Monrovia, CA – Moran’s Traditional Collector sale will take place on Tuesday, September 28th at 12 pm PST, and the 239 lots offered will not disappoint. A unique statement piece awaits every taste, ranging from Continental porcelain, Tiffany Favrile glass, to a sizeable collection of timepieces. There will also be a diverse selection of Caucasian and Persian textiles, Erté bronzes, and French furniture ready to enliven any interior. In addition, we are pleased to present pieces from the Blake Byrne Collection and the Estate of Paul Leon, Beverly Hills.
Looking for a dynamic focal point for your collection? Look no further than this magnificent early twentieth-century Chinese silver and cloisonné enamel vase. Characters on the bottom of the double handled vase reveal the famous Chinese silver export retailer, Wang Hing, which was established in Canton in the late nineteenth century. The company later opened branches in Shanghai and eventually Hong Kong in 1920. At twenty-five inches tall, this vase is quite rare given its large size while offering a captivating verdant motif of peonies, flowering prunus branches, and exotic birds. Symbolism throughout the vase indicates its use as an appropriate gift to someone of wealth and stature. The estimate on this impressive vase is $10,000-15,000.
In juxtaposition to the exceptional size of the Chinese export vase is the Viennese enamel and silver miniature tea set by Ludwig Politzer (1841-1907). Politzer established himself as one of the preeminent silversmiths and jewelers working in Vienna throughout the late nineteenth century and fin-de-siècle. His intricately executed works were exhibited at the Paris Exposition Universelle in both 1878 and 1900. This diminutive tea set, presented on a whimsical heart-shaped tray, is hand-painted with pastoral and fête champêtre inspired scenes. Within the context of the fête champêtre, which depicted courtiers at “fancy dress” garden parties, pastoral scenes were further popularized among the upper classes who followed the cults of honnêteté and préciosité that championed delicacy of taste, sentiment, and simplicity. Within these codes of behavior, the rustic was seen as idyllic and charming while nobles masqueraded as peasant farmers in performances of artifice and allusion. The miniature tea set is going to the block with an $800-$1,200 estimate.
“ymbolism throughout the vase indicates its use as an appropriate gift to someone of wealth and stature.”
Next up is a pair of Russian icon panels from the collection of the late television executive, producer, philanthropist, art collector, and Life Trustee of Los Angeles MOCA, Blake Byrne. These polychromed wood icon panels were likely part of a polyptych altarpiece circa the seventeenth or eighteenth century and depict saints distinguished with gilt halos. In Orthodox Christian tradition, icons are revered religious images that transcend the visual and material, and rather are sacred living representations that evoke the spirit of their subjects. The panels are devoid of illusory imagery and alternatively situate the holy figures within a shared sense of space with the viewer, which heightens the didactic and devotional effect of the panels. The icons are heading to the block with a $20,000-$30,000 pre-auction estimate.
In keeping with the theme of spiritual subjects is Romain de Tirtoff’s (1892-1990) Hera and Zeus. The Russian-born French artist, widely known by the pseudonym Erté, studied in Paris and developed a versatile career working in design, graphic arts, jewelry, fashion, costuming, and set design for theater and film. While in Paris, Erté was heavily inspired by Art Nouveau and cultivated a personal aesthetic that referenced both the flowing and organic forms of French Art Nouveau with the more rectilinear and geometricized elements of Glasgow Style and Viennese Secessionism. Erté’s gilt and cold-painted bronze Olympians, Hera and Zeus, demonstrate this uniquely amalgamated visual vocabulary. His attenuated and specter-like figures suggest the haunting designs of the Macdonald sisters, his play of color and pattern is evocative of Gustav Klimt, and his emphasis of line and movement echo the work of Aubrey Beardsley and Jan Toorop. The pre-auction estimate is $3,000-$5,000.
Lastly, immerse yourself in the mystery and luxury of Renaissance Venice with this nineteenth-century facsimile of Titian’s (c. 1488/90-1576) Amor Sacro e Amor Profano, or Sacred and Profane Love, originally painted in 1514. Currently housed in the collection of the Galleria Borghese in Rome, Titian’s Sacred and Profane Love exemplifies the visual synthesis of Classical and early modern sources favored by humanists in fifteenth-century Venice, who wove arcane and layered allegorical meanings into their works. The composition depicts Geminae Venere, or Twin Venuses, as personifications of the dual nature of Venus in Renaissance Neoplatonism. On the right is a draped Venere Celeste, or Celestial Venus, who represents the eternal and holds aloft a vase meant to burn with the flame of divine love. On the left is Venere Vulgare, or Earthly Venus, dressed in a high-waisted bejeweled gown who represents the beauty of the material world. Presumably commissioned by Niccolò Aurelio, a secretary to the Venetian Council of Ten, the sarcophagus-style fountain is believed to display Aurelio’s coat of arms while Earthly Venus references his bride, Laura Bagarotto. This Old Master facsimile is heading to the block with an estimate of $4,000-$6,000.
ReDesigned: Tuesday, October 19th | 12:00 pm PST
Studio Fine & Decorative Art: Tuesday, October 26th | 12:00 pm PST
Postwar & Contemporary Art + Design: Monday, November 1st | 12:00 pm PST
California & American Fine Art: Tuesday, November 16th | 12:00 pm PST
California Living: Tuesday, November 16th | 2:00 pm PST
Art of the American West: Tuesday, November 30th | 12:00 pm PST
John Moran’s takes the health and safety of our staff and customers seriously; as such, sales will continue to be held online and without a live audience. However, each item is available for public preview. Moran’s auction showroom is over 10,000 square feet and allows clients to preview objects within established social distancing guidelines so that buyers can feel confident when making an appointment to preview the property. For upcoming highlights, online catalogues, and more information on these sales, visit Moran’s website: www.johnmoran.com. Bidding is now available online via Moran’s new mobile app, Moran Mobile, available on both iOS and Android operating systems. Live bidding on a desktop is available through our website; bidding is also supported by telephone or absentee.
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