Auction Entertains with Conti’s “Card Players” & Collectible Circus Figures

Alameda, California (EastBayDaily) — Michaan’s Estate Auction will be held on September the 2nd at 10 a.m. in the Main Gallery. The European portion of the fine art offerings will open the auction and American artists will close the sale, with over 145 lots presented by the department. Offered lots include, but are not limited to, oil paintings, lithographs, watercolors, etchings, bronze sculpture and serigraphs.

A jovial scene is seen in Tito Conti’s “The Card Players, 1879” (lot 023, $2,000-4,000). The oil is from a private Wisconsin collector and depicts three jaunty men enjoying a game of cards and the local spirits. A woman is seen entering the room as well, bringing some food to the festivities. Conti’s expert attention to detail, atmosphere and color vividly brings the piece to life. He is currently considered a master of the Italian School and one of Italy’s most important 19th century figure painters.

A prominent jewelry selection in September lies in an omega necklace and Gary Walby pendant-brooch lot (lot 318, $1,200-1,500). A 14k yellow gold omega necklace is accompanied by a pendant-brooch featuring opal, amethyst, iolite, tourmaline, citrine and diamonds. The inlaid stones are set in a graphic, 14k yellow gold mounting. The colored stones are then arranged in a prismatic fashion, flanked by opal and accented by approximately 0.30 carats of diamonds. The piece bears the hallmark of jewelry artisan Gary Walby. The pieces will be offered amongst over 250 lots of jewelry including certified jadeite jade, South Sea pearls, period pieces and premiere maker watch brands such as Tiffany & Co., Patek Philippe and Rolex.

The Asian Art Department’s offerings include scholar’s objects, porcelains, scrolls, snuff bottles and jade lots. A highlight is found in an unusual collection of Chinese silk clothing (lot 562). The lot includes a black three quarter sleeve length jacket with a bright red lining. Woven medallions with the symbol for longevity framed by depictions of bats decorate the coat. Five frog closures, a mandarin collar and two slit pockets complete the jacket. The jacket is then accompanied by a matching sheath dress with form enhancing darts about the waist. A similarly styled second jacket is included in the lot as well. The primary style difference lies in the woven longevity symbols which are instead encased by a continuous floral motif. The three pieces will be offered in the September Estate Auction at an affordable estimate of $300-500.

Notable lots of quality silver service pieces are abundant in September. Some of these lots include an Aesthetic Movement Schulz & Fisher sterling four piece tea service with associated silver plate tray from an established San Francisco family (lot 657, $3,000-4,000), a Gorham sterling flatware service in the Chantilly pattern (lot 666, $4,000-6,000), a Shreve & Co. sterling punch bowl (lot 711, $1,500-2,000) and a modern Christofle France plated four piece tea service with an ebony handled tray designed by Fjerdingstad (lot 700, $1,500-2,000).

Highlighting the offered decorations and collectables is an assembled set of twelve Schoenhut circus figures (lot 961). The delightful pieces remained in the family of the consignor since his childhood and were recently gifted to him upon his mother’s passing. The toys are believed to be circa 1910 and include depictions of Buffalo Bill, a rhinoceros, a zebra, a polar bear, a giraffe, two clowns, two donkeys and two horses, one surmounted by a lady. These joyous pieces of classic American toy craftsmanship are being offered at an auction estimate of $800-1,200.

The illustrated auction catalog will be on-line for review at Previews open at Michaan’s Auctions on August 31st until the day of sale. For more information please visit our website or call the front desk at (510) 740-0220.

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, Michaans has specialists in the fields of Furniture and Decorative Arts, Modern, Contemporary Art, European and American Paintings and Prints, Asian Art and Jewelry and Ethnographic 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


Talesa Santos
Michaan’s Auctions