Modernist jewelry, American paintings, and fine silver: Michaan's February Gallery Auction

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Modernist jewelry, American paintings, and fine silver: Michaan's February Gallery Auction
Sol Lewitt, (American 1928-2007) "Four colors in the round" Glazed ceramic. Estimate: $1,000 / 2,000.

ALAMEDA, CA.- Saturday, February 8 is the date set for Michaan’s next Gallery Auction in beautiful Alameda, California. This is the time and place to discover one-of-a-kind fine collectibles, fine art and Asian art, exciting jewelry and rare furnishings. In February Michaan's invites you to replace humdrum barware with a collection of Baccarat crystal, and set the table of your dreams with sterling flatware by Georg Jensen or Shreve & Company. Find inspiration in Michaan’s selection of fine art, whether you favor the bold lines of Sol LeWitt or a French farm landscape from the mid-19th century. Michaan’s offers furniture with a history and handmade rugs with the allure of family heirlooms. There are great finds in every department.

Fine jewelry, a perennial highlight at Michaan's, brings extra sparkle to the auction on February 8. Diamond rings are among the most highly sought auction lots, and February offers several choices including the elegant emerald-cut stunner estimated at $4,000-$6,000. Diamond stud earrings, a luxury wardrobe staple, are estimated at $500-$700, and the filigree brooch of 14k white gold set with diamonds is offered at $1,500-$2,500. Designer jewels include the Van Cleef & Arpels 18k yellow gold 'beehive" ear clips ($1,500-$2,500), a classic style from one of the world's great luxury brands. Jadeite jade, always in high demand, is offered in a yellow gold ring ($1,000$1,500). Period jewels and timepieces include the graceful Art Nouveau pendant watch by Elgin, of 18k yellow gold ($300-$500).

A wonderful American designer is featured in February's selection of estate jewelry at Michaan's. Henry Steig (1906-1973) led a fascinating life shaped by his exceptional creativity and talents. Long before he began designing jewelry in New York, Henry Steig was a New Yorker cartoonist and short story author, an accomplished jazz musician and a novelist. Steig studied painting and sculpture at New York's National Academy of Design, which dates to 1825 and counts many of America's most celebrated artists among its members and instructors. Steig's jewelry pieces have been described as "each one a miniature sculpture." He was in the vanguard of modernist jewelry design, and his pieces look just as fresh and original today as when they were handwrought by Steig in his New York and Provincetown studios. Ella Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Taylor were among his customers, and the iconic scene of Marilyn Monroe standing over the subway grate, from the film "The Seven Year Itch," was filmed outside Henry Steig's jewelry shop on Lexington Avenue. In Michaan's February 8 auction, the sterling silver cuff bracelet by Henry Steig is estimated at $300-$500. The Henry Steig chalcedony, 14k yellow gold ring is also estimated at $300-$500. Both present fantastic opportunities to collectors and women of style.

American artists are also featured in Michaan's selection of fine art. February's auction includes interesting works by Sol LeWitt and Andy Warhol. The LeWitt piece is an original glazed ceramic titled "Four Colors in the Round," ($1,000-$2,000) and was given to the current owner by the artist. The Warhol auction lot is of interest not only to art collectors but also to collections dedicated to rock and roll history. It comprises ten color litho announcement cards (the lot of ten estimated at $1,500-$2,500) for the launch of Warhol's "Mick Jagger" screenprint portfolio, published by Seabird Editions for the exhibition at Castelli Graphics in New York.

A noteworthy art find in February's auction is the watercolor, "Rock Structure" by Thomas Martin Uttech (American, b. 1942). Tom Uttech's woodland landscapes are intricately composed, thought-provoking and utterly gorgeous. “Rock Structure” is estimated at $2,000-$3,000. The auction also offers intimate portraits such as the lovely oil paintings “Woman at Dresser” ($1,500-$3,000) by Edward Dufner (American, 18711957) and “Mother and Child” by Walter Castle Keith (1863-1927).

When Jeffrey Ripple (American, b. 1962) paints a bowl of fruit, one really can’t call it a “still life” and do it justice. Ripple’s works are more accurately described as living portraits of fruits and flowers; they glow with vitality as well as impeccable detail. “Squash and Leaves,” a 1998 oil on Arches paper by Jeffrey Ripple, is offered at Michaan’s on February 8, estimated at $2,000-$4,000.

A top draw of Michaan’s monthly auctions is the diversity of the property offered. February brings the sale of the charming French automaton, circa 1900: a monkey seated on a music box, having a smoke ($800-$1,200). For Wedgwood collectors there is a three-color urn, circa 1820 ($700-$1,000). From the same period, a fine German porcelain plate ($1,000-$1,500) features a nighttime hunt scene. The selection of silver is exceptional in February, with Shreve & Co.’s Art Nouveau sterling tea service ($4,000-$6,000) and a 91-piece service of Georg Jensen’s “Acorn” sterling flatware ($1,300-$1,700).

Asian art treasures include sumptuous Chinese export rosewood furniture. The demilune table, inset with pink marble and featuring lovely foliate open work, is estimated at $5,000-$8,000. The circular revolving pedestal table, elaborately carved with figures, is $800-$1,200. Fine porcelain includes a Chinese export teapot and creamer, and the ‘garlic head’ celadon crackled glazed vase ($600-$800).

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