Japanese Buddhist Art Objects Achieve Stellar Prices at Moran’s November Decorative Art Auction


• Majority of the catalogue comprises lots culled from the Hancock Park, Los Angeles estate of Andrew F. Chandler
• Curated selections range in estimate from $8000 to $150,000
• All lots offered date to the 18th century or earlier


MONROVIA, CA – Comprising 200 lots, Moran’s November 15th Decorative Art Auction offered buyers a wide array of property from which to choose, including traditional Continental furnishings, fine silver, modern prints, European paintings, German porcelain and Asian works of art. The evening’s top-performing lots were all carved giltwood Japanese Buddhist figures, likely owing to both the exceptional quality of the pieces on offer as well as to the conservative auction estimates Moran’s assigned. Attendance for the event was strong, with many bidders showing up early to preview right before the auction as well as on the Saturday preceding the sale.

The top lot of the evening was a very handsomely carved Japanese giltwood figure of Amida Buddha dating to the 1930s. Depicted seated in lotus position and clad in flowing robes, the figure featured delicately modeled enameled glass eyes and was raised on an intricate lotus-form base (estimate: $800 to 1200). The large-scale figure (measuring over four feet tall) was consigned from the Estate of Andrew F. Chandler, and earned a stunning $22,800 at the auction block (all prices realized include Moran’s 20% house Buyer’s Premium). Other Japanese pieces from the Chandler estate similarly exceeded expectations, with Buddhist art objects earning healthy prices realized across the board. One dark horse highlight came in the form of four Japanese carved, polychromed and gilt Buddha attendant figures dating to the second quarter of the 20th century; the figures were presented in excellent condition, and brought $4800 at the block (estimate: $500 to 700). Another Japanese giltwood figure of the Buddha; this example modeled standing atop a highly ornamented stepped lotus, figural and cloud-form base, was expected to bring $600 to $900, which was easily outstripped thanks to multiple bidders competing online. The figure realized $15,600.

Chinese selections from the Chandler estate included two Sino-Tibetan gilt-bronze figures; one depicting the bodhisattva Vajrasattva, the other depicting Green Tara. Each dated to the 1960s/70s, and carried a quite conservative $500/700 estimate based on their diminutive size (each measuring less than 20” high). The first went to a floor bidder, while the second sold online; each brought a price realized of $4200.

Additional Asian highlights from other private estates and collections include:
• A Chinese export automaton clock, its rosewood case all-over inlaid with mother-of-pearl in a fruiting vine motif, brought $12,000 at Moran’s
November Auction, squarely within the $10,000 to $15,000 estimate. • A Chinese embroidered summer robe decorated with butterflies and flowering tree branches and further embellished with hand-colored highlights was brought to the block with a $500/700 estimate. Likely dating to the 19th century, the robe appealed to buyers competing via online platforms, selling for $4200.
• Consigned from a private Los Angeles, CA collection, a Chinese white jade-mounted hand mirror expected to bring $1200 to $1800 found a buyer online for $2040.

Moran’s November auction started off with a selection of Art Deco and Arts & Crafts-inspired objects, including silver by famed Danish designer Georg Jensen. A Georg Jensen sterling silver coffee service in the “Pyramid” pattern, comprising a coffee pot, a lidded sugar bowl and a cream pitcher, sold for the high estimate after competition between a floor and online buyer (estimate: $2000 to $3000). Directly following, a 136-piece flatware service in Jensen’s iconic “Acorn” pattern was offered with a $3000 to $5000 auction estimate; the set achieved a final selling price of $7200, going to an online bidder.

Modernist selections also included prints after original works by sought-after modern and contemporary artists, including Marc Chagall (1889-1985 French) and Pablo Picasso (1881-1973 Spanish). Chagall’s whimsical “Le Cheval Rouge [The Red Horse]” was the subject of competitive bidding between telephone and online bidders, ultimately earning $3600 at the block (estimate: $2500 to $3500). After inspiring multiple absentee and telephone bids, “L’Arlequin et sa Compagne” after Pablo Picasso achieved a very respectable $11,400 price realized (estimate: $10,000 to $15,000).

Fine examples of European porcelain achieved strong prices throughout Tuesday evening’s sale. A small Art Nouveau RStK Amphora “Summer Queen”-motif vase consigned from a private Studio City, CA collection was brought to the block with an $800 to $1200 estimate, which was just exceeded when a floor bidder proved successful with a $1560 winning bid. A KPM porcelain plaque framed within an elaborately carved giltwood surround was offered early in the sale; depicting a young beauty dressed in diaphanous fabric and surrounded by a veritable swarm of putti, the plaque brought the high end of its pre-auction estimate ($7000 to $9000). A 95-piece china service by Royal Crown Derby in the ever-popular “Old Imari” pattern, including multiple service items and table settings for twelve guests, was brought to the auction block with a very conservative $2000 to $3000 estimate; the set brought $7800 thanks to multiple bidders participating via telephone. Rarely seen in the secondary market, a Royal Copenhagen “Flora Danica” tea service dating to the 1990s was eagerly anticipated by collectors. Comprising a teapot, two wide and two tall teacups with matching saucers, the set more than doubled its estimate when it sold for $5400 (estimate: $1500/2500).

Select examples of Continental furniture performed well at the block. An elaborately gilt bronze-mounted Louis XV-style two-tiered pastry table dating to the early 20th century was offered early in on in the auction; consigned from a private Los Angeles, CA collection, the table was expected to bring $2000 to $3000, and ultimately brought $6600. An intriguing gilt bronze-mounted table inset with nine rounded portrait plaques depicting women from the family and circle of Napoleon Bonaparte, each signed O. Brun, was offered for $6000 to $9000, and sold for the low end of the estimate. A stately Louis XV-style side table by celebrated 19th century Parisian cabinetmaker Paul Sormani earned a very respectable $2280, thanks to competition from floor bidders (estimate: $2000 to $3000).

John Moran’s next event is scheduled for Tuesday, December 6th. The December 6th auction date will feature three fully catalogued auction sessions, including a Fine Jewelry Auction, a Decorative Art Auction and a special nine-lot Important Chinese Objects session. Fully illustrated catalogues for each session are online now on John Moran’s website: www.JohnMoran.com as well as via the liveauctioneers.com and invaluable/auctionzip.com platforms. Public previews for the December 6th auction sessions are scheduled for Friday, December 2nd, Saturday, December 3rd, Monday December 5th and the day of the auction starting at 10am. For the full preview schedule, please visit Moran’s website.

All events are held at Moran’s newly renovated facility, located at: 145 E Walnut Ave., Monrovia, CA 91016. Admission is always free and all events are open to the public.

John Moran Auctioneers is currently consigning property for all 2017 auction sessions, including California and American Fine Art, Fine Jewelry and Decorative Art. To speak to a friendly and knowledgeable specialist regarding consignment, please contact John Moran Auctioneers directly via telephone (626) 793-1833 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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