From the sunny California coast to the grand boulevards of Paris, Michaan's
brings the world to auction bidders on Saturday, December 9. Fine art highlights include essential works, each estimated at $20,000-$30,000, by California Impressionist John Marshall Gamble (1863-1957) and French cityscape painter Edouard Léon Cortès (1882-1969). A beautiful reclining nude ($2,000-$4,000) by Peruvian painter Daniel Hernandez Morillo (1856-1932) shows the influence of his many years in Paris. Wayne Thiebaud's colored etching "Bird on a Wire" is estimated at $8,000-$10,000, "a wonderful opportunity to own a work by this revered California artist of international renown," notes specialist Susan Paffrath. From the Bay Area Figurative Movement, works by Nathan Oliveira and sculptor Manuel Neri will be sold. Contemporary art includes German sculptor Birgit Dieker's "Skating Couple" ($2,000-$3,000), a dynamic and sensuous abstract composition in black and white. "This month's diverse selection from California and beyond is a fitting capstone to a year of strong fine art sales at Michaan's," adds Paffrath.
Featured in December is a selection of exceptional Tiffany Studios art glass, a longtime specialty of Michaan's Auctions. Estimated at $80,000-$100,000, the star is a large three-panel Tiffany Studios window depicting a trellis heavy with leafy vines from which hang Japanese lanterns, all set against a background of spectacular Tiffany Favrile confetti glass. Like a window with a view to a secret garden or serene cloister, it defines the interior space around it. Also in the December sale are Tiffany Studios vases including iridescent Favrile glass vessels as well as pieces displaying the opalescent "onion skin" finish, notable examples of Louis Comfort Tiffany's innovations in the art glass medium. Tiffany Studios desk accessories, decorative boxes and a pair of Favrile candlesticks ($500-$700) are among the additional pieces offered this month.
Michaan's December jewelry is a glittering global treasure hunt. "This is what brings jewelry buyers to the auction: rare and precious pieces you won't find elsewhere," says gemologist and specialist Elise Coronado. Imagine Coronado's own delight when she opened the leather and brass keepsake box from Masriera, fabled Barcelona jeweler. Inside, the pendant in the Art Nouveau style, a fairy with delicate dragonfly wings crafted of gold and plique-à-jour enamel accented by rubies and diamonds (estimated at $5,000 -$7,000). "The Masriera necklace is very special and will be coveted by period jewelry collectors in particular," says Coronado.. A similar spell is cast by the 18k gold link bracelet festooned with enameled and jewel-encrusted ornaments. "This fabulous Russian bracelet is reminiscent of Fabergé" notes Coronado. Nestled in its original fitted box from À La Vieille Russie, a New York jeweler and art gallery since 1851, the bracelet is estimated at $4,000-$6,000. Another auction find making a timely appearance in December is the Tiffany diamond and platinum ring. Its chic square shape, the Lucida Tiffany & Co. trademark cut, reveals the 1.05 carat stones fine color and clarity ($3,000-$5,000). The ladies' Patek Philippe wristwatch ($5,000-$7,000) twinkles with diamonds set in its Art Deco platinum case. Investment-quality jade is another highlight. The bracelet of seven jade double cabochons ($15,000-$25,000) and the large jade cabochon ring ($8,000-$12,000) are beautifully translucent, their natural color certified by GIA. Genuine natural pearls, increasingly hard to find, are also offered with GIA certification. The necklace of eighty-five graduated natural pearls ($5,000-$7,000) features a high lustrous nacre with hints of soft natural color.
The Asian Art Department offers unusual collectors' finds from China, Japan, Tibet and Southeast Asia. The Qing Dynasty russet jade deer and bat carving is estimated at $2,500-$3,500; the 19th century ruyi scepter is carved of celadon jade and accented by pink tourmaline ($3,000-$4,000). Several Chinese porcelains feature underglaze blue and copper red, the work of master craftsmen dating to the 1800s. The auction includes fine Japanese pieces such as the pair of Meiji Period cloisonné enamel vases ($2,000-$3,000), the elegant gilt lacquer scroll box ($400-$600) and several lots of incised silver pieces, each $3,000-$4,000. Specialist Harry Huang is amassing many more Asian art works of fine quality and provenance to kick off the New Year.