• December 6, 2016 - Fine Jewelry Auction

    December 6, 2016 - Fine Jewelry Auction

    A Swiss gemstone and Geneva enamel bracelet c. 1830
    est: 8000/12,000

    Currently accepting consignments for this auction!
  • October 25, 2016 - California & American Fine Art Auction

    October 25, 2016 - California & American Fine Art Auction

    Lot# 201 Tucker Smith (1940-* Hoback Rim, WY)
    ''Wyoming Range''
    est: $40,000/60,000

    Bid now! Click here to view the fully illustrated catalogue.
  • November 15, 2016 - Decorative Art Auction

    November 15, 2016 - Decorative Art Auction

    After Pablo Picasso (1881-1973 Spanish)
    ''Le Peintre (The Painter)''
    est: $10,000/15,000
  • October 25, 2016 - California & American Fine Art Auction

    October 25, 2016 - California & American Fine Art Auction

    Lot# 039 Severin Roesen (1815-1872 Williamsport, PA)
    Still life with fruit and champagne
    est: $25,000/35,000

    Bid now! Click here to view the fully illustrated catalogue.
  • October 25, 2016 - California & American Fine Art Auction

    October 25, 2016 - California & American Fine Art Auction

    Lot# 103 Alson Skinner Clark (1876-1949 Pasadena, CA)
    Covered wagon in an Eastern Sierra landscape near Alabama Hills (outside Lone Pine, CA)
    est: $50,000/70,000

    Bid now! Click here to view the fully illustrated catalogue.
  • November 15, 2016 - Decorative Art Auction

    November 15, 2016 - Decorative Art Auction

    An Art Deco silver-plated tea set, Christofle
    est: $600/900
  • December 6, 2016 - Fine Jewelry Auction

    December 6, 2016 - Fine Jewelry Auction

    A diamond and gemstone necklace, Joan Boyce
    est: $3500/4500

    Currently accepting consignments for this auction!
Recently discovered masterwork by Frederick H. Hurten realizes $570,000

• Moran’s sets records for American art pottery and European paintings
• Recently discovered masterwork by Frederick H. Rhead realizes $570,000
• Sale totals more than $1.8 million

Pasadena, CA-- In a remarkable sale punctuated throughout by spectacular results, John Moran Auctioneers set four new record-high auction prices for decorative and fine art, including a record price for an American art pottery vase with the sale of a masterwork by Frederick Hurten Rhead (1880 – 1942). The April 29th auction, which included 211 catalogued lots of Continental furniture and paintings, early 20th century American design, porcelain, silver and Asian artifacts, selected from multiple estates and private collections throughout California, totaled $1,845,000 in sales and underscored the strength in the market for top-tier works of art and highest quality furnishings.

The new record holder reigns as a supreme example of the potter’s art, incised in minute detail with a bewitching peacock, his tail feathers glazed in turquoise and three shades of green, fanned luxuriantly over a brown and buff-colored ground accented with stylized black tree branches. Standing a proud 17.5 inches high and dated 1910, the vase was made during the British-born Rhead’s brief tenure at the University City Pottery in University City, Missouri, and is also signed by Rhead’s wife and collaborator, Agnes Rhead (b.1877). Another example of Rhead’s work, a panel of four tiles, also made in 1910 and also depicting a peacock, sold at auction for $637,500 in October 2012 to Mr. Rudy Ciccarello of the Two Red Roses Foundation in Florida.

In addition to rarity, compelling design, and peerless craftsmanship, the vase sold at Moran’s possessed that all-important guarantee of auction success: impeccable provenance. Purchased from the pottery in the summer of 1910 by a couple residing in St. Louis, Missouri, it was given as a wedding anniversary and baby gift to the Meyers Family of Iowa City, IA and handed down through several generations of the family. Only recently was it plucked from obscurity, discovered by an heir during a clean out of his Southern California home.

The vase went on the block to face a full bank of telephone bidders from across the country and a smattering of floor bidders. Several minutes of fast-moving combat eliminated all but three contenders, but as the asking price flew higher the action was punctuated by tense pauses. In the end, one of the telephone bidders, Mr. Robert Kaplan, finally prevailed over the one remaining floor bidder, who appeared to have dropped out early but surprised everyone by re-entering the fight late in the game. It has since been revealed that Mr. Kaplan was acting as agent for Mr. Ciccarello.

Happily, the record-setting vase and the tile panel will soon be united in a setting worthy of their stature and where they will be available for public viewing. The Two Red Roses Foundation is breaking ground on a new museum in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement, scheduled to open the first quarter of 2017, will be the first museum in the United States solely dedicated to preserving the legacy of American Arts and Crafts design. The museum plans to showcase the two Rhead peacocks as highlights of its holdings of more than 1300 items of decorative and fine art, including several hundred from Mr. Ciccarello’s own collection.
Moran’s audience saw not one, but two art pottery records set on the 29th. Just a few moments prior to the sale of the Rhead vase, a vase made in 1929 by Margaret Kelly Cable (1884 – 1960) realized $43,200, surpassing by $31,200 the previous record for Cable pottery. A one-time student of Rhead, Cable was hired in 1910 as the head of the newly founded ceramics department of the North Dakota School of Mines, where she devoted herself to promoting the use of the local clays and to producing, in her own words, “design material particular to the prairies.” The 13-inch-high vase, glazed brown and incised all around with repeating motifs of flickertails (a kind of ground squirrel native to the northern United States) and wheat stalks, carried a pre-sale estimate of $5000 - 7000. It too sold to a phone bidder after a prolonged battle.

Two of the new records Moran’s established on the 29th were for fine art. A sweeping view of the Roman countryside by Russian painter Feodor Matveef (1758 – 1826), painted in the grand tradition of the classical landscape, drew intense interest from Europe and Russia. The large (58 x 72-inch) oil arrived on the block for the first time in decades, consigned from a private collector who acquired it from Sotheby’s, London in the 1980s. With expectations already running high, it took the stage carrying a pre-sale estimate of $70,000 – 90,000. A slew of phone and absentee bidders drove the price up to a final bid of $420,000, placed by a Russian telephone bidder. The previous record price for a work by Matveef was $353,840.
The other painting achieving a new high price for the artist was an oil by Theodor Von Hormann (1840 – 1895 Austrian) depicting a springtime scene of children at tables in a garden beneath blossoming trees. Estimated to realize $12,000 – 18,000, the 31.75 x 39.25-inch canvas ultimately sold to a European phone bidder for $180,000.

Moran’s also captured an enthusiastic audience for ornate Continental furniture. An impressive C. Bechstein grand piano made in 1882, the French Empire style case elaborately mounted in gilt bronze with lyres, scrolling foliage, laurel sprays and lion’s mask-headed monopodia, lured a bidder up to $78,000 (estimate: $50,000 – 70,000). Equally imposing, and consigned from the same Malibu, CA collection, was an enormous 24-light Louis XV style gilt and patinated bronze chandelier with figures of dragons perched amongst its branches. It sold over the high estimate of $20,000, for $27,000. A distinguished pair of elegantly proportioned Continental rouge marble and gilt bronze columnar pedestals with finely cast Corinthian capitals performed extremely well, finding a buyer for $15,600 (estimate $3000 – 5000).

Additional highlights across decorative arts categories include:
• A pair of unsigned Continental terracotta sculptures dating to the 18th or early 19th century, depicting full-length classical figures of allegorical of Spring and Autumn, fetched $45,000 (estimate: $5000 – 7000).

• A circa 1920 “mystery” clock by Swiss maker Juvenia, featuring a cherub rowing a silver leaf-form boat on a mirror-glass lake, his oar indicating the hours on a dial enameled with Commedia dell’Arte figures frolicking in a landscape, enchanted bidders far and wide, selling for $13,200 (estimate: $4000 – 6000).
• A red coral carving of two conjoined figures realized $9,000 (estimate $2000 – 4000), confirming the still-rising demand for Chinese works of art.

The Discovery session – uncatalogued and only available for bidding to those who view the items in person – also boasts a number of stunning selections culled from private estates around Southern California. Silver, paintings (in watercolor and oil), prints, and porcelain are among the fabulous finds that attendees will surely covet during the Discovery session. Multiple groups of Russian enamel/lacquered boxes from a local estate will be offered, along with a number of Spanish Santos and Russian icons from the same. Persian rugs (ranging in sizes from three to 12 feet long), Louis XVI style furniture, bronzes, and a selection of chandeliers also round out the offerings. The April 29th Discovery session is packed to the brim with treasures large and small (over 250 lots are slated for sale in this session alone).

Moran’s next sale, the HQ Jewelry and Luxury Auction, is scheduled for May 20, 2014. Offering over 300 lots of both fine and costume jewelry spanning many styles and eras, including signed pieces by legendary designers, the sale will be conducted at Moran’s headquarters in Altadena, CA. The next Decorative Art Auction will be held on June 18, 2014 at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, CA. Bidding is available in person, by absentee, and via telephone, as well as online through LiveAuctioneers.com, AuctionZip.com, and Invaluable.com.

For more information on Moran’s sales, both past and upcoming, please contact John Moran Auctioneers directly at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (626) 793-1833. Consignment inquiries are always welcome.

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What's it Worth? October 12th, 2016

Join us for our monthly walk-in valuation clinics.
Bring in up to five items of fine art, antiques, silver or jewelry for a free verbal auction valuation.
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
@ Moran's Headquarters:
145 East Walnut Avenue, Monrovia, CA 91016 9am-1pm

Contact us today if you have any questions

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We look forward to speaking with you about our consignment process, upcoming auctions or appraisal services. Our specialists and office staff are available Monday through Friday 9am-5pm (PST) at (626)-793-1833. You are also welcome to contact us via fax at (626)-798-2079, or email us at info@johnmoran.com. We are Located at 145 East Walnut Avenue, Monrovia, CA 91016.


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