MONROVIA, Calif. – John Moran’s June 18 Decorative Art Auction featured an eclectic mix of
items. Continental, Mid-Century modern and Contemporary decorative arts were extensively represented, along with Western paintings and bronzes. The sale earned respectable prices for the majority of the offerings. Modern design, Western objects and select Native American jewelry performed particularly well.
An Mid-Century modern iconic Hans Wegner for AP Stolen Papa Bear chair with orange upholstery earned $5,100 (including Moran’s 20 percent house buyer’s premium). Directly after, an art pottery vase by well-regarded ceramicists Otto and Gertrud Natzler, of a larger scale than those usually seen, sold for $6,000. The vase measures 10 1/4″ h. x 5 3/4″ d.
An acid-etched “Imperial Palace” cocktail table by Philip & Kelvin LaVerne realized $6,000. A handsome pair of sterling silver shell-form spoon warmers by Italian maker Buccellati resulted in a bidding battle between multiple online bidders and a floor buyer. The floor buyer proved victorious, paying $3,600 for the lot.
A dark horse highlight, a large-scale oil on canvas by Sri Lankan painter Senaka Senanayake (b. 1951) titled “Paddy Growers” earned $8,400.
Mid-Century 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” with an expansive view of cowboys on horseback traversing a valley with mountains in the background, earned $10,200. Later in the sale, artist Bill Owen’s “Working the Herd” was snapped up by a floor buyer for $7,200.
French and Continental paintings and decorative art piqued bidder interest. A pair of griffin-form Hanau silver salt cellars featuring exceptional detailing saw $3,600 after a quick bidding war. A large B.A. Bremond Swiss cylinder music box dating to 1885 delighted bidders with its selection of 48 airs. The music box topped $19,200. A tall-case clock by London maker Samuel Smith & Sons, Ltd. topped out at $7,800.
Western and Native American jewelry prices were particularly robust. Six lots of belt buckles were offered throughout the June catalog and all performed quite well. A group of Rancheros Visitadores-themed buckles in sterling silver with gold-filled accents brought $1,320.
A pair of modern Native American turquoise beaded necklaces were offered as a single lot and earned $2,700. (Moran’s September catalog is expected to boast a large selection of Native American and Western jewelry by makers both early and contemporary.)
Additional auction highlights include:
• A silver-plated covered brazier by New York designer Louis W. Rice (1872-1933) for Apollo Silver Co.’s “Skyscraper” line, $5,100.
• A set of grape vine-motif gilt-washed sterling silver flatware by London silversmith Garrard & Co. Ltd. comprising 191 pieces cased within a floor-standing canteen earned $15,600.
• An idyllic scene in oil on canvas of figures resting at the seaside by British/Australian artist Frederick William Leist (1878-1945) brought $7,800.
All events are held at Moran’s newly renovated facility at 145 E Walnut Ave., Monrovia, CA 91016. Admission is always free and all events are open to the public. For questions regarding this or any upcoming auctions, or to speak to a specialist regarding consignment, contact John Moran Auctioneers directly via telephone at 626-793-1833 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.