Seller Story: Joanna and Alan Rachins; Los Angeles, CA


“My husband Alan and I have been married for 40 years; he’s my partner in collecting things, and appreciating the beauty of things. Fortunately, his work as an actor on LA Law gave us the opportunity to be able to do that.

We actually have a painting that was done by Kathryn Jacobi, Dick Dysart’s wife, who was Alan’s co-star. We also have two paintings that were done by Erica Jong’s grandfather—Erica’s family and my family were close friends. We grew up together. Her mother gave the paintings to my mother, I think. They’re very beautiful; they’re very ethereal.

It’s very hard to get rid of things that you love, but we were downsizing slightly, and more than anything, we had so much! It was blocking the energy of anything new coming into our lives. And it was a great opportunity to share the love we had given all of these things.

My stepfather was a press agent who had very high profile clients, like the United States of America; he represented countries. He had an incredible eye, so he had this phenomenal collection, including the swan cradle. It has a whole history of royalty. I put flowers in it — real, dried, silk; it was always a conversation piece.

And then the snake part of it—that was pretty extraordinary. The snake is a symbol of the kundalini, which is the spiritual energy in every person that lies dormant at the base of the spine, coiled up. I’ve always been involved with spiritual life and spiritual practices—I’ve been to India, I teach meditation—and so to have that on this European antique was particularly amazing to me.”

Seller Story: Joanna and Alan Rachins; Los Angeles, CA
Seller Story: Joanna and Alan Rachins; Los Angeles, CA
Antique French Provincial Swan Carved Cradle

Antique French Provincial Swan Carved Cradle

Final Bid:
$270
Framed Tibetan Style Buddhist Painting

Framed Tibetan Style Buddhist Painting

Final Bid:
$220
Men's Polo Leather Jacket

Men's Polo Leather Jacket

Final Bid:
$495
Beaded Evening Bags

Beaded Evening Bags

Final Bid:
$85
Handwoven Kerman-Style Area Rug

Handwoven Kerman-Style Area Rug

Final Bid:
$280
Pair of Antique Louis XV Style Cane Back Side Chairs

Pair of Antique Louis XV Style Cane Back Side Chairs

Final Bid:
$151
Vintage Hindu Brass Head of Gauri Sculpture

Vintage Hindu Brass Head of Gauri Sculpture

Final Bid:
$205
Framed Primitive Needlepoint of Birds in a Field

Framed Primitive Needlepoint of Birds in a Field

Final Bid:
$70
Egyptian Style Bowl

Egyptian Style Bowl

Final Bid:
$55
Garnet Velvet Upholstered Ottoman

Garnet Velvet Upholstered Ottoman

Final Bid:
$30
Pair of Signed Mordi Gassner Lithographs

Pair of Signed Mordi Gassner Lithographs

Final Bid:
$150
Hand Carved Stone Figure

Hand Carved Stone Figure

Final Bid:
$24
Vintage Giltwood Wall Clock

Vintage Giltwood Wall Clock

Final Bid:
$61
Samuel Mirsky Framed Watercolor

Samuel Mirsky Framed Watercolor

Final Bid:
$365
Antique Goldwork Tunic

Antique Goldwork Tunic

Final Bid:
$31
Vintage Petite Italian Rococo Style Polycrhomed Side Chair

Vintage Petite Italian Rococo Style Polycrhomed Side Chair

Final Bid:
$95
Collection of Vintage LP's

Collection of Vintage LP's

Final Bid:
$150
Carved Balinese Wood Totem

Carved Balinese Wood Totem

Final Bid:
$110
Vintage Hand Painted Tole Folding Screen

Vintage Hand Painted Tole Folding Screen

Final Bid:
$410
Jaeger Le Coultre "Atmos" Mantel Clock

Jaeger Le Coultre "Atmos" Mantel Clock

Final Bid:
$345
Victorian Citrine Mourning Brooch

Victorian Citrine Mourning Brooch

Final Bid:
$100
E. Vitali Framed Watercolor

E. Vitali Framed Watercolor

Final Bid:
$409
Pair of Sienna Pink Marble Obelisks

Pair of Sienna Pink Marble Obelisks

Final Bid:
$151
Pair of Limoges Oyster Plates

Pair of Limoges Oyster Plates

Final Bid:
$140
Brass Candleholders

Brass Candleholders

Final Bid:
$1
Rococo Revival Victorian Settee with Ralph Lauren Upholstery

Rococo Revival Victorian Settee with Ralph Lauren Upholstery

Final Bid:
$490
Antique Neoclassical Style Cut Glass Pedestal Candy Dish

Antique Neoclassical Style Cut Glass Pedestal Candy Dish

Final Bid:
$110
Hand Wrought Cocktail Shaker

Hand Wrought Cocktail Shaker

Final Bid:
$55
Vintage Mink Coat by Somper

Vintage Mink Coat by Somper

Final Bid:
$400
LA LAW and More Director Chair Seatbacks

LA LAW and More Director Chair Seatbacks

Final Bid:
$31
Green and Gilt Painted Bass Clef Tole Lamp

Green and Gilt Painted Bass Clef Tole Lamp

Final Bid:
$20
Vintage Botanical Print "Cinera cum flore" After Basilius Besler

Vintage Botanical Print "Cinera cum flore" After Basilius Besler

Final Bid:
$45
Retro 1951 Sterling Silver writing Pen

Retro 1951 Sterling Silver writing Pen

Final Bid:
$40
Chippendale-Style Mahogany Upholstered Arm Chair

Chippendale-Style Mahogany Upholstered Arm Chair

Final Bid:
$160
Vintage Green Bubble Patterned Glassware

Vintage Green Bubble Patterned Glassware

Final Bid:
$55
Antique Bronze Buddha Head Statue

Antique Bronze Buddha Head Statue

Final Bid:
$160
Set of Vietri Solimene Plates

Set of Vietri Solimene Plates

Final Bid:
$127
Vintage Silver Plated Clam Shell Serving Tray

Vintage Silver Plated Clam Shell Serving Tray

Final Bid:
$41
Group of "LA Law" Scripts

Group of "LA Law" Scripts

Final Bid:
$93
Pair of Vitruvian "Blowing A Kiss" Votive Holders

Pair of Vitruvian "Blowing A Kiss" Votive Holders

Final Bid:
$95
Greek Dagger

Greek Dagger

Final Bid:
$180
Women's Fleurette Cashmere Coat

Women's Fleurette Cashmere Coat

Final Bid:
$50
Print of an Original Photograph of Frank Sinatra

Print of an Original Photograph of Frank Sinatra

Final Bid:
$46
Set of Antique Horace Woodward & Co Ltd. Place Card Holders

Set of Antique Horace Woodward & Co Ltd. Place Card Holders

Final Bid:
$180
Group of Dinner Plates

Group of Dinner Plates

Final Bid:
$24
Revised Drafts from "LA Law"

Revised Drafts from "LA Law"

Final Bid:
$66
Gold Tone Lobster Brooch with Rhinestones

Gold Tone Lobster Brooch with Rhinestones

Final Bid:
$31
NBC Commemorative Glass Ball

NBC Commemorative Glass Ball

Final Bid:
$55
Vintage Brass Trojan Horse with Rider Sculpture

Vintage Brass Trojan Horse with Rider Sculpture

Final Bid:
$80
Directors Chair

Directors Chair

Final Bid:
$17
Saul Steinberg "The New Yorker" Poster

Saul Steinberg "The New Yorker" Poster

Final Bid:
$111
Bone Carved Statue

Bone Carved Statue

Final Bid:
$130
Southeast Asian Buddhist Carved Stone Figurine

Southeast Asian Buddhist Carved Stone Figurine

Final Bid:
$91
Kathy Jean Artist's Proof  "Between the Wars"

Kathy Jean Artist's Proof "Between the Wars"

Final Bid:
$18
Carved African Mask

Carved African Mask

Final Bid:
$40
Vintage Ronson Lighter

Vintage Ronson Lighter

Final Bid:
$31
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Seller Story: Joanna and Alan Rachins; Los Angeles, CA

Your parents were collectors, and you and your husband are collectors; how do you make these artifacts feel like your own?

There’s this amazing Italian settee in the collection that I re-covered. It was very formal upholstery— satin. And I re-covered it with Ralph Lauren fabric. It’s a chocolate-y cotton that almost looks like corduroy that tones down the formality of it. I wanted everything to be accessible. I didn’t want it to be like a museum where you can’t touch anything, where you aren’t comfortable. It’s like with the swan cradle: you can imagine it in any palace, but you can also have it in your home!

You have plates from the storied Hollywood restaurant Ivy by the Shore—how did you end up with those?

I taught acting at the Lee Strasberg Institute, years ago. I was an actress and a protégé of Lee’s. Through his wife I met Lyn, who owns Ivy by the Shore with her husband. We went there a lot, and she had this amazing gift store. Everything comes from Europe; it’s really beautiful. These dishes, I just fell in love with them. I appreciate all these things as works of art—even down to the ceramic plates that I eat from.

How did you get into meditation?

In 1967 the Beatles and Donovan went to India to study with Maharishi, and they learned transcendental meditation. I was very into the Beatles. I was an actress and had just moved out to California for the second time. In one day, three different people told me that Maharishi was coming to town and giving a talk at a place called the Wilshire Ebell Theater. I began to study meditation and right away, I began to teach it. I had grown up Jewish, but not spiritual, and right away I knew that this was not only right for me—it was just right.

What do you look for in Buddhas or spiritual sculptures?

With Buddhas, it’s the expression on their faces that gives them value—if the expression is sublime and peaceful, if you are able to perceive an inner state of light coming from this statue, then the statue has a great deal of value. All these statues calm you, they have power. They are alive with a certain energy. To own one of those pieces is not just to own a piece of art: it is to own something that touches you, and has value by opening your heart to the beauty of your self, your life and the people around you.