Published: December 15, 2020
Review by Madelia Hickman Ring, Photos Courtesy Kaminski Auctions
BEVERLY, MASS. – It had been barely a month since Frank Kaminski and his staff finished ten days of selling property from the Waldorf Astoria hotel and they were back in action, offering the firm’s annual Thanksgiving Day sale after postponing the auction for a week. In the course of two days, more than 1,400 lots crossed the block, with most of the first day devoted to the Chinese collection of the late Beverly Jackson of Santa Barbara, Calif., on December 5 and property from various owners on December 6. By the time the gavel fell on the final lot, the sales sold to buyers in about a dozen countries around the world, with phone and absentee bids competing against online bidders on LiveAuctioneers, Invaluable and KaminskiLive.
“It was a very nice sale,” owner and auctioneer Frank Kaminski said by phone the morning after the second day of the sale. “The collection of Beverly Jackson was very exciting and we had great things from some of the other collections I’d found. The Waldorf Astoria (sale) has pushed me to new limits and new highs – like runners who push their endurance, I feel like I keep pushing mine. One of our employees who is 88 years old and who was working the sale this weekend said to me, ‘It’s the Waldorf effect.’ We have a tremendous number of new bidders, largely thanks in part to the Waldorf sale.”
Jackson had been a scholar of Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Chinese clothing and an author on Chinese textiles; her collection featured Chinese robes, jackets, capes and skirts as well as rank badges and court crowns and headdresses. The collection saw fierce interest from collectors – both Chinese and International – from both Asia and around the world.
It was the court crown and headdress, featuring phoenixes and inlaid with pearls, precious stones and kingfishers’ feathers set in gold, that brought the top price among lots from Jackson’s collection, selling to a bidder in the United States, bidding on LiveAuctioneers, for $11,250, easily beating its estimate of $5/10,000. A Nineteenth Century Chinese peach-form kingfisher hand mirror brought $7,200 from a buyer in the room, while a pair of Nineteenth Century Chinese lady’s shoes that had been illustrated in Jackson’s book, Splendid Slippers: A Thousand Years of An Erotic Tradition, closed at $5,000 to a buyer in the United States bidding on LiveAuctioneers. Jackson’ collection of nearly 60 silk embroidered rank badges was led by an Imperial roundel with dragon insignia that would have been worn by a lower-level prince. It sold to a buyer from the United States, bidding on the phone, for $6,000.
The sale featured Asian works from outside of Jackson’s collection, including a pair of Chinese Rose Medallion vases on wood stands made for an ambassador to China that came from a house in Vero Beach, Fla. Kaminski said the vases “were the best he’d ever had.” They finished at $10,800, selling to a private collector from Massachusetts who was bidding from the floor, while a Chinese embroidery dragon robe, 86 by 56 inches that benefitted from the exposure of Jackson’s textiles sold to a bidder in the United States, bidding on Invaluable, for $9,375.
Estates and collections from California and Florida were the source of some of the other highlights in the sale, including the top lot of the weekend, a plein-air mountain landscape by California impressionist John Marshall Gamble that realized $28,750, selling to a private collector in southern California for nearly twice its high estimate. It had come from the San Diego, Calif., estate of William Hudlow, which was the same source of a watercolor landscape titled “In the San Gabriel Canyon” by Marion Ida Kavanagh Wachtel (1876-1954), that brought $22,500 from a bidder on KaminskiLive against an estimate of $2/2,500. Finishing out the highlights of fine art was a painting by Brian Coole titled “Warships off the Battery,” that came from a New Hampshire collection. Measuring 28 by 40 inches in the frame, the oil on canvas dated to 1880 and sold to a regular buyer at Kaminski’s, bidding from the floor, for $10,800.
The Vero Beach, Fla., collection that sourced the pair of Rose Medallion vases was the same that sent to auction a Persian Fereghan Sarouk carpet that measured 14 feet 6 inches by 10 feet 6 inches and had been estimated at $7/12,000. A private collector fought hard for it but in the end, it sold to a bidder on KaminskiLive for $12,500. Of all the things in the sale that the Vero Beach collector consigned, Kaminski said that her favorite thing was a French silverplated duck press that had occupied pride of place in her kitchen. It more than quadrupled its low estimate, selling to a collector in Oklahoma, bidding online, for $6,875.
Kaminski Auctions’ next sale is scheduled for January 2-3.
Prices quoted include buyer’s premium.
For information, 978-927-2223 or www.kaminskiauctions.com.
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