Monrovia, CA – The John Moran auction block is still hot from the Chaffey College Apple-1 Computer Postwar & Contemporary Art + Design sale that took place Tuesday, November 9, 2021. Several media news channels covered the rare piece of technological history that ultimately sold for a whopping $500,000 (with buyer’s premium)! The fact that the two-owner vintage computer came to the auction house in excellent condition, featured many period-correct and original parts, and was in true working order was astounding. Moran’s flew in the foremost expert in his field to authenticate, inspect, and generate a full condition report for the Apple-1 so that buyers could bid with confidence. And bid they did! The Koa wood case that houses the Chaffey College Apple-1 is only one of six known examples in existence. Each staff member made their way to the auction floor to witness the historical moment. Fierce phone bidding was coupled with internet bids as vintage computer lovers clamored for the prize. The computer was originally purchased by an electronics professor who then sold it to his student a year later in order to get a newer version. The former student recalls the event.
“I purchased this used from the original owner in 1977. He was a teacher at Chaffey College, and I was taking his programming course. He was excited to buy the Apple-II and sold me this for about $650. Of course, nobody knew it
would become a collector’s item…”
The Chaffey College Apple-1 was not the only item to reach six figures in the sale last week. A stunning painting by artist Ariana Papdemetropoulos (b. 1990, American) past its $12,000-18,000 estimate astronomically when it sold for $162,500 (with buyer’s premium). Archaic Revival is comprised of two interiors that appear to be existing simultaneously in two different dimensions. A rip seemingly made in the fabric of time creates a portal that segues from a sweet pastel interior to reveal a domestic space much more saturate in color.
Market darling Alexander Calder (1898-1976, American) also used a saturated red orange color repeatedly in his work. There were three color lithographs by Calder on offer, each utilizing his signature red color and selling beyond their $1,000-2,000 estimates. Composition aux cercles did the best out of three works on paper when it sold for eight times its estimate at $8,125 (with buyer’s premium)!
““I purchased this used from the original owner in 1977. He was a teacher at Chaffey College, and I was taking his programming course. He was excited to buy the Apple-II and sold me this for about $650. Of course, nobody knew it would become a collector's item...””
Circles turned out to be a very popular shape that day, as evident in the sale of the massive industrial white circular sculpture by German artist Yngve Holen. Despite the intentional absence of handcraftsmanship or a visible human element, Holen’s sculptures frequently evoke the body. The piece entitled It’s Your Prada Dress and You Have a Little…U Always Look at it. Shit, That’s my Prada Dress. So I Fix That is an actual phrase originating from an interview series the artist conducted for the second installation of a magazine that he produced featuring plastic surgeons and porn professionals. The sculpture delighted our postwar art enthusiasts and almost doubled its low estimate when it sold for $22,500 (with buyer’s premium).
African American ceramicist Doyle Lane (1925-2002) was born in New Orleans but spent the majority of his life in Los Angeles where he became a staple in the Black arts community. Underrecognized, despite his prolific body of work, Doyle produced ceramics that ranged in size from handheld vessels to large tile murals. His weed pots (named for their small opening just wide enough for a single-stem wildflower) vary in size, texture, and pattern. The sale boasted two Doyle weed pots and each more than exceeded their estimates. The Brown Weed Pot estimated at $500-700 sold for $6,250 (with buyer’s premium) and the Blue Weed Pot estimated at $800-1,200 rose to an impressive selling price of $15,000 (with buyer’s premium)!
Several great furniture lots were on offer and did quite well among buyers. The Hans Jorgensen Wegner Papa Bear Chair and Ottoman was an especially hot commodity doubling its estimate and cozying up to a selling price of $12,500 (w/ buyer’s premium). A 1964 Joaquim Tenreiro modern jacaranda wood desk was also popular with buyers. The Brazilian wood desk with two drawers flanked by a step-down writing surface also doubled its estimate and sold for $8,750 (w/ buyer’s premium).
Finally, a stately screenprint by legendary color field artist Helen Frankenthaler (1928-2011, American) graced the auction block. West Wind created in 1997, demonstrated the painter’s signature wash and impeccable composition and sold well beyond its estimate at $27,500 (with buyer’s premium).
Angela Bryant, John Moran Auctioneers
Art of the American West: Tuesday, November 30th | 10:00 am PST
The Traditional Collector: Tuesday, December 7th | 12:00 pm PST
Fine Jewelry & Timepieces: Tuesday, December 14th | 12:00 pm PST
Made in Mexico: Tuesday, February 1st | 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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