Published: December 21, 2010
In celebration of his two decades in the antiques business, Frank Kaminski bucked the current tide of belt-tightening and launched his new gallery in Beverly on Thanksgiving weekend, November 27′8. A gala celebration of 20 years of Kaminski Auctions also honored senior appraiser Mary Westcott for her 20-year collaboration and served as a preview for the Thanksgiving weekend sale.
Kaminski and Westcott both addressed the assembled guests, recounting their adventures in the trade †from the beginning up until their summons by the National Parks Service this fall to the Grand Canyon where they appraised the antiques in the hotels and other facilities buildings along the canyon.
For several years now Kaminski has run a bicoastal operation, with East Coast sales in Beverly and on the West Coast in La Jolla and Los Angeles, Calif. Continental and other material culled from California collections and not seen readily in New England appeared in the most recent sale, and brought some strong money from the assembled crowd of bidders.
The first auction in the firm’s new state-of-the-art auction gallery brought more than $1 million in sales.
One of the highlights was a Nineteenth Century French plum mahogany two-part cabinet on stand from a Beverly Hills collection, which sold for $34,500. The cabinet, signed “Millet a Paris,” was made with ormolu mounts and a painted scenic door, and the stand, also with ormolu mounts, had a Wedgwood jasperware plaque. Another highlight was the French Napoleon III-style tulipwood and amaranth long case clock with ormolu mounts that sold for $34,500. The porcelain dial was signed “Jacques Almar” and the case bore the label “E. Kahn, France.”
A Twentieth Century Napoleon III-style rosewood center table with glittering gilt bronze mounts and a top with a central Sevres-style plaque depicting Louis XVI surrounded by plaques depicting ladies of the court brought a robust $31,050. The base was decorated elaborately with gilt bronze piping cherubs.
Clocks of particular interest included a mid-Nineteenth Century Napoleon III three-piece gilt bronze garniture with a clock stamped, “Ls Japy Fils/Medailles d’argent/1844‱849” and numbered 822; it sold for $14,950. The clock was set within a base supporting a group comprising a classical female and two cupids with a garland of flowers. The figural candlesticks also featured a classical figure. A Nineteenth Century French clock mounted atop an ebonized bronze elephant was stamped “E.P. Depose” and brought $10,063. An English example, an Eighteenth Century tall clock with chinoiserie decoration was signed on the dial, “John Wale/Wopping,” [sic] and realized $4,025.
Other elaborate French offerings included a Nineteenth Century French cabinet inlaid with bronze, mother of pearl and ivory with ormolu mounts and a marble top that came from the collection of descendents of French aristocrats and went for $5,750. A Nineteenth Century Louis XVI-style rosewood upright piano with bronze ormolu mounts, including likenesses of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, and Sevres porcelain medallions of putti sold for $5,750. Metal labels attached to the piano indicated that it came from the Parisian Maison F. de Romden and that it had been at one time the property of the Baloyan family.
A Nineteenth Century tulipwood pier table with ormolu mounts and cut brass inlay by Parisian maker Henry Dasson was signed and dated 1886 and sold for $8,625, while a Sevres gilt and enamel covered urn, circa 1900, with the marks for the Chateau des Tuileries brought $7,475.
Italian furniture and decorations included a Seventeenth Century carved and painted pair of Venetian columns that sold for $10,350 and an Eighteenth Century Venetian three-drawer chest with elaborate painted floral decoration on a green ground, which brought $9,200. A late Nineteenth Century Italian neoclassical painted and decorated two-drawer chest was decorated with images of slightly ribald classical figures and sold in the gallery for $4,888. Then there was an Eighteenth or Nineteenth Century Venetian eglomise mirror with extensive reverse painting of a woman with a floral surround that brought $5,463.
An Eighteenth Century Chinese Chippendale mahogany kneehole desk from a California collection retained the original fancy brasses and sold for $8,050, and a Nineteenth Century Chippendale mahogany breakfront in the Chinese style made $6,900. A late Nineteenth Century pair of huanghuali wood horseback folding armchairs carved with dragons with later leather seats was $4,313.
“Boy and Bird,” a bronze figural fountain by the Twentieth Century Russian-born sculptor Bashka Paeff, brought $10,350. Paeff, who worked in Boston, created a number of public pieces, including the original of this example, which is in the Public Garden in Boston. She worked in the nearby Park Street subway station when she was inspired to create “Boy and Bird.”
A bronze figure of a recumbent piping Pan by Twentieth Century Massachusetts sculptor Richard Henry Recchia sold for $6,900, and a 1908 bronze, “Appeal to the Great Spirit,” by the English-born New York sculptor Charles Henry Humphriss brought $6,325. A Nineteenth Century 55½-inch Carrara marble of Venus acquired in Italy in the 1950s realized $4,600.
Fetching $5,750 was an Egyptian carved figure of a woman’s head. Catalog notes indicated that it was acquired in Egypt by the Napoleonic general Jean Lannes sometime between 1800 and 1810. Another example of an Egyptian carving of a woman’s head with glass eyes came from the same source and sold for $5,175.
A Nineteenth Century pair of 43-inch Italian neoclassical gesso and giltwood pedestals with draped swags sold for $4,600.
Art glass was represented by a 9½-inch Tiffany vase signed “L.C. Tiffany Favrile 4660E” that fetched $2,645 from an online buyer, and a Galle cameo glass vase in brilliant blues and greens with a large insect was a good value at $1,150.
Of the paintings for sale, “Marriage sur le Ponte Vecchio,” a signed expressionist oil on canvas by contemporary artist Theo Tobiasse, led the action when it sold for $23,000. Two views of Venice by Twentieth Century Russian artists included one by Georgy Alexandrovich Lapchine that sold for $12,950 and “Ponte-Mizacoli Venezia” by Constantin A. Westchiloff that brought $10,925.
Nineteenth Century French artist Etienne Adolphe Piot’s portrait of a coy young woman reading a book sold for $20,700.
An Eighteenth Century Dutch floral still life with a squirrel by J. van Pielier came from a California collection and sold for $18,400. A Seventeenth Century Florentine still life with flowers brought $17,250.
“There They Go,” a sentimental 1891 scene with a mother and child admiring gold fish in a pond by English artist George Sheridan Knowles, also from a California collection, was $18,400. An autumn landscape by George Inness was signed and brought $17,250. “Leisure Moments,” an oil on board scene of a mother and two children playing, by English artist Laura Knight sold for $16,100. In 1929, Knight became the first woman artist to be awarded the Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
A watercolor, pen and pencil portrait of a woman (Jeanne) by Amedeo Clemente Modigliani feteched $12,950.
An early Nineteenth Century portrait of an Indian gentleman in western dress bore the label of G. Rowney and Company 51 Rathbone Place in London and was signed indistinctly. It drew $11,500. A Nineteenth Century scene of an Eighteenth Century courting scene by Italian artist Pio Ricci was $11,500.
Ten plaster cast medallion plaques depicting battles of the Napoleonic wars in which Russia prevailed, after casts by Count Feodor Petrovich Tolstoy, sold for $6,613. A similar set was exhibited at the Royal Academy in the early Nineteenth Century and another is in the collection of the British Museum and has been on view at the Pavlovsk Palace Museum in St Petersburg.
One lot of 28 glazed tiles comprising a central medallion with a colorful and detailed depiction of an historic encounter between a Persian warrior and perhaps a Muslim fetched $6,325.
An early Eighteenth Century Russian icon of Our Lady of Smolensk from the estate of a Boston lawyer sold for $6,325.
Among the selection antique of rugs and carpets was a Persian Serapi, 9 feet 3 inches by 11 feet 5 inches, that sold for $18,400; bringing the same price was a mid to late Nineteenth Century Persian Serapi Heriz, 10 feet 10 inches by 17 feet 9 inches.
All prices reflect the 15 percent buyer’s premium. For information, 978-927-2223 or www.kaminskiauctions.com .
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