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A Kashmir sapphire and the art of Hans Hofmann top Michaan's Summer Fine Sale Auction results
Louis Vuitton Steamer Wardrobe Trunk. Sold for $10,200.

ALAMEDA, CA.- Auction buyers responded with enthusiasm to Michaan’s special auction event held on June 19, 2020. The Summer Fine Sale showcased the high quality and excellent value for which Michaan’s is known in the San Francisco Bay Area and around the world.

Abstract Expressionism is fiercely desired by fine art buyers, an enduring trend affirmed by the results of Michaan’s June 19 sale. The auction’s highest price for fine art was realized by “Circles,” the 1951 oil by Hans Hofmann (lot 5048, $60,000). Collectors invested in big names, with works by M.C. Escher and Margaret Bourke-White selling well. American paintings in the sale included the impressionistic “City Storm” by Guy C. Wiggins (lot 5034, $9,000) and the Western scene, “Wading Through the Water” by Carl Oscar Borg (lot 5038, $11,400). Michaan’s Fine Art Department offers a diverse selection of fine paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures and more, not only in special events such as the Summer Fine Auction but also in monthly Gallery Auctions.

Fine jewelry was a leading category in the June 19 auction, with excellent sell-through overall and several outstanding sales. Realizing $30,000 was the Kashmir sapphire and diamond ring, lot 5024, originally estimated at $10,000-$15,000. Accompanied by a GIA report, the velvety 1.75 carat sapphire lured a phalanx of bidders. “Global demand for fine gemstones remains high, transcending the current climate of economic volatility,” notes Michaan’s jewelry specialist and GIA gemologist, Elise Coronado, who serves local and international consignors and buyers. Also exceeding estimates, the pear-cut 2.27 carat diamond ring, lot 5016, brought $9,000 on June 19. Fine gold continues to hold sway with investors and collectors, as seen in the success of designer gold jewelry sales in the Summer Fine Sale. The striking 18k gold jewelry suite by Salvador Dali realized $1,800; Tiffany & Co.’s open heart pendant and multi chain necklace, also of 18k gold, brought $2,400 (lot 5005, estimated at $1,000-$1,500).

Luxury brands are firing up the auction marketplace, driving growth and bringing new customers on board. The trend was evident at Michaan’s Summer Fine Sale, where the jewelry department offered designer timepieces including the Patek Philippe 18k gold and leather transitional wristwatch (lot 5003, estimated at $1,500-$2,500, realized $3,600). A standout among the luxury lots was the Louis Vuitton steamer wardrobe trunk, circa 1950, which brought $10,200.

Great finds for collectors included fine estate property by Sevres, Tiffany Studios, Georg Jensen and more. The pair of Steuben aurene glass vases (lot 5143) realized $1,920; the unusual Jensen sterling centerpiece bowl (lot 5142), estimated at $1,200-$1,800, brought $2,700. The lot of four Longchamps faience wall plates soared over estimates to realize $3,900. Michaan’s is known as a preeminent resource for Tiffany Studios glass collectors, who bid up the acorn pattern lamp shade (lot 5140) to the realized price of $5,400. Also bringing $5,400 in the June 19 auction: the fabulous “Chan” coffee table by Philip and Kelvin Laverne (lot 5166, estimated at $3,000-$4,000).

The Summer Fine Sale’s selection of Asian art comprised Chinese and Japanese antiques, Chinese furniture and fine porcelains, textiles and scroll paintings. A private collection of fine snuff bottles was a highlight. The anonymous “Eight Immortals and Paradise” scroll painting, dating to the turn of the 20th century, realized $6,000 (lot 5237, estimated at $1,000-$1,500). Textiles sold well, including the Tibetan silk dragon robe and the batik painting “Mother and Children” by the prominent Malaysian batik artist, Chuah Thean Teng (1914-2008). Teng’s “Mother and Children” (lot 5235) realized $3,900. Among the many fine porcelains sold was lot 5250, the rare copper-red water coupe with lotus decorations and six-character Kangxi mark. Lot 5250 realized $324,000 at Michaan’s on June 19.

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