John Moran’s Saturday, June 18th Decorative Auction Event a Boon for Private Collectors • In-person attendance was strong for both sessions of Moran’s June Decorative Art Auction
• Mid-century Modern and contemporary decorative arts performed well at the auction block
• Top-lot status
News-Antique.com - Jul 15,2016 - Swiss cylinder music box by maker B.A. Bremond
MONROVIA, CA – John Moran’s June 18th Decorative Art Auction was a well-attended event, most likely thanks to a new workweek-friendly Saturday afternoon auction format. Featuring an eclectic mix of antique Continental, Mid-century modern and Contemporary decorative arts along with Western paintings and bronzes, Moran’s June sale earned respectable prices for the majority of the offerings, with modern design, Western objects and select Native American jewelry performing particularly well.
Highly anticipated examples of mid-century modern design included an iconic Hans Wegner for AP Stolen Papa Bear chair, consigned from a private Pasadena, CA collection. Featuring handsome orange upholstery and estimated to bring $3000 to $4000 at the auction block, the chair earned $5100 (including Moran’s 20% house buyer’s premium). Directly after, an art pottery vase from the same collection by well-regarded ceramicists Otto and Gertrud Natzler was offered with a $2500 to $3500 estimate. The vase was of a larger scale than those usually seen by the couple, and as such the price jumped to $6000 within seconds of the lot opening.
More contemporary selections were offered later in the sale. An acid-etched “Imperial Palace” cocktail table by Philip & Kelvin LaVerne was offered for $4000 to $6000, and realized the high estimate thanks to a determined telephone bidder. A handsome pair of sterling silver shell-form spoon warmers by Italian maker Buccellati created quite a stir, with a bidding war breaking out between multiple online bidders and a floor buyer; the floor buyer proved victorious, paying $3600 for the lot (estimate: $1200 to $1800).
In a repeat performance of Moran’s April Decorative Art Auction, modern and contemporary works of art brought relatively strong prices, with works by Graciela Rodo Boulanger (b. 1935 Bolivian) achieving prices consistently above their estimates. One of Boulanger’s colorful compositions, depicting five figures riding bicycles, was brought to the block with a very conservative $500 to $700 estimate and brought an astounding $2700 online. Directly following, her work depicting six horn players brought $3900, well over the $1000 to $2000 estimate.
A dark horse highlight, a large-scale oil on canvas by Sri Lankan painter Senaka Senanayake (b. 1951) titled “Paddy Growers” struck a chord with online buyers; the painting had multiple online absentee bids lined up prior to the auction’s opening. Consigned from a private Pasadena, CA collection, the work earned $8400 (estimate: $3000 to $5000).
Modern and contemporary works of western art from the estate of Phoebe Hearst Cooke continue to garner exceptional prices realized; Tucker Smith’s (b. 1940 Wyoming) diminutive canvas, “Below Sawtooth Ridge”, offers an expansive view of cowboys on horseback traversing a valley with mountains in the background, earned a very respectable $10,200 at the auction block (estimate: $4000 to $6000). Later in the sale, Kirkland, AZ artist Bill Owen’s “Working the Herd” was snapped up by a floor buyer, bringing $7200 (estimate: $6000 to $8000).
All of the above were offered alongside a selection of French and Continental paintings and decorative arts, some