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Modern masters and Danish furniture headline Michaan's March auction
Joan Miro, (Spanish 1893-1983) "L'Adorateur de Soleil, 1969" Color etching, aquatint and carborundum. Estimate: $8,000 / 10,000.

ALAMEDA, CA.- Fine Art lithographs, etchings and prints are excellent choices for those just starting a collection and for collectors eager to acquire big names at accessible prices. Miro, Chagall and Picasso are among the big names at Michaan's in March. Some of their works, from the estate of Frances and Jean Lagomarsino, will be sold in the monthly Gallery Auction on Saturday, March 10, to benefit the University of San Francisco.

The large, exuberant modernist etching, “L’Adorateur du Soleil, 1969,” is estimated at $8,000-$10,000. This dynamic composition in primary colors with black and gray is the quintessential Miro.

Three works by Chagall explore religion and culture. These are his most resonant themes, and should be well represented in any art collection that includes Chagall. The etching “Prophet Killed by a Lion” ($2,000-$4,000) is from his Bible series. Death scenes have always enthralled artists, but few can match Chagall’s poignance; in this hauntingly tranquil piece, the lion’s ambivalence amplifies the mystery of God’s plan. Hand-colored and signed in pencil by the artist, “Prophet Killed by a Lion” is numbered 2/100. Also offered are two of Chagall’s wonderful musicians, color lithographs signed and numbered by the artist. ”L’Accordéoniste” ($2,000-$4,000) is a charming composition of figures and birds, awash in gaiety and sunshine. “The Flute Player,” numbered 60/90 ($3,000-$5,000), is a serene portrait in blues layered over bold lines and brushstrokes.

Following strong sales of Picasso’s ceramics at Michaan’s last year, his “Mains au Poisson” ($5,000-$7,000) should attract many bids. The colorful terre de faïence plate measures 12.5 inches in diameter.

To collectors of early California art, Michaan’s March sale is noteworthy for “Landscape With Lake” ($3,000-$5,000) by plein air painter William Keith, and “November Evening” ($15,000$20,000) by Maynard Dixon (1875-1946), whose highly sought works sell very well at auction. Also of special interest are two Depression-era oil paintings, “American Industry” and “The Last Oil Boom Town,” each $1,500-$2,500, by illustrator Oscar Frederick Schmidt (1892-1957). A contemporary of Norman Rockwell, Schmidt painted scenes of Americans at work with great energy and a refreshing lack of sentimentality.

Asian art highlights in the March sale include an untitled etching (48/75, $3,000-$4,000) by Zao Wou Ki (1920-2013). A member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris, Zao is recognized as a Chinese modern master for his complex abstract images with lyrical qualities, suggestive of fluid movement. An untitled color etching by Keiko Minami (1911-2004) depicting fish and sailboat, is estimated at $500-$700. Minami lived and worked in Paris and San Francisco as well as in her native Japan, and was named an official artist of the United Nations in 1959.

“The 36th Poetess,” a large mixed media work on silk by contemporary artist Hisashi Otsuka (b. 1947), is numbered 87/100 and estimated at $2,000-$3,000. Also offered are amber beads, fine carved jade, bronze Buddhist figures and famille rose porcelains. An ink stone with its box ($2,000-$3,000) and brush pot ($1,500 -$2,000), both faux tortoiseshell, are among the precious Asian art objects in this auction.

Collectors of Tiffany Favrile glass, Royal Copenhagen china and Gorham sterling will discover great finds at Michaan’s in March. Gorham’s Medallion sterling flatware set, an elegant pattern introduced in 1865, is decorated with portrait medallions in high relief. Its presale estimate is $3,000-$4,000. Japanese and English silver will also be offered.

The March 10th sale includes fine handmade carpets and furniture from many periods. The suite of six Italian carved fruitwood side chairs has a graceful dolphin motif ($800-$1,200), and the sixlight chandelier features pink opalescent Murano glass (also $800-$1,200). 19th century French gilt bronze furnishings are offered alongside the Mid-Century Modern classic “Papa Bear” chair by Hans Wegner ($6,000-$8,000). Another Danish Modern highlight is the pair of iconic upholstered “pot” chairs by Nanna Ditzel for A.P. Stolen ($4,000/$6,000). Nanna Ditzel was an innovative and influential Danish designer of home furnishings and textiles who also designed jewelry for Georg Jensen.

Unique estate pieces include the Italian red marble altar with Baroque decoration ($1,000-$1,500) and the whimsical German Black Forest carved wood figure of a donkey ($1,500-$2,000), jauntily dressed as a gentleman with top hat and cane in the singerie style.

Michaan’s offers fine estate jewelry and timepieces in each monthly auction. Highlighted in March is the stunning 18k gold ring centering a thirty-carat citrine surrounded by diamonds ($3,000$5,000). From the highly collectible Art Deco period, the large diamond and platinum pendant brooch is estimated at $4,000-$6,000. Another graceful brooch is the 18k white gold, multi-stone swallow in flight ($1,200-$1,600). For the collector of chic contemporary jewelry, a pair of 18k gold cocoon earrings by Barry Kieselstein-Cord is offered at $2,500-$3,500.

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