Rare gold coin, collectible Jun Ware, and Peter Max artwork make July a month of unique rarities at Michaan's
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Rare gold coin, collectible Jun Ware, and Peter Max artwork make July a month of unique rarities at Michaan's
Lanier Meaders Glazed Stoneware Face Jug. $3,690.

ALAMEDA, CA.- July 2022 brought the monthly annex and gallery sales at Michaan’s Auctions. The auction week kicked off on Monday, July 11 with the Annex Auction which continued through Wednesday, July 13. Saturday, July 16 saw the Gallery Auction, which proved one of the most successful sales of the year so far at a total estimated value over $400,000.00. This was achieved by the sale of a number of desirable pieces, including several works of fine art by German-American artist Peter Max (b. 1937), a wide selection of Chinese Jun ware, and a double eagle gold coin pendant necklace.

The Gallery Auction began with furniture and decorative arts, including a number of Lanier Meaders (American, 1917-1998) stoneware face jugs. Meader Pottery was established in 1893, and demand for their whimsical items, such as face jugs had risen by the late 1930s; they are considered Lanier’s specialty. Four face jugs were offered on Saturday, one of which (Lot 19) sold for $3,690.00. Bidders also competed for a wide variety of furniture, including Lot 133, eight Rose Tarlow upholstered dining chairs which realized $4,612.50 from a $500-$800 estimate.

July presented an abundance of fine art at Michaan’s, from an oil on canvas by Ira Yaeger (American, 1938-2022) to a bronze sculpture of a striding woman after Gaston Lachaise (American/French, 1882-1935); but several pieces by Peter Max were easily the highlights, ranging from watercolor to acrylic sculpture. Since Max’s colorful, abstract artistic vision galvanized the psychedelic art movement of the 1960s, he has continued to explore a Neo-Expressionist style that can be observed in the pieces sold in the July sale. Two lots stood out in particular, including Lot 213, Quiet Lake (2017), an acrylic painting on canvas, and Lot 214, Umbrella Man (2016), a striking acrylic sculpture. These lots sold for $11,070.00 and $6,765.00, respectively.

Jewelry at this month’s auction offered no shortage of unique prizes, including several diamond, gold jewelry suites, and an Erté diamond, onyx, mother-of-pearl, 14k gold necklace suited for any admirer of Art Deco glamor. The sale’s most impressive diamond, however, was Lot 380, a 14k yellow gold ring featuring a round brilliant-cut diamond weighing approximately 2.25 carats. Bidders fought over the massive stone before the price closed on $9,840.00; but the highlight of the sale was Lot 379, a US 1920-S double eagle coin in a 14k yellow gold necklace. Designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens (Irish, 1848-1907), a celebrated sculptor of American heroes, the US double eagle coin has been called the most beautiful coin ever minted not only in America, but perhaps the world. Double eagle coins were minted both in Philadelphia and in San Francisco in 1920, but while the 1920-P is relatively common, the 1920-S remains one of the rarest American gold coins, being the first of the Saint-Gaudens double eagles to fall victim to the 1930s gold recall. Estimated at $2,000-$3,000, bidding for the rare prize swiftly escalated before coming to a close at $30,750.00. A selection of additional coins could also be found for those with shallower pockets, including Lot 451, a US 1989 gold coin set that sold for $3,690.00, and Lot 452, a set from 1988 that sold for $3,690.00 as well.

The auction ended with a selection of highly sought-after Asian art, including several Jun wares. Jun ware has for centuries held a high reputation among collectors which endures today. Although categorization of Jun ware is still debated, most agree that the wares are known for a thick, opaque glaze in purple and blue, and relatively low-status uses, such as planters, flowerpots, and spitoons. Two of this sale’s most popular Jun wares were Lot 519, a narcissus bowl with a lavender blue, purple-suffused exterior glaze, and Lot 528, a planter and stand of a mottled, sky blue glaze. Each was estimated under $1,000, but bidders fought over these desirable wares until they sold for $11,070.00 and $14,760.00, respectively.

August 2022 once again brings our monthly Annex and Gallery Auctions. The Annex Auction will begin on Monday, August 15 and continue through Wednesday, August 17, and the Gallery Auction will take place on Saturday, August 20. Unique pieces from an array of genres will feature at August’s gallery sale, including an antique Arabic short sword, three Victorian Tunbridge ware boxes, bronze sculptures by Haig Patigian (Armenian/American, 1876-1950), a Longquan ‘ice-crackled’ vase, and a 2.21 carat VS1 diamond. Visit michaans.com and download the Michaan’s app for all details.

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