John Moran Auctioneers to Offer a Diverse Selection of Fine and Decorative Art at June 18th Decorative Art Auction


• A selection of fine clocks from a Private Laguna Beach Collection a preview of many more to come
• Mid-Century Modern selections include furniture by designers such as Herman Miller and Philip and Kelvin LaVerne
• American and European works of art span from the 19th century to contemporary offerings

MONROVIA, CA –John Moran’s June Decorative Art Auction features an interesting array of property, ranging from traditional Continental and French furniture and smalls to Contemporary and Mid-Century Modern design. Western buyers will also be pleased to find a number of Western-genre paintings and bronzes, many from the Estate of Phoebe Hearst Cooke, as well as a small selection of Native American items within the pages of Moran’s June catalogue. With approximately 270 catalogued lots, Moran’s first summer sale of 2016 will feature something for nearly everyone, with objects and art offered at a wide range of estimates.

The first pieces from a large collection of high-quality clocks consigned from a Private Laguna Beach Collection are to be offered at Moran’s June sale, and are only a small preview of the good things to come. An exceptional S. Smith & Sons tall-case clock featuring a handsome Rococo-influenced case and polychromed moon-phase dial is expected to bring $6000 to $9000 at the block. A Louis XVI-style white alabaster portico clock with handsome gilt-bronze mounts and an associated urn garniture is offered for $4000 to $6000. Complementing the selection of Laguna Beach timepieces, a very fine Swiss cylinder music box on stand by maker Baptiste-Antoine Bremond (1834-1925) is to be brought to the block with an impressive $15,000 to $25,000 estimate. Recently cleaned and repaired, the music box is in excellent working condition, and features flutes, whistles, drums and bells which play 48 airs across eight interchangeable cylinders.

Additional Continental highlights include a 19th century pair of Hanau .800 silver griffin-form master salt cellars; the pair is expected to bring $1500 to $2500 at Moran’s June auction. A charming Amphora art pottery sculpture of a seated woman, titled “La Toilette”, carries a $1000 to $2000 estimate. An impressive gilt bronze-mounted Sevres-style Napoleonic urn is on offer from a private Orange County collection; the urn is titled “Bataille d’Eylau” for the battle it depicts, and will be brought to the block with a $3000 to $5000 estimate. Collectors of fine porcelain will also be pleased to see that Moran’s is offering a lovely example of KPM porcelain; the portrait plaque depicts a young woman with ivy in her hair, and is offered with a $5000 to $7000 estimate.

Collectors of fine art should find a number of gems by European artists at Moran’s June sale, including a rather charming oil painting by Franz Knebel (1809-1877 Swiss) depicting a view of the Lucano Bridge and the Plauti Sepulcher at Tivoli. The work hails from a private Burbank, CA collection and is offered with a $5000 to $7000 estimate. A sweet floral still life of jewel-toned poppies by Romanian painter Corneliu Baba (1906-1997) is to be brought to the block with a conservative $5000 to $7000 estimate. Marie Auguste Emile Rene Menard’s (1862-1930 French) peaceful “Pastorale”, depicting a sheepherder in a coastal landscape as the sun begins to set is expected to exceed the $2500 to $3500 pre-auction estimate.

American artists are also well-represented in this sale; as has been the case in a number of Moran’s recent auctions, a selection of contemporary Western-genre bronzes and paintings from the Estate of Phoebe Hearst Cooke are to be peppered throughout the June catalogue. Highlights include a pair of cowboy on horseback bookends by D. Michael Thomas (b. 1954 Buffalo, WY) executed in bronze with polychrome patina; the bookends are titled “Ridin’ High & Livin’ Free” and have been assigned a conservative pre-auction estimate of $400 to $600. “Below Sawtooth Ridge” by Wyoming painter Tucker Smith (b. 1940) is a small but effective example of the artist’s skill in portraying atmospheric effects on deep vistas; the work is expected to bring $4000 to $6000.

Complementing the Hearst Cooke consignments are a number of Western works from other private collections, including the diminutive watercolor “El Magnifico” by San Francisco-based Maynard Dixon (1874-1949), which depicts a vaquero on horseback (estimate: $3000 to $4000). Native American items should also appeal to those with an eye for Western art; a finely woven Navajo Yei rug dating to the Second quarter 20th century is expected to bring $2500 to $4000. From the Pasadena Estate of Margaret Eaton Brown Fleming, Moran’s is offering an insect-decorated Mimbres pottery bowl; after the strong performance of the last Mimbres pottery offered in April, Moran’s is hoping this piece’s selling price will exceed its $1500 to $2500 estimate.

Excellent examples of 20th century design can be found throughout Moran’s June 18th catalog, including an intriguing Art Deco chess table and two matching chairs. Though unsigned, the cast-bronze suite shows evidence of the maker’s exacting attention to detail, and is expected to attract a good amount of attention (estimate: $6000 to $8000). An abstracted Art Nouveau-style pâte de verre sculpture of a standing woman by Oliver Brice (b. 1933 French) for Daum is expected to turn a number of heads at Moran’s June sale; the sculpture was consigned during one of Moran’s free walk-in “What’s It Worth?” valuation days, and is estimated to bring $600 to $900.

The Mid-Century Modern selections include a pair of Charles Eames for Herman Miller molded plywood LCW chairs dating to the late 1940s. The chairs are in quite good condition for their age, and are offered with a $2000 to $3000 estimate for the pair. Also expected to create a stir is a low “Imperial Palace” cocktail table by makers Philip and Kelvin LaVerne; the table features the LaVernes’ stylistically iconic polychromed and acid-etched finish, and is offered with a $4000 to $6000 estimate. A Hans Wegner-designed Papa Bear chair, consigned from a Private Pasadena, CA collection, is expected to earn $3000 to $4000, and features the original lively orange wool upholstery. From the same collection, a tall wheel-thrown pottery vase by Gertrud Natzler (1908-1971 Los Angeles, CA) and Otto Natzler (1908-2007 Los Angeles, CA) featuring a high-luster oxblood and blue glaze should find a buyer for $2500 to $3500.

Modern works of art include selections by Graciela Rodo Boulanger (b. 1935 Bolivian) and Peter Max (b. 1937 New York, NY); examples by both artists have sold successfully at Moran’s sales in the past few months. One of Boulanger’s most highly anticipated works is a charming triptych of three children riding unicycles. Each executed in chalk pastel and colored pencil, the three works are framed together and have been estimated to bring $1000 to $2000. Four lots of serigraphs by Max are on offer, with lots ranging in estimate from $600 to $1200; selections include “Flower at Sea”, “Kite Flyer” and “Sky Jumper”.

Beguiling highlights across all categories include:
• A Dutch silver mechanical toy with maker’s mark of Daniel Van Strant (one of a family of silversmiths who crafted working miniatures) dating to 1754 and carrying a conservative $1000 to $1500 estimate.
• A pair of sancai glazed Chinese altar vases, dating to the Qing dynasty and decorated with dragons on a green ground will be brought to the block with a $1000 to $1500 estimate.
• Also consigned at one of John Moran’s walk-in valuation days, an American folk art diorama depicting Napoleon Bonaparte and his soldiers making camp in an Indian landscape is offered for $500 to $700.

The catalogue for John Moran’s June 18th Decorative Art Auction is now available online at www.JohnMoran.com, as well as via LiveAuctioneers and Invaluable. Public previews are available at Moran’s newly renovated location on Friday, June 17th from 10am to 4pm, as well as on the day of the auction beginning at 10am. The auction will commence at 12pm, with the uncatalogued Discovery session to follow. Complimentary food and drink will be provided for auction attendees.

John Moran Auctioneers is currently consigning for their July Decorative Art, October Fine Art and December Fine Jewelry Auctions; for questions regarding consignment or any upcoming event, please contact John Moran Auctioneers directly via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone: (626) 793-1833.

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