Published: June 28, 2022
Review by W.A. Demers, Photos Courtesy Michaan’s
ALAMEDA, CALIF. – Michaan’s annual summer Fine sale on June 17 offered highly sought-after property from an array of genres, including jewelry, fine art, Asian art, furniture and decorative arts. The two-day sale total for both the Fine sale and the Gallery sale on June 18 was $1,561,942 with a 77 percent sell-through rate. More than 1,000 registered bidders lined up on two online platforms, phone, absentee bids and in the gallery.
A Western genre painting by Frank Tenney Johnson (American, 1874-1939) topped the action when “A Lone Rider Alhambra,” 1935, oil on canvas, sold for $139,700. Measuring 24¼ by 18½ inches and signed lower left “F. Tenney Johnson, A.N.A.,” its provenance included a label affixed verso for the “9th Annual State-Wide Exhibition,” with Johnson’s name, address and title. It was purchased in 1936 by a private collector in Oakland Calif., and came down by familial descent to the consignor. Now it is heading to Texas.
Collectors recognize Johnson’s style of painting cowboys, which he popularized as “The Johnson Moonlight Technique.” Using a combination of knives, finger and brushes, the painter of the old American West conjured scenes that were rendered in a style that became practically a genre all its own. In his early career, he worked primarily as an illustrator but in 1920, he moved from New York City to Alhambra, Calif., and his easel paintings became more popular than his illustrations, so he concentrated in this medium.
Another American Western artist, Thomas Hill (1829-1908), was represented in the sale with “Yosemite Valley with Cowboys on Horseback, Bridal Veil Falls, El Capitan and Half Dome in Background,” 1898, an oil on canvas that sold for $36,900. Measuring 25 by 28½ inches and signed T. Hill lower right and dated, it bore provenance from Marie Porter Davis and Louis Spencer Davis by descent to their grandson Richard Spencer Davis, circa 1982, by descent to his wife.
Going back to Germany is a work by German artist Hans Baluschek (1870-1935), who captured the urban emergence from winter with ”Fruehling,” 1911, an oil on canvas depicting a lone figure seated on a promontory overlooking a city street with figures. Baluschek was a prominent representative of German Critical Realism, and his paintings centered on the working class of Berlin. He belonged to the Berlin Secession movement, a group of artists interested in modern developments in art. This painting sold for $61,500.
There were several jewelry highlights in this sale. Leading them all was a 3.69-carat diamond and platinum ring, F colorless, featuring one round brilliant-cut diamond set in a six-prong platinum solitaire mounting, which brought $49,200.
A pair of Colombian emerald, diamond and 18K white gold earrings was pleasing to bidders, who pushed the lot to $27,060, Each earring featured one Asscher-cut emerald weighing approximately 10.05 carats and 9.20 carats surrounded by 12 round brilliant-cut diamonds weighing a total of approximately 2.25 carat weight, set in an 18K white gold mounting measuring approximately 20 millimeters. Total diamond weight for the pair was approximately 4.50 carat weight.
And in timepieces, a rare Rolex pre-Daytona stainless steel wristwatch, Ref. 6238, 1964, a Yankees American League Champion model, took $36,900. It was given to New York Yankees trainer Joseph B. Soares upon their 1964 American League champion win and it was engraved on the back.
A John Vesey-attributed (American, 1924-1992) steel and bronze bureau plat realized $15,990. In Neoclassical Louis XVI style, it featured fluted column supports, gilt bronze and brass mounts and feet; the top with silver painted inset leather and three drawers.
There was even vintage liquor crossing the block for those with proof of being 21 years of age or older. A bottle of A.H. Hirsch 20-year-old bourbon went out at $3,998. The pot stilled sour mash straight bourbon whiskey rom Lawrenceburg, Ky., was distilled in 1974.
Prices given include the buyer’s premium as stated by the auction house.
Michaan’s next sale is July 16 at 10 am. For more information, www.michaans.com or 510-740-0220.
September 26, 2023
September 26, 2023
September 26, 2023
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