John Moran April 27 sale to offer large selection of jewelry, fine art

PASADENA, Calif. — The spotlight will be focused on estate jewelry and fine art at John Moran’s two-session Antiques and Decorative Arts Auction to be held April 27.

Approximately 70 lots of jewelry and watches and 50 lots of European and American paintings will be offered in the evening session, along with a carefully edited selection of porcelain, bronzes, clocks, furniture, and silver from top makers such as Tiffany and Gorham, all fresh property from private collections carrying attractive estimates.

Known for the consistently high quality of their jewelry offerings, Moran’s is pleased to match that that standard yet again. The evening session’s many pieces of exquisite jewelry include an abundance of diamond solitaire rings of all cuts and sizes.

Among those are a 10.79 carat round-cut diamond ring estimated at $20,000 to $30,000, a 3.01 carat round-cut and a 4.03 carat round cut ring expected to bring $9,000 to $12,000 each, and a pear-shaped diamond set in an 18 karat gold ring, weighing in at 3.95 carats that is expected to bring $5,000 to $7,000.

Another pear-shaped diamond, weighing 2.65 carats, is offered for $12,000 to $15,000.

Several emeralds, aquamarines, and sapphires set as rings, necklaces and earrings are also sure to attract enthusiastic bidding, such as a 22 carat pear-shaped Columbian emerald ring (estimate $5,000-$7,000), a 5.25 step-cut emerald ring accented with 34 round-cut diamonds (estimate $3,500-$4,000), and an amusing vintage aquamarine Sputnik pendant (estimate $5,000-$7,000).

Bidders will also find one of John Moran’s largest ever selections of wrist and pocket watches, with offerings from all the major makers: Rolex, Tissot, Cartier, Omega, Piaget, Audemars Piguet, Chopard and Tiffany to name a few.

Though jewelry is sure to draw a large audience, a quality selection of fine art from 19th and 20th century European and American artists is also expected to shine in the evening session. Moran’s has steadily built up a strong record for sales of European paintings, in addition to their well-known sales of American Impressionists, and is thrilled to be offering several works by important Russian artists, including four oils and two watercolors by the Futurist David Burliuk (1882-1967).

A member of the Blue Rider Group along with such other luminaries as Kandinsky, Jawlensky and Feininger, Burliuk is represented in the collections of world-class museums including the Met, the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, the Whitney and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. With accessible estimates ranging from $400 up to $9,000, the six paintings are an exciting opportunity for collectors to acquire the work of a major innovator in 20th century art history.

Another immensely influential Russian, Alexandre Benois (1870-1960), was renowned as a critic, art historian and editor, but best remembered as the scenic director of the Ballets Russes and the 20th century’s pre-eminent stage and costume designer. He was also art director for French silent filmmaker Abel Gance’s 1927 masterpiece “Napoleon.” The four graphite-on-paper drawings by Benois in the April 27 sale were prepared for that film, including a drawing of St. Just, who was played by Gance himself . Each of the four works is offered with an estimate of $4,000 to $6,000.

Film enthusiasts will also appreciate a work from another well-known Russian, Boris Chaliapin (1904-1979) the portraitist and illustrator who created over 400 covers for Time magazine. He is represented in the sale by a 1941 oil portrait of the character actor Akim Tamiroff (estimate $5,000-$7,000.) The Oscar-nominated Tamiroff made more than 150 appearances in movies and television shows and reputedly inspired the character Boris Badenov on The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.

Other artists represented in the auction include Paul Jacoulet, Martin Coulaud, Vincenzo D’Auria and John Francis Murphy. Two charming oils by Italian/American artist Virgilio Tojetti (1851-1901) depict figures frolicking in trees filled with lovely spring blossoms (estimate $3,000-$4,000).

Bidders will find an exceptional selection of decorative arts. Highlighting the silver offerings is a Tiffany sterling silver flatware service in the “Wave Edge” pattern made in the late 19th century. The 258-piece service for 12 comes to auction directly from a descendant of one of the partners in the firm of Tiffany and Co. and is estimated to sell for $20,000 to $30,000.

John Moran is anticipating an exciting sale. The fully cataloged evening sale is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. For those unable to attend the sale in person, absentee and telephone bidding are offered, as well as live online bidding through A fully illustrated catalog of the evening sale will be available on Moran’s Web site at

The afternoon Discovery Sale, an uncataloged, no-reserve auction open to floor and absentee bidding only, will offer the same types of items as those in the evening session and begins at 3 p.m.

For more information about this sale or to consign, please call the offices of John Moran Auctioneers at 626-793-1833 or visit their Web site at

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