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Michaan's announces highlights from its October 7 Gallery Auction
M.C. Escher (Dutch 1898-1972) "Regular Division of the Plane III (Red)" and "Regular Division of the Plane III (Black)" Woodcut. Estimate: $4,000 / 6,000.

ALAMEDA, CA.- Michaan's October 7 Gallery Auction is a study in exciting contrasts. In Asian Art, figures of Buddha gaze serenely over worldly relics of dynastic splendor. Provocative and reflective works of Fine Art hang side by side. In Jewelry, intricate period designs alternate with bold contemporary statement pieces. Furniture spans centuries of design history from Italian Renaissance Revival to Danish Modern.

Asian art has been a core business at Michaan's since the gallery's inception, and October's auction holds new discoveries for even the most seasoned collectors. A prime example is the embellished panel ($12,000-$16,000) of prized zitan wood from the late Qing dynasty, inlaid with carved images of China's most valued collectible art objects, known as the "hundred antiques" and including vases, censers, brush pots and many more. Additional carved wood treasures are the Guanyin figure holding a small boy, and the naturalistically gnarled ruyi scepter, both of boxwood and each estimated at $1,500-$2,000. Another exceptional rare wood lot is the pair of zitan curved-leg stands carved with swirling cloud motifs ($6,000-$7,000). Fine famille rose painted porcelains include the hu-form vase with elephant head handles, dating to the 19th century ($1,000-$1,500) and the stately square-shaped Republic Period vase with scenes of scholars and ladies on all four sides ($4,000-$6,000). Chinese textiles have sold very well at Michaan's this year, and October's auction brings to market a gorgeous silk dragon robe ($3,000-$4,000) heavily embroidered with symbolic motifs on a deep blue ground. Snuff bottles of fine overlay glass, jade and turquoise are offered this month. Asian art from beyond China is also well represented. Highlights include the ornate Nepalese bronze figure of Manjusri ($3,000-$4,000) and the collection of three Japanese cloisonné enamel vases, signed "Goto" and estimated at $600-$800.

Michaan's Fine Art department continues to build on the year's success with wonderful attractions in the coming months. An October fine art highlight, "Jaffa, Travelers on the Coast" ($15,000-$25,000) by James Fairman (1826-1904) is characteristic of the painter's best-known works. A world traveler and lecturer, Fairman was a man of science as well as art. In this masterful painting, Fairman movingly portrays the grandeur and drama in earth and sky, which easily outshine the human figures in the composition. "Jaffa" is a typically exotic subject for the period, when the Holy Land became a popular touring destination of late Victorians.

Also featured at Michaan's in October, glass artist Judith Schaechter (b. 1961) has brilliantly mastered the techniques demanded by her rigorous medium. She finds inspiration not out in the wide world but within the stained glass medium itself, and also in the raw edges of the human condition. "Enigmadusa," ($15,000-$20,000) is perhaps best considered in light of Schaechter's own words: "My main interests are sex and death, with romance and violence the obvious runners up. I'm trying to be as clichéd, sentimental, and decorative as possible--not as a strategy for ironic commentary about how stupid sentimentality and clichés are, but because this is the stuff, that time and time again, I am obsessed with, in love with, and that I have faith in." (Judith Schaechter,

October's thrills for art collectors also include a number of Picassos: several etchings (two originally purchased from Bellette Hofmann Fine Art, New York) and "Chouette," his wise and winsome ceramic owl vase decorated with painterly lines suggesting layered feathers ($15,000-$20,000).

October's thrills for art collectors also include a number of Picassos: several etchings (two originally purchased from Bellette Hofmann Fine Art, New York) and "Chouette," his wise and winsome ceramic owl vase decorated with painterly lines suggesting layered feathers ($15,000-$20,000).

Splendid jewelry is offered in October: 18k gold estate timepieces, fine diamonds in rings and brooches, rich red coral (in a 14k yellow gold ring, $800-$1,200) and the lustrous three-strand cultured pearl necklace with diamond-encrusted platinum clasp ($5,000-$7,000). For gemstone connoisseurs a top draw is the platinum ring with three large colorless Asscher-cut diamonds ($9,000-$12,000). Another special highlight is the 18k gold minute repeater pocket watch from W.K. Vanderslice of San Francisco ($1,800-$2,500). A glance at its open face is only one way to use this beautiful timepiece: at the press of its slide lever, it chimes the time down to the minute, using separate audible tones for the hour, quarter hour, and minute. Also featured is the ladies' diamond, platinum and 18k gold covered wristwatch from the Swiss luxury brand, Audemars Piguet ($2,000-$3,000). Bidding will be fierce for the self-winding Patek Philippe, a sleek stunner in 18k yellow gold ($5,000-$7,000). The chic retro two-tone 14k gold bracelet ($2,000-$3,000), its hefty links suggesting ribbons and rings, is one of two Cartier bracelets in this auction. The sculptural leaf brooch ($800-$1,200), crafted of 14k yellow gold and generously scattered with diamonds, could not be more perfect in October. For the antique jewelry lover, the Victorian diamond and enamel brooch ($500-$700), Etruscan Revival in design, would suit a Henry James heroine on her Roman holiday. Also among the romantic estate pieces: the fabulous Hungarian silver-gilt, enamel bracelet dripping with amethysts and seed pearls ($800-$1,200).

Fine furnishings are integral to every Michaan's monthly Gallery Auction. In October, collectors will find the early 19th Century French lacquered morbier clock ($4,000-$6,000), exquisitely decorated in the Chinoiserie style. The clock is in fine condition, has a lovely patina of age and stands over 7 feet tall. Another remarkable piece is the Japanesque walnut easel folding desk from the American Aesthetic movement (c. 1875), estimated at $1,500-$2,000. Its interior is fitted with ingenious compartments, its exterior painted with a stylized bird and flower motif. Contrasting with these traditional antiques are the Karl Springer style occasional tables ($1,500-$2,000, the set of three) and the Danish teak dining table with six Uldum Mobelfabrik chairs ($1,500-$2,000). A very special furniture find is the rare and lovely poppy shaped Stickley oak tabouret table, c. 1900 ($10,000-$15,000). The organic design inspiration and curving lines of this graceful piece exemplify the lighter side of the Arts and Crafts movement.

Art Deco bronze sculptures, Russian religious icons, Royal Vienna porcelain and Tiffany Studios favrile and slag glass are just a few of the diverse decorative art forms at Michaan's this month. Fine silver -- English, American, Mexican, Dutch -- has commanded excellent prices throughout 2017 and is outstanding in October. The suite of Sanborn sterling chargers and plates is estimated at $5,000-$7,000; the cased set of three swans by Howell James & Co, 19th Century London silversmiths, is $1,500-$2,000. Rare old books, gold coins, porcelain portrait miniatures, and the artifacts of many cultures, from Egyptian to Native American.

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