A Fine Sculpture by Ruth Asawa Gained Top Seller Status at Fine Art and Jewelry Auction

Alameda, California (EastBayDaily) — A Ruth Asawa tied wire sculpture was the top selling lot in Michaan’s Fine Art, Furniture, Decorative Arts and Jewelry Auction held on December 6, 2013.

The sculpture became the highest selling Asawa wire wreath form sold at auction in the United States, realizing a price of $102,660 (lot 1059, $80,000-90,000). Rounds of heavy phone bids eventually closed with a winning bid from a prominent East Coast gallery owner. Michaan’s Twentieth Century Design Specialist Greg Favors was instrumental in bringing the piece to auction from its debut at a Michaan’s Auctions appraisal event. He remarked that, “It has been a wonderful experience for me to be a part of securing such a quality piece for auction, from its original appraisal to the final sale at Michaan’s. Ruth Asawa has not only become a San Francisco legend, but a twentieth century design icon in her own right. It has been an honor to be involved in presenting this piece to the world marketplace.”

Fine works of art continually experienced success in the December auction. The second highest grossing sale of the day was an oil painting by Armin Carl Hansen titled “Norwegian Fisherman” that realized a price of $55,460 (lot 1034, $40,000-60,000). Also noteworthy was Picasso’s “Vase deux anses hautes, 1952” that sold for $32,450 (lot 1057, $20,000-25,000). Strong collector interest was evidenced for offerings of Grigory Gluckmann oil paintings as well (lot 1044, $8,000-12,000, sold for $20,060 and lot 1045, $8,000-12,000, sold for $14,160). Fine Art Specialist Susan Paffrath commented, “I was pleased with the great interest shown for California pieces in the sale. Modern pieces also picked up quite a bit of interest, most namely contemporary prints. Modern art continues to peak interest at auction and its presence has introduced a new clientele to Michaan’s as well.”

A range of items from the Furniture & Decorative Arts Department exceeded high projections at auction. A suite of fourteen Georg Jensen sterling bread plates sold for over 7 times the high estimate for $22,420 (lot 1257, $2,500-3,000). A Vienna Amphora Turn Teplitz “Fates” vase astounded, as it exceeded the high estimate over 15 fold at a final price of $18,880 (lot 1214, $900-1,200). Rounding out the lots was a Louis XV style champleve clock garniture with pair of matching candelabras (lot 1147, $9,000-12,000, sold for $17,700), a Lalique Courges vase (lot 1273, $6,000-8,000, sold for $14,160) and a George III brass refracting telescope (lot 1179, $1,200-1,500, sold for $3,835).

A rare Tiffany & Co. tsavorite, diamond and platinum ring was a top seller at $17,700 (lot 1425, $10,000-15,000). The immaculate, approximate 5.50 carat tsavorite displayed an unparalleled color and clarity, especially hard to find in such a large specimen. Bidding also went on an upward climb for a pair of jade and diamond drop earrings, secured by an absentee bidder for over 7 times the high estimate at $10,620 (lot 1445, $1,000-1,500).

Honorable auction mentions include additional modern design and jewelry lots. Serigraphs from Robert Motherwell’s African Suite more than tripled and more than doubled projections (lot 1084, $1,000-1,200, sold for $3,835 and lot 1083, $1,000-1,200, sold for $3,540). A lot of six original hand turned wood pieces by Bob Stocksdale with an estimate of $550-650 managed to command an impressive $2,655 (lot 1106). Jewelry saw three handsome sellers as well in a cultured pearl, diamond and yellow gold foliage motif bracelet (lot 1385, $1,500-2,000, $6,490), a Tiffany & Co. Schlumberger coil ring (lot 1371, $2,000-3,000, sold for $5,310) and an opal and garnet necklace with stylized Greek key motif accents (lot 1360, $1,500-2,000, $5,310).

About Michaan’s Auctions:

Michaan’s Auctions is a leading full service auction house on the West Coast. Specializing in the appraisals and sale of antiques and fine art, Michaan's has specialists in the fields of Furniture and Decorative Arts, Modern, Contemporary Art, European and American Paintings and Prints, Jewelry and Asian Works of Art.

Established in 2002, Michaan’s Auctions holds up to thirty sales each year attracting a broad base of buyers and consignors from all over the world. With one of the largest facilities in Northern California and the Bay Area’s lowest buyers premium Michaan’s offers buyers and sellers the opportunity to preview and bid on many unique and desirable property. Some of these pieces realized world record prices. In 2005 A.D.M. Cooper’s oil painting, Three Graces 1915, sold for a record $21,060 and an Eduard Gaertner oil, German City Street Scene 1831,sold for $266,000.

Michaan’s has built its reputation on its ability to accept single items, groups or entire estates with its “no risk consignment policy” free of hidden fees and charges. Michaan’s specialists are dedicated to staying current on the latest issues and developments in the market and are committed to providing personalized and professional attention throughout the entire auction process.

For a full listing of upcoming auctions or to view a complete catalog, please visit http://www.michaans.com.


Talesa Santos