American Art, Global Beads and Modern Furniture at Michaan’s February Gallery Auction

Beautiful old beads and jewelry from around the world await Michaan’s Gallery Auction bidders in February. Ancient Roman and Islamic period wound glass beads, an assortment of pre-Columbian beads and necklaces, Tibetan ‘dZi’ and eye beads, Venetian trade beads, Native American jewelry and ancient necklaces from Java and Africa are among the highlights. American fine art of the 20th century is another leading attraction. Paintings by Frank Schoonover and Cecil Crosley Bell, a sculpture by Berkeley’s Stephen de Staebler, and a Childe Hassam etching are just a few of the important opportunities for collectors at the sale on Saturday, February 9.

Anchoring Michaan’s fine jewelry selection for February is a large trove of treasures from the estate of Wylda Hammond Nelson, MD of Davis, CA. Dr. Nelson’s collection comprises beads of the world as well as Native American pieces such as the turquoise and silver coin squash blossom necklace ($500-$700). Some First Phase (circa approximately 1860-1900) pieces are among the Native American jewelry auction lots. Dr. Nelson collected beads of ancient Egyptian & Persian faience, Tibetan silver and turquoise, Persian etched carnelian and many more. Chinese beads of glass, jade and other stones, including Mandarin court necklaces, are in the collection. An abundance will also be sold at Michaan’s February Annex Auction on Tuesday, February 5 (the Annex Auction is a monthly two-day auction event that opens with jewelry). Gallery Auction highlights from the Nelson estate include a strand of African Mauritania “Kiffa” beads and an ancient Java millefiori bead necklace, each lot estimated at $1,000-$1,500. A pair of Chinese enamel and jade silver-gilt filigree butterfly brooches is offered at $300-$500.

Diamonds are also featured in February fine jewelry, as in the enamel and diamond eyed snake brooch ($1,500-$2,500) and the diamond clover brooch ($2,000-$3,000). Designer pieces include the sapphire ring by Tiffany & Co. and the 18k gold Cartier travel watch, each estimated at $1,500-$2,500. Art Deco pieces include the enamel and sterling travel watch by Tavannes ($400-$600) and the sweet lorgnette of platinum with old European-cut diamonds ($500-$700). A special treat for collectors of couture costume jewelry is the carnelian bead floral suite by Iradj Moini ($600-$800).

Michaan’s fine art specialist Susan Paffrath is thrilled to offer a work by acclaimed sculptor Stephen de Staebler (1933-2011) on February 9.“Altar to a Leg, No. 2” is a 1996 figurative sculpture in pigmented stoneware. It reveals several of de Staebler’s leading inspirations such as ancient Classical monuments and Michelangelo’s Renaissance figures, finished and unfinished. The artist’s foundational academic studies and his exploration of Europe clearly inform this important piece, estimated at $12,000-$18,000.

New York City is a recurring theme in February’s fine art. Renowned American Impressionist Childe Hassam captured a scene from “Washington’s Birthday, Fifth Avenue and 23rdStreet” in his etching estimated at $5,000-$7,000. Cecil Crosley Bell’s oil painting “Leaving Manhattan” ($5,000-$7,000) and his gouache on paper, “Horse Auction, New York 1937 ($1,500-$2,000) are highlights. Bell (1906-1970) was a lifelong commercial illustrator who studied at the Art Students’ League and exhibited his lively works of fine art primarily in New York. Another featured artist with a foundation in commercial art is Frank Schoonover (1877-1972). Schoonover was a prolific illustrator who later became known for his landscape paintings of Delaware’s Brandywine Valley. His oil, “Forest at Night” is estimated at $4,000-$6,000.

Eames and Wegner are highlighted in Michaan’s February selection of estate furniture. The Eames for Herman Miller rosewood six-panel screen, a limited edition numbered 185 of 500, is estimated at $4,000-$6,000. Hans Wegner’s valet chair for Johannes Hansen of Copenhagen is characteristically ingenious, practical and fun; estimated at $6,000-$8,000. Also for the collector of fine modern furniture is the pair of “Lambda” redwood chairs ($1,500-$2,000) from Berkeley Mills.

Michaan’s February 9 sale also features fine silver and decorative objects, lighting fixtures and handmade carpets, and Asian art. The monthly Gallery Auction is followed on Monday, February 11 by a special event: Michaan’s Collectibles and Ephemera Auction. Coca-Cola memorabilia from a single collector is a focus, with rare pieces such as an original 1897 tin tray, among the first ever produced by the Coca-Cola Company. Vintage arcade and carnival items are also featured, including carousel animals. The Collectibles and Ephemera Auction begins at 10 am PST on Monday, February 11. For complete details about all of Michaan’s February auction events visit

Hans Wegner’s valet chair for Johannes Hansen of Copenhagen