Moran’s February 5, 2013 Decorative Arts Auction to Feature 20th Century Design and Native American Artifacts
• Two-session sale offers icons of mid-century modern design and the Arts and Crafts movement, and Native American baskets and textiles from private collections
Altadena, CA - A new year of sales at John Moran Auctioneers opens on February 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.
The many wonderful examples of American art pottery represent the wealth of talent across the country in the last century, including Arts and Crafts-era makers such as George Ohr, Rookwood, Van Briggle, Fulper, Moorcroft, Arequipa, Weller, Markham, Fred H. Robertson, and Frederick H. Rhead of Santa Barbara, CA, as well as mid-century luminaries such as Glen Lukens, Beatrice Wood, and Laura Andreson. Of particular interest are a rare sterling silver-mounted green matte-glaze vase by Teco (estimate: $1000 – 1500), a Rookwood Pottery 'Ombroso' glaze vase by WE Hentschel (estimate: $1100 – 1300), a Rookwood Iris glaze bird vase decorated by Carl Schmidt (estimate: $800 – 1200), and a large peacock-decorated jardinière by the Pasadena potter Ernest Batchelder (estimate: $1500 – 2000). A large vase by Beatrice Wood, the Ojai, California artist who was known as the ‘’Mama of Dada’’, is a wonderful example of her use of rough-textured volcanic glaze (estimate: $1500 – 2000), while a bowl by Glen Lukens is covered in a resplendent matte yellow glaze with distinctive heavy crackle (estimate: $900 – 1100). A vase colored with subtle shades of mottled celadon and charcoal, crafted at a monastery in Weston, Vermont by Brother Thomas Bezanson (1929 – 2007), is expected to realize $1000 – 1500.
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. Noguchi designed the table and stools in 1944, and Herman Miller produced them commercially for only a short time. Moran’s examples are finished with a rich greenish-brown tobacco color, and are consigned from the estate of the original owner. The table carries an estimate of $15,000 – 20,000, and the stools are offered with an estimate of $5000 – 8000 each. Examples of the ‘’Rudder’’ stool have previously sold at auction for $20,000 or more each.
Other designs in Moran’s auction include highly covetable modern classics such as the ‘’IN-50’’ coffee table by Noguchi for Herman Miller, an Arredoluce 'Triennale' three-arm floor lamp (estimate: $1500 – 2000) and single-arm floor lamp (estimate: $800 – 1200); 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. Moran’s is also pleased to offer a large suite of tubular copper patio furniture, including chairs, settees, tables and chaise longues, by designer Walter Lamb. The pieces will be divided among several lots with estimates ranging from $1000 – 6000.
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 is estimated at $5000 – 7000. 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 (estimate: $1500 – 2000), a lovely repoussé George III sterling silver tea caddy by John Denziloe of London (estimate: $500 – 1000), a Louis Philippe chocolate pot and a tureen, and a signed Japanese Meiji-era jewelry box with three hinged compartments, the exterior incised with various flowers and a wheelbarrow (estimate: $1000 – 1500).
Moran’s will offer Native American artifacts 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 at $8000 – 10,000 and $15,000 – 20,000 respectively. Other highlights are a Northwest Coast Nootka basket-covered abalone shell (estimate: $1500 – 2000) and a Pomo bowl decorated all over with brown, yellow, white and green duck feathers in a geometric pattern (estimate: $2000 – 3000).
Additional sale categories include Asian artifacts, 19th century Continental furnishings, and American and European fine art, including modern sculpture and prints. Several groups of Edward Weston (1886 – 1958) portrait photographs will nicely complement the modern design offerings.
Updated highlights are viewable at www.johnmoran.com. The sale will be conducted at the Pasadena Convention Center at 300 East Green Street in Pasadena, CA. Full sale catalogues are posted at www.johnmoran.com 2 -3 weeks prior to each sale. Bidding is available from the floor and via absentee, telephone or online through Artfact.com or LiveAuctioneers.com.
Consignments are accepted throughout the year for Moran’s Antiques and Decorative Arts Auctions, held six-seven times a year, their tri-annual jewelry sales, and for their major Fine Art Auction, held bi-annually. Please contact Moran’s offices at 626-793-1833 or
for more information about any of their upcoming events.