Published: April 26, 2022
Review by Madelia Hickman Ring, Photos Courtesy Michaan’s Auctions
ALAMEDA, CALIF. – In the course of two days, April 15-16, Michaan’s Auctions sold 192 lots of Asian art and antiques and another 614 of general estate property in a Gallery Auction. A total of $922,650 was achieved, with almost 74 percent of lots selling.
The top price in the Asian sale, and for the weekend, was $69,850, for a Sino Tibetan carved and lacquered seated Buddha from a Bay Area estate. In hindsight, the $500/800 estimate was no doubt tempting enough to generate interest from no fewer than nine phone bidders and bidders on two online platforms. In the end, an online bidder won the lot.
A group of two Chinese porcelain bowls scored the next highest price of the event, soaring past the $600/800 estimate to finish at $55,350. The larger of the two, which had a diameter of 7-7/8 inches, was white-glazed with an apocryphal six-character Chenghua mark in underglaze blue. The smaller bowl, just 4-3/8 inches across, had a yellow ground wucai glaze and dragon decoration; like the other, it bore apocryphal marks, these underglaze blue Kangxi ones.
Chinese furniture had notably higher estimates, which some lots struggled to reach. A Chinese ten-panel rosewood embroidered screen that dated to the Qing dynasty, Nineteenth Century, had been estimated at $30/50,000 but only reached $22,140, while a 12-piece Chinese marble inset hardwood salon suite – eight armchairs and four tables – squeaked out a result of $17,220, slightly less than half of its low estimate.
The April Gallery Auction was described as featuring the “extraordinary mid to late Nineteenth Century American furniture and decorative arts from the collection of Robin & Andrew Greenblatt;” results did not disappoint. The top lot of the event was likely also the tallest lot – a Renaissance Revival figural carved walnut mantel that topped even its high estimate, at $20,910. It sold to a phone bidder who prevailed against interest in the room and another phone bidder.
A Herter Brothers Japonesque ebonized and parcel-gilt cabinet that was stamped “Herter Bro’s” to the reverse also surpassed expectations and sold to a phone bidder for $11,070. For $9,840, a carved Belter rosewood etagere, in the Rosalie pattern, with central mirrored section had been acquired from Richard and Eileen Dubrow in 1998 for $30,000. Estimated at $10/15,000, it achieved $9,840. Belter’s contemporary, John and Joseph Meeks, were represented by two lots: a Stanton Hall pattern five-piece carved rosewood parlor suite that went out at $7,380, and a marble top rosewood center table for $5,843. Jill Fenichell, Michaan’s furniture and decorative arts specialist, said a couple who are restoring a Carson City, Nev., hotel, purchased the parlor suite.
Bidders heated up a California fire extinguisher grenade flask, in amber glass circa 1890, to $11,070, more than three times its high estimate. The bottle was in exceptional condition, without chips or cracks, and the cork was inside the bottle.
An Italian micromosaic panel after Guido Reni’s “Aurora,” in a giltwood frame that measured 11¾ by 20¾ inches, soared to $17,220, more than 20 times expectations.
Fenichell said the Greenblatt’s were pleased with the results and she was delighted at the prices, particularly “for things that can be hard to sell.”
Michaan’s will conduct a Gallery Auction on May 14 and a Summer Fine Sale on June 17.
Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house. For additional information, www.michaans.com or 510-740-0220.
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