,000, is accompanied by a GIA gemology report stating the stone is a natural Kashmir sapphire.

A very special find for the lover of blue gemstones — at a size and price point you’ll never see in sapphires or diamonds — is the unmounted tanzanite weighing a massive 65.19 carats. The modified triangular brilliant-cut tanzanite is accompanied by a GIA identification report and is estimated at $10,000-$15,000, a truly brilliant value for a stone of such impact.

The diamond solitaire ring is always in demand. Michaan’s offers wonderful estate diamonds, superbly blending quality and value. A highlight of the June 19 auction is the pear-cut diamond weighing approximately 2.27 carats set in a 14k white gold solitaire mounting, estimated at $5,000-$7,000.

In addition to exciting gemstones, Michaan’s Summer Fine Sale showcases the art of fine jewelry design. Coronado is thrilled to present a suite of jewelry by Antonio Piñeda, the innovative 20th-century Taxco silversmith of international renown. Piñeda’s designs are adored by collectors and bidding will be fierce for the sheen obsidian, sterling silver suite comprising a 17-inch necklace and ear clips, estimated at $1,000-$1,500.

Another fine jewelry lot combining top-notch design and craftsmanship is the dazzling French panther bracelet. Fashioned of diamonds, rubies, enamel and 18k gold, the hinged bangle is designed as two panther heads facing each other, holding in their mouths a ring of ten full-cut diamonds. Estimated at $1,000-$1,500, it’s the kind of fabulous find that makes auctions so much fun.

Fine timepieces offered at auction have a following all their own, a legion of collectors and luxury buyers who know where the great finds are. Offered by Michaan’s on June 19 is the Chanel J12 black ceramic, stainless steel wristwatch. Its gleaming black bracelet and face make this the little black dress of wristwatches — so chic, with an edge. Estimated at $1,000-$1,500.

Michaan’s Furniture and Decorations department offers a wide range of fine property in the Summer Fine Sale on June 19. A highlight is the small but choice collection of American Late Classical and Rococo Revival furniture including a wonderful carved oval table and two chairs by J. & J.W. Meeks, New York. The Meeks carved, laminated rosewood table with inserted white marble “turtle” top, is offered with an estimate of $7,000 – $10,000; the pair of Meeks side chairs is estimated at $700 -$1,000. A late classical dining table with four leaves attributed to Anthony Quervelle, Philadelphia, is estimated at $5,000 – $7,000. Quervelle was a renowned cabinetmaker who left his native France for America in 1817. While furnishing the East Room of the White House in 1829, President Andrew Jackson commissioned a number of tables from Anthony Quervelle.

Modern design highlights of this sale include pieces by Gilbert Rohde for Herman Miller; Lalique; and Philip and Kelvin Laverne, whose etched bronze 1960s “Chan” table is estimated at $3,000 – $4,000. The designs of Philip and Kelvin Laverne never fail to generate excitement at Michaan’s auctions. Their 48” round “Chan” table stands 24” in height and will be a showstopper in any interior it graces.

Also in Michaan’s Summer Fine Sale, a group of furniture and decorative objects from the Art Nouveau period bridges the Americana and Modern sections. Leading the highlights are two lots of rare and extraordinary continuous pictorial wallpaper, “Les Quatre Saisons” by M. Prosper Titrel, and produced by Desfossés & Karth. The 24 rolls were originally installed at the Paris Exposition Universelle, 1900, and are estimated to realize $10,000-$12,000 and $800 -$1,200, respectively.

Many fine lots of silver, porcelain, decorative objects including clocks and glass are presented by Michaan’s specialist Jill Fenichell on June 19. A fine Wedgood green dipped jasper plaque, a Tiffany Studios acorn-pattern glass lamp shade, and a Louis Vuitton trunk are among the noteworthy finds for collectors. A Gorham sterling silver seven -piece tea and coffee service, in the Maintenon pattern, is estimated at $8,000-$12,000. It was presented as a Christmas gift to the current owner’s grandmother in 1920.