Native American basket by acclaimed artisan expected to weave up $20,000

PASADENA, Calif. — A new year of sales at John Moran Auctioneers opens Feb. 5, 2013, when the Southern California house’s Decorative Arts Auction shines a spotlight on Native American artifacts and American and Continental decorative art, with a starring role played by 20th century design from Arts and Crafts to mid-century modern. Property from private collections and estates will be offered with estimates at all price points, and sold in two sessions.

Of particular interest are a rare sterling silver-mounted green matte-glaze vase by Teco (estimate $1,000-$1,500), a Rookwood Pottery ‘Ombroso’ glaze vase by W.E. Hentschel, which carries an estimate of $1,100 to $1,300, a Rookwood Iris glaze bird vase decorated by Carl Schmidt ($800-$1,200), and a large peacock-decorated jardinière by the Pasadena potter Ernest Batchelder, which is expected to fetch $1,500 to $2,000.

Isamu Noguchi’s extremely rare ‘’Rudder’’ table (estimate: $15,000 – 20,000) and even rarer ‘’Rudder’’ stools (estimate: $5,000 – $8,000 each) are featured lots in the auction. (Photo courtesy John Moran Auctioneers)

The standout lots in the modern furniture selections are Isamu Noguchi’s very rare “Rudder’’ dinette table and four exceptionally rare “Rudder’’ stools, which feature tubular steel legs and a parabolic wooden leg. The table carries an estimate of $15,000 to $20,000, and the stools are offered with an estimate of $5,000 to $8,000 apiece. Examples of the “Rudder’’ stool have previously sold at auction for $20,000 or more each.

Other designs in Moran’s auction include highly coveted modern classics such as the “IN-50’’ coffee table by Noguchi for Herman Miller, an Arredoluce “Triennale” three-arm floor lamp and single-arm floor lamp, which holds an estimate of $800 to $1,200; a hammered copper and mica lamp by Dirk van Erp; a Tiffany Studios lamp; and a “Barcelona’’ chair, the “modern throne’’ designed by Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe for Knoll.

In the category of sterling silver, modernist masters Allan Adler and Georg Jensen are represented by the former’s “Starlit’’ flatware and the latter’s “Acadia” (or “Blok”) flatware. Jensen is also the maker of a large pedestal compote decorated with grape vines that carries a low estimate of $5,000. Silver items from earlier eras exhibit similarly high standards of design, including a George III covered serving dish by Dublin, Ireland, maker Edward Power, featuring a wolf’s head finial, which is expected to fetch $1,500 to $2,000, and a signed Japanese Meiji-era jewelry box with three hinged compartments, the exterior incised with various flowers and a wheelbarrow is expected to command upward of $1,000.

This basket by renowned basket weaver by Dat-So-La-Lee is estimated to realize $15,000 – 20,000. (Photo courtesy John Moran Auctioneers)

This auction also marks the first offering of Native American artifacts at Moran’s for the first time since June 2012, when the house set a new auction record for a Native American textile with the sale of a Navajo lac-dyed First Phase Chief’s wearing blanket for $1.8 million. The February sale will include weavings and a large group of baskets consigned from a private collection. The baskets are highlighted by several fine examples of Northwest Coast, Pima, Pomo, Apache and Washoe work. One of the Washoe baskets, of degikup form, is attributed to the celebrated maker Dat-So-La-Lee, while another is (reputedly) a collaboration between Dat-So-La-Lee and an unidentified Washoe maker. They are offered with estimates of $8,000 to $10,000 and $15,000 to $20,000, respectively. Other highlights are a Northwest Coast Nootka basket-covered abalone shell and a Pomo bowl decorated all over with brown, yellow, white and green duck feathers in a geometric pattern.

For more information on John Moran’s Feb. 5 auction, visit www.johnmoran.com or call 626-793-1833.

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