On Saturday, August 20, Michaans Auctions
will hold its monthly Gallery Auction. This sale presents an array of desirable items from every genre and period, from rare Victorian decoration to acclaimed modern art. A treasure for any bidder can be found at Michaans this month, whether its Victorian Tunbridge ware boxes, a Persian Rosicrucian rug, several Haig Patigian artworks, a 2.20 carat VS1 diamond, or a Longquan ice-crackled vase.
Several rare decorative items will be offered at Michaans in August, such as an antique Arabic gilt inlay short sword, slightly curved and with a detailed shell motif cross guard ($1,000-$1,500). Bidders can find a Persian Rosicrucian pictorial rug as well, depicting architectural designs in vibrant color and detail ($3,000-$5,000). This month also brings three exquisite Victorian Tunbridge ware boxes, all with mirrors to lids and velvet-lined interiors ($800-$1,200). Tunbridge ware consists of woodwork inlay in which rods and slivers of wood are glued together and sliced into many thin layers, typically to create intricate mosaic designs. The style rose in popularity over the mid 19th century, but by the 1880s, public tastes had changed and the number of manufacturers dwindled. The last firm of Tunbridge ware closed in 1927, making the wares that surface a valuable find; those at Michaans are fine examples of the distinctive technique.
August brings a rich variety of fine art to Michaans Auctions, such as Nesting Instinct (1982)($1,000-$2,000), a monoprint with acrylic and gold leaf on paper by Lari Pittman (American, b. 1952). Pittmans densely-layered paintings employ symbols and signs in grand, hallucinatory scenes that make captivating additions to any space. A self portrait by Henrietta Berk (American, 1919-1990), a talent right from San Francisco, can also be found in this auction. Her work was part of the Bay Area Figurative Movement, and is recognized by her bold colors, strong shapes, and thick brushstrokes. West Coast art is also represented by four sculptures (one wax mold, one plaster cast, and two bronze) of Diana (1915) by Haig Patigian (American/Armenian, 1876-1950)($2,000-$4,000), who resided in San Francisco. These pieces come from the private collection of a Patigian biographer, and several more will be offered in this sale.
This month also presents a glamorous selection of jewelry, including a pair of Tiffany & Co. 18k yellow gold ear clips in an elegant woven design. An emerald, diamond, platinum flower brooch, with one emerald mounted in the center of the flower, can also be found in this sale; but the most impressive stone in this months jewelry is an unmounted 2.20 carat VS1 diamond with a pendant mount.
A number of genres are represented within Asian Art in August, such as a Chinese Longquan ice-crackled vase ($600-$800), with the ice consisting of a pale blue-green glaze suffused with a dense network of crackles. Two Chinese embroidered silk skirts and a wedding collar will also be offered this month ($600-$800), with one skirt red and finely embroidered with brilliant gilt thread dragons and blue phoenixes, and the other skirt green and embroidered with peonies, bats, and butterflies. A carved wood figure of Amitays seated in the Lotus Position ($300-$500) will also be offered this month.
For greatest ease of browsing and bidding, download the Michaans app. The complete auction calendar, and realized prices from previous auctions can be viewed at michaans.com