BEVERLY, Mass. – Prices for exciting and rare glass, ivory, bronze, and ceramic items soared above their high estimates at the March 30 day-long Fine Asian Art and Antiques Auction at Kaminski.
LiveAuctioneers.com provided Internet live bidding.
The top lot of the day brought in phone and online bidders from around the world for competitive bidding. The auction hall audience and staff watched as the bidding for Lot 4236, a carved starry glass mountain, climbed well above the original estimate of $12,000 to finally settle at a record-setting $65,520. The glass mountain with a Qianlong mark was carved in the form of three rams on a rocky outcrop and set on a huanghuali wood stand. It came to Kaminski Auctions from the collection of a Boston College professor, and stood 6 1/2 inches tall.
Despite the small scale of the mountain, the piece carries great historical significance and auspicious meaning. “Starry glass,” was a form of glassmaking newly developed in the 18th century, when artists added gold dust to give the glass its entrancing shimmer. Research done prior to the sale at Kaminski Auctions indicates that only one other starry glass mountain in this form has been sold at auction. The three rams that surround the mountain are known as sanyang and indicate that the New Year will bring a change of fortune.
A pair of monumental elephant tusks that became a focal point of the Kaminski gallery in the weeks leading up to the sale also garnered significant bidding attention. The tusks, complete with original documentation of their legal capture, towered above visitors at 7 feet 3 inches tall, and each weighed over 100 pounds. The pair, after much competition, sold for $54,990.
A pair of equally large and impressive 66-inch-tall huanghuali lanterns was also among the top lots of the sale. The pair of lanterns came from the Qing Dynasty and featured intricate carvings of clouds, monkeys, dragons and coins, and sold for $25,740.
Kaminski’s sale also featured two high selling rhinoceros horn items. Lot 4378 included an antique pair of rhinoceros horns mounted in sterling silver that sold for $32,400. A pair of rhinoceros horn inkwells also sold well, fetching $13,200.
A beautiful pair of bronze vessels in the form of decorated elephants carrying vases on their backs also captured the interest of the audience. The Qing Dynasty pieces sold to an Internet bidder for $25,200. A thangka from 18th or 19th century Tibet also sold above estimate at $19,890. The finely painted cloth featured the Shakyamuni Buddha in the center surrounded by guardians and Luohan.
Fine Asian furnishings also performed well. A pair of zitan chairs with distinctive cutout designs and back slat panels with intricately carved flowers fetched $17,000. Another pair of chairs, with horseshoe shaped woven seats and floral carved back panels, sold for $9,500.
View the fully illustrated catalog for Kaminski Auctions’ Fine Asian Art and Antiques Auction on March 30, complete with prices realized, at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.
ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE