March brings to auction the fine French painting “Ship in Harbor” attributed to Albert Marquet (1875-1947), whose career spanned one of the most exciting periods in the history of art. This work shows the influence of ?the Fauves: its surface animated by rapid brushstrokes, its vivid colors seen in the natural world but through a lens tinted with fantasy. “Ship in Harbor” likely depicts a scenic spot on the Côte d’Azur, where Marquet often painted. It is estimated at $20,000-$40,000.
Another noteworthy French work is the abstract “Forget Opus 537” ($4,000/6,000) by Jean Deyrolle (1911-1967), who used the ancient technique of tempera painting to make bold modernist statements. Maurice de Vlaminck’s color litho (99/100) of “Le Pont de l’Oise à Mery” is estimated at $800-1,200. There are wonderful American works in the March sale as well, such as “Portrait of a Woman in a Hat,” by magazine illustrator Harrison Fisher, considered the successor to Charles Dana Gibson. “American Icons” ($3,000-5,000), by Gayle Blair Tate (b. 1944), showcases Mr. Tate’s mastery of trompe l’oeil painting, depicting with astonishing realism a nostalgic “collage” of paper money, ticket stubs, and a vintage Coca-Cola sign. “Cows in Field” ($4,000-6,000) is a bucolic California landscape by William Keith, an ally of John Muir who lost many artworks when his studio was destroyed in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
American furniture is also a notable highlight of the March Estate Auction. Collectors are mad for the mid-20th century design team of Philip and Kelvin Laverne, whose Chinoiserie coffee table is estimated at $3,000-4,000) The large, low brass table features a patina of many hues on its etched pictorial surface, the colors enlivening elegant scenes of Chinese nobility. This piece would make a spectacular focal point in a mid-century modern, traditional or eclectic interior design scheme. For a California bungalow there is no better choice than the Stickley refectory table ($700-900). This Mission style classic is crafted of oak with a trestle base and keyhole detail. The table comes with two leaves, amply proportioned for entertaining. Two complementary Stickley armchairs will also be offered, estimated at $600 to $800 for the pair.
Among the American antiques offered in March is the E. Stebbins & Co. octagonal covered silver sugar box ($800-1,200), decorated with charming engraved images including a tall sailing ship of the period (c. 1830) and a small skiff with two gentlemen at the oars. The handsome c. 1795 coin silver teapot by Philadelphia silversmith James Black ($1,000-1,500) features a Greek key motif, a lustrous wooden handle and an acorn finial. Collectors of fine 20th century American silver will find a three-piece sterling tea set by William G. DeMatteo ($1,500-2,000), and the March sale also presents a special opportunity for art glass connoisseurs: the pictorial cameo glass vase ($1,500-2,000) signed by its creator, French Art Nouveau icon Emile Galle.
Following on the success of February’s diverse assortment of estate jewelry, specialist Elise Coronado will offer an even larger selection of diamonds, period jewelry pieces and Native American silver at the March 11 auction. Featured this month are fine ladies’ wristwatches by Bulgari, Rolex, Chopard, Cartier and Tiffany & Co. An unusual find is the Longines Art Deco wristwatch ($700-900), its round dial accented by onyx, frosted rock crystal and curving bands of diamonds, and its white gold mesh bracelet adjustable to fit nearly any wrist. The top Native American jewelry highlights are a number of pieces by Bob Stringer and Tom Singer, whose designs sold very well at Michaan’s in February. Traditional motifs are enhanced in Singer’s jewelry pieces by the use of gold overlay on sterling. Also in the March sale, from the estate of a very old East Coast family, is a lot of two stunning Victorian enamel and yellow gold bracelets ($1,500-2,500 for the matched pair). A chic buckle design gives these bangles timeless high style that transcends their period.
Asian Art lovers at home and abroad trust Michaan’s for high quality additions to their collections, and March presents uncommon opportunities, particularly in Chinese antiques. Of particular interest is the unusual Lingbi scholar’s rock estimated at $6,000-8,000. Textiles include the deep blue brocade dragon robe ($2,000-3,000). Silver objects will be highlighted, such as the pair of superb enameled silver dragons ($800-1,200). From a fine estate there are two fabulous early 20th century gilt silver pieces decorated with jade, gemstones and enamel: a hand mirror ($400/600) and a magnifying glass ($700-900) A late Qing Dynasty glazed Jun ware conjoined vase in excellent condition is estimated at $800-1,200, and a late 19th Century red and blue underglaze fishbowl, decorated with dragons and bats, is expected to bring $2,000-3,000.
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