Michaan's December auctions led by American Art, Fine Estate Jewels, Tiffany Studios glass and Art Deco
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Michaan's December auctions led by American Art, Fine Estate Jewels, Tiffany Studios glass and Art Deco
Diamond, Platinum Ring with 18k Yellow Gold Guard. Sold for $150,000.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- Bay Area artists of international renown, designer fine jewelry and Art Deco furnishings were top sellers at Michaan's December auctions. A pair of sales on consecutive days, the Winter Fine Sale followed by the December Gallery Sale, featured property from the Sylvia Blumenfeld Trust and property from a San Francisco apartment designed by Steven Volpe. Two fine collections of Art Deco and Art Moderne were offered, both attracting international interest. Tiffany Studios glass, a longtime specialty of Michaan's Auctions, was a leading highlight; an exceptionally fine example of the Tiffany Studios dragonfly lamp, with its luminous glass cone shade and twisted vine bronze base, realized $180,000 on December 7.

A large acrylic painting by Sam Francis (1923-1994) was among the works by California artists that shone brightly in the Winter Fine Sale on December 6. The untitled 1983 Sam Francis painting realized $110,000. The Bay Area Figurative Movement was featured, and collectors flocked to works by Nathan Oliveira, James Weeks and Elmer Bischoff. Lot 2157, Robert Kelly's oil and mixed media work, "Thicket XLIII," garnered many inquiries from designers in New York and beyond. Estimated at $3,000-$5,000, the Robert Kelly work sold for $15,000. It was one of many pieces from the San Francisco apartment designed by Steven Volpe, the contents of which sold very well in Michaan's Winter Fine Sale.

Important South Asian artists of the 20th century were featured in Michaan's Gallery Auction on December 7. Lot 326, "Mother with Dove" by Maqbool Fida Husain, realized $19,200. "Village Scene," the watercolor by Syed Haider Raza, sold for $3,800. Works by American artists of the early 20th century sold well, including Cecil Crosley Bell's "Queen Mary '36," estimated at $1,200-$1,800, realized $4,500. Chauncey Foster Ryder's "The Mill Pond" realized $3,900 and "Fishing at Sunset" by the wildlife painter Lynn Bogue Hunt brought $5,000.

The Winter Fine Sale offered unique opportunities to collectors of fine furnishings, presented by Michaan's specialist in furniture and decorations, Jill Fenichell. A leading highlight was the set of dining chairs from Villa Kerylos, a Cote d'Azur house that has been a French historical monument since 1966. The rare set of eight elmwood Klismos chairs, circa 1910, is attributed to the architect and archaeologist Emmanuel Pontremoli, designer of Villa Kerylos, and realized $22,800. Another top lot was 2152, the Jacques Adnet attributed low table of gilt brass faux bamboo topped in black leather. Estimated at $3,000-$5,000, the Adnet table, circa 1950, realized $20,400.

Among the Art Deco finds that resonated with collectors is the burl walnut and black marble furniture suite, Paris circa 1930. Lot 2172, comprising a buffet and side cabinet, was estimated at $3,000-$4,000 and realized $7,800. Another Art Deco highlight: the striking modernist glass and wrought iron vase by Daum and Majorelle, Lot 2185. The pink lavender circa 1930 vase realized $3,900 in the Winter Fine Sale on December 6. On December 7, a ladies' Art Deco style carved Lisio salon chair, from the apartment designed by Steven Volpe, brought $3,000. The pair of Maison Baguès style gilt metal and upholstered hall chairs, estimated at $1,000-$1,500, realized $4,200. Art Deco decorations sold very well in the Gallery Auction. The set of three porcelain musicians by Robj, Paris, estimated at $300-$400, realized $2,040. The lot of Rosenthal & Goldshcheider clown figures, circa 1922, brought $1,440. Lot 62 in the December 7 Gallery Auction, the Danaides opalescent vase by Lalique, was estimated at $400-$600 and realized $2,160.

The Sylvia Blumenfeld Trust included a collection of fine jewelry that dazzled Michaan's bidders and brought a fitting close to a stellar year of jewelry sales presented by Michaan's specialist and GIA gemologist, Elise Coronado. In both December auctions, diamonds were plentiful, led by the 7.92 carat pear-cut diamond ring, Lot 2092 in the Winter Fine Sale, which realized $150,000. The glamorous multi-stone, 18 k yellow gold "Rainbow" jewelry suite by H. Stern, Lot 2076, brought $10,200. Also sold for $10,200 was the Marina B two-tone jewelry suite, a striking 1980s design of yellow gold and contrasting blackened gold. H. Stern's suite of diamond-accented deep green tourmaline jewels, Lot 2047, realized $8,400. Lot 2073, the pair of "Parentesi" gold bracelets by Bulgari, sold for $7,800. Equally adaptable to formal and informal wear, the distinctive Parentesi line was introduced by Bulgari in the early 1980s. Bulgari earrings will be offered in Michaan's next Gallery Auction on Saturday, January 11, as will luxury timepieces by Chopard, Piaget, and Rolex.

December's Gallery Auction featured fine diamonds including Lot 446, the lot of two unmounted stones which sold for $7,200 and Lot 496, the diamond ring at $1,800. A suite of chalcedony jewelry from Gump's, Lot 529, sold for $1,560. Several lots of designer costume jewelry sold very well, including a multicolored array by Chanel (Lot 382, $1,560) and the lot of vintage Chanel pieces in red and green tones (Lot 385, $1,200). Native American jewelry is often featured at Michaan's, and in December the Navajo concho belt by Nathaniel and Rosemary Nez realized $1,320.

December also presented opportunities for the keen-eyed collector of vintage designer fashion. Among these lots were several Westwood McLaren looks from the collaboration between Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren, whose mid-1970s King's Road boutique, Sex, shaped the look of London's nascent punk movement. On December 7, Westwood McLaren's "Seditionary" mohair sweater brought $1,680. Their ensemble of sweater knit top and tube skirt, from the "Witches" collection of 198384 featuring Keith Haring images, realized $3,000. Designer fashion handbags will be offered in Michaan's first Gallery Auction of 2020, January 11 starting at 10 a.m. PST.

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