Moran’s 20th Century Art + Design auction was a resounding success, boasting a high sell-through rate and two auction records. Works from the well-curated collection of Mrs. Donald M. Jones were some of the top lots of the night while mainstays of mid-century design and important works of fine art performed exceptionally well. Moran’s is already collecting property for their November 20th Century Art + Design and Prints & Multiples auctions and seeking strong examples of fine art and modern design. Artwork from Southern California artists were among the most sought after. Scenes from the East Coast sold well throughout the sale.
Works from American artists achieved some of the highest prices of the day. The market for the work of artist Doyle Lane, simmering for years, boiled over at the auction. A rare Clay Painting, perhaps the only large-scale work to come to auction, inspired a bidding war between two phone bidders who drove the price up from its $4000-6000 estimate to sell for $53,125, a new record for the artist (all prices realized include buyer’s premium). A large-scale work from artist Richard Bunkall also set an auction record when it climbed above its $10,000-15,000 estimate to sell for $37,500.
Moran’s had the pleasure of handling an important collection of ceramics, prints, and fine art from the estate of Mrs. Donald M. Jones. Chief among the offerings was a rare large vase from husband and wife team Gertrud and Otto Natzler. Two phone bidders battled for the piece and drove it over its $15,000-20,000 estimate to sell for $31,250, among the highest prices realized for a Natzler work at auction. Mrs. Jones had several collages by American artist William Dole in her collection, including “Crypto” which sold over its $1000-1500 estimate for $5625. A superb Francis Picabia drawing consigned from the same collection opened strongly and soared past its $15,000-20,000 estimate to sell for $81,250.
Modernist furnishings and graphic art continue to draw collectors to Moran’s 20th Century Art + Design sale. A rocking chair from master woodworker Sam Maloof sold above its high estimate for $40,625 (estimate: $20,000-30,000). Two Brutalist light fixtures sold well above their $600-800 estimate for $2250. A pair of beautifully designed “Z” lounge chairs by Poul Jensen for Selig achieved $3900 at auction (estimate: $1000-1500). An immaculate Roy Lichtenstein “Water Lily” color screenprint sold within its $15,000-25,000 estimate for $22,500.
Later this month Moran’s will host their bi-annual Fine Jewelry & Timepieces and Studio Jewelry auctions filled with hundreds of glittering jewels to suit every taste including pieces from the collection of icon Loni Anderson. Moran’s will then head into the summer auction season with the Studio Fine Art and Studio Decorative Art auctions on June 23rd. The July 21st Traditional Collector auction is filled with fine European art and furnishings. The second set of Studio Fine Art and Studio Decorative Art auctions is scheduled for August 25th. Moran’s is pleased to offer their Art of the American West and Turn of the Century Design auctions on September 8th.
For upcoming highlights, online catalogues, and more information on these sales, visit Moran’s website: www.johnmoran.com. Bidding is available online via Moran’s mobile app Moran Mobile, available on both iOS and Android operating systems. Live bidding on a desktop is available through bid.johnmoran.com; bidding is also supported by telephone, absentee, or in person.