Published: August 7, 2012
Nautical and Americana material drew bidders to Frank Kaminski’s July 14 sale held on the grounds of a large private home overlooking Broad Sound in Boston Harbor. The highlight was an 1803 Salem pair of leather fire buckets decorated with 16 stars above flames and an eagle with the banner of the Washington Fire Club that sold to the trade for $19,200. The buckets belonged to Nathan Foster Safford and descended in his family and were in fine condition, with original paint. The Washington Fire Club was formed in Salem on October 10, 1803.
Another highpoint was the 1814 portrait on wood panel depicting George Williams that brought $10,500. The reverse was inscribed, “The likeness of George Williams taken in Chillicothe A.D. 1814 at the age of 20 years.” Further notations indicate that Williams was the father of Mary B. Williams Harter and the grandfather of Charles W. Harter.
Three ship portraits by Antonio Nicolo Gasparo Jacobsen came to market. An 1889 oil on canvas mounted on board view of a three-masted and three-stack steamer underway sold for $7,800. A 1911 oil on board portrait of the Old Dominion steamer Jamestown flying the flag of the Guyandotte Party, brought $7,200; and a 1911 oil on board view of the steamer Mohawk went for $5,400. A Nineteenth Century oil on canvas scene of ships at sea by James E. Buttersworth realized $8,100.
Three Nineteenth Century ship portraits by American artist William Pierce Stubbs were offered. Friendship under sail sold for $4,800 to buyers under the tent who also paid $4,500 for the oil on canvas portrait of Gracie under sail. Stubbs’ oil on canvas of the Abbie S. Walker under sail sold to a phone bidder for $4,200, and his oil on canvas portrait of an unidentified three masted ship in rough seas had some craquelure and went for $2,700.
An Eighteenth Century French pair of religious paintings on gilt edged panels, which had some warpage, sold for $3,000, while an Eighteenth Century Italian oil on panel portrait of a nobleman brought $2,880.
A late Nineteenth Century China trade painting of the American vessel T.F. Oakes painted at Hong Kong around 1895 sold for $2,040. The painting was accompanied by a note recounting the bravery of the captain’s wife, Hannah Reed, of Haverhill, Mass., who successfully skippered the ship home to New York thorough severe storms around Cape Horn and despite scurvy and the grave illness of her husband, Edward W. Reed.
One contemporary work of interest was the oil on board scene of the yacht America leading the course off the Needles in the 1851 One Hundred Sovereign Cup race around the Isle of Wight. Painted by English artist Brian Coole, it brought $9,000. America won the cup, which has been known since as the America’s Cup.
The hand colored print “Fort George with City of New York” printed for Carington Bowles “at his map and prints warehouse” in St Paul’s Church Yard, London, was dated 1794 and brought $2,160.
Another contemporary piece was entirely different. Bernard Buffet’s abstract oil on canvas still life was unframed and sold on the phone for an above estimate $4,900.
A snowy cityscape with an American flag appeared to be a Twentieth Century scene and was signed indistinctly. Estimated at $600/800, it realized $3,600.
Running in tandem with the auction was a tag sale run by Paula Epler of Melrose, Mass., that sold interesting material that may otherwise have been sold in box lots. Every room in the very spacious house was filled with items of interest. One visitor was pleased to pay $1 for a 1969 edition of Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Simone Beck and Julia Child.
The leader of the furniture lots across the block was the early Nineteenth Century Boston Thomas Seymour mahogany four-drawer chest with half-moon inlay and Benjamin Franklin brass drawer pulls that sold for $8,200. An Eighteenth Century Essex County Queen Anne walnut lowboy with double arch molding and thumbnail edging to the top came from an area estate and realized $3,600. As computers get smaller, owners of slant lid desks should rejoice. An Eighteenth Century Rhode Island Chippendale slant lid desk in plum pudding mahogany brought $2,400, a modest price for such a piece, but slant lid desks are only just beginning to revive. A Boston Chippendale mahogany block front slant lid desk with a fitted interior was missing the knobs of the lid rests and with a few chips on the lid corners brought $1,440.
Silver stars included a seven-piece sterling tea service by Reed and Barton in the “Hampton Court” went to a phone bidder for $6,900. A Philadelphia silver porringer by Francis Richardson realized $6,120, from a different phone bidder. An accompanying note was inscribed “Thomas Burr Woolman, Edith Starr Churchman, Edith Anna Woolman Churchman.” A Nineteenth Century Continental three-piece silver centerpiece with a center bowl and two smaller bowls was approximately 72.8 troy ounces and realized $3,360 against the estimated $1/1,500. A cased lot of 135 pieces of sterling flatware by various makers, in various patterns and some with monograms was approximately 121 troy ounces. It realized $2,880. A lot of 15 sterling articles, including a silver pitcher by Boston smith George Christian Gebelein, a Peruvian tray, a pair of candlesticks by Newbury Crafters, nine nut dishes and a bread bowl fetched $2,760.
A Nineteenth Century English Regency silver covered sauce tureen by Philip Rundell of London sold online for $2,400.
Accessories and miscellaneous objects were attractive. A Canada goose decoy carved and painted by Joseph Lincoln of Accord, Mass., in 1919 brought $4,200. An early Nineteenth Century brass telescope on a tripod stand was marked Amler Coe & Co., Chicago, and Bardou & Sons, Paris, and retained the original box and lenses and realized $3,600. A Nineteenth Century sailor made ivory swift went for $2,880, and a Nineteenth Century whale bone pan, that despite its small size, was engraved with images of two girls, a political figure and a large bird, realized $2,160. A carved ivory hourglass realized $1,800.
A handsome Federal giltwood convex mirror with a carved hippocampus crest went for $2,880, and a Seventeenth or Eighteenth Century Continental carved wood heraldic crest painted with a stylized tree brought $2,640.
The highlight of the Chinese Export offerings was a pair of Rose Medallion porcelain garden barrels that sold online for $4,800. A pair of 17½-inch ivory figures of the Emperor Qianlong and the Empress carved possibly in the Republic period brought $3,600, while another undated pair of ivory figures went for $3,480.
A Grenfell mat depicting two figures, dogs and a dogsled, a ship and snowshoes retained the original Grenfell Labrador Industries label and sold for $2,040. A dagger wrought with a horse and rider on the handle, marked E. Turanni, with a decorated scabbard, was a surprise when it took off and sold for $1,920.
All prices reported include the 20 percent buyer’s premium.
For more information, www.kaminskiauctions.com or 978-927-2223.
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