One of the Bay Area’s Finest Auction Houses, Michaan’s Auctions Announces Exquisite Estate Offerings: Personal Collection Personifies Asian Artistry

Alameda, California (EastBayDaily) — On December 18, 2011 Michaan’s Auctions holds its Fine Asian Works of Art Auction in the main gallery located at 2751 Todd Street, Alameda, CA 94501. Over 400 lots of objects of superb quality from China, Japan, Korea, Himalaya and various other Asian regions comprise the sale. Chinese offerings include artworks from numerous categories, meeting needs of collectors and dealers alike, with objects including but not limited to porcelains, jades, textiles, religious figures, furniture, paintings and calligraphy, scholar’s objects, ivory and coral. Property has originated from local collectors, estates and private collections with only top tier items selected for the Fine Asian Art Sale.

A highlight of the sale certain to peak strong buyer interest are items from the Reynold Tom Collection. Mr. Tom accumulated a glorious personal collection of Asian decorative items over the span of approximately 30 years throughout his travels to Asia, amassing the finest in ivory and stone carvings, scrolls, furniture, porcelains, figures and literature. Michaan’s Auctions is honored to present over 40 lots from the collection, a grouping reflecting a lifelong passion from a gentleman with a keen eye for quality, beauty and Asian artistry.

One of the most substantial items up for auction from the Tom Collection is a large embellished lacquer rectangular wall panel (lot 6271, $4,000-6,000). Dating to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), the piece is beautifully decorated with ivory, jade and hardstones to the front and displays lacquering and gilt decoration on the back. There is also a corresponding tri-gram embellishment on top of the screen, continuing to add to its overall look. The screen is in nearly perfect condition, extremely rare for this type of piece and depicts an auspicious elephant carrying scholar’s implements upon its back.

Another important find from the collection is a carved jadeite censer and lid from the early 20th century (lot 6296, $4,000-6,000). The stone used has a faint greenish tone with intriguing translucency and displays natural russet inclusions. Also quite unique is its archaistic shape, eschewing the more common tripod form with protruding handles evident of many censers of the period. Crafted as a ritual incense burner, the censer is also a perfect example of the expert lapidary craftsmanship of the time.

With the current state of the Asian art market on the rise, many desirable pieces continue to achieve record-breaking prices, taking their prominence to new heights. Lot 6044, a finely carved ivory brush pot, shows promise of being a consummate example of just such a phenomenon ($10,000-15,000). Dating to the Qing Dynasty, the piece is exquisitely carved with an intense attention to detail rarely seen. Comparable examples can be found in the Palace Museum in Beijing. In spite of the intricate nature of the décor on the pot, it remains in amazingly excellent condition. Depicting the Buddhist monk Bodhidharma amongst a fanciful flora and fauna landscape scene, “The Blue-Eyed Brahmin,” or Buddha aide, is crafted as a perfect example of the carving workmanship of the period. A comparable object offered in the Michaan’s Auctions June Fine Asian Art Sale of 2011 was estimated at $8,000-12,000 and brought in an astounding $264,000; objects such as these are a true find to say the least.

Amongst the Japanese offerings is a complete and wonderfully preserved samurai armor set. The armor is dated to the post-Edo period and was most likely used to adorn a samurai of high-ranking stature. Design features include sword-like decoration to the front of the lacquered, metal helmet as well as laced body armor in muted tones, sharply accented by bright orange. Shin guards, arm guards, back and chest protectors of metal and woven materials and a lacquered, metal mask with horsehair mustache detailing complete the set. The mask is finished with a fierce, openmouthed expression and neck protector, fit for an accomplished samurai (lot 6426, $3,500-5,000).

From snuff bottles, carved ivory figures and a collection of fan paintings recently acquired from a private San Mateo estate to an unusual carved Duan stone landscape table screen and rare, large huanghuali alter table, the breadth of property offered in the Michaan’s Auctions Fine Asian Art Sale is not only varied, but of excellent quality. The caliber of the objects provided in the sale is surely a valuable opportunity for our clients to add to their collections.

Auction: Fine Asian Works of Art Auction December 18

Previews: December 2 – 4 and 16 – 18

Location: Michaan’s Auctions 2751 Todd Street Alameda, CA 94501

General Inquiries: info(at)michaans(dot)com (510) 740-0220

Asian Art Department: Ling Shang – Asian Art Expert (510) 740-0200 ext. 102 lingshang(at)michaans(dot)com

Harry Huang – Specialist (510) 740-0220 ext. 135 harry(at)michaans(dot)com

Kim Gee – Business Manager (510) 740-0220 ext. 111 kim(at)michaans(dot)com

About Michaan’s Auctions

Michaan’s Auctions is one of the leading full service auction houses 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, Jewelry, Asian Works of Art and Ethnographic Art. Offering free art appraisal, antique appraisal, estate auctions and specializing in the sale of art and antiques and other fine collectibles.

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
Michaans Auctions