Italian marble skull shocks Kaminski Auctions at $29K

Italian marble

Nineteenth-century carved Italian marble sculpture of a shrouded skull, unsigned. Hammer price realized: $29,000. Kaminski Auctions image

BEVERLY, Mass. – Kaminski Auctions held a highly successful summer auction on the weekend of July 14-15 at their gallery. The top lot of the sale was an early 19th-century marble sculpture of a carved skull, which came from an estate in Rome. With an estimate of $3,000-$5,000, the 22½-inch statue was hotly contested both on the phones and Internet before being finally hammered down at $29,000 plus the buyer’s premium. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.

A beautiful pair of circa 1950 platinum, diamond and cabochon ruby earrings (below) with approximately 32 grams troy weight from a West Palm Beach, Florida, estate sold to a LiveAuctioneers bidder for $8,000 against an estimate of $2,500-$3,500. (Prices quoted are exclusive of the buyer’s premium.)  A vintage Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust calendar wristwatch in original condition sold for $6,000.

Italian marble

Pair of circa 1950 platinum, diamond and cabochon ruby earrings. Hammer price realized: $8,000. Kaminski Auctions image

Paintings from the collection of David and Janet Grey of Wenham, Massachusetts, were featured in the sale and there was active bidding on all of their entries. In particular, a genre painting of a mother and daughter at the water’s edge by Pennsylvania artist Howard Logan Hildebrandt sold for $8,000.

Italian marble

Howard Logan Hildebrandt, oil on canvas. Hammer price realized: $8,000. Kaminski Auctions image

The Cape Ann paintings from the collection sold well with local collectors coming to preview and bid on Sunday. A Max Kuehne, Rockport Harbor from the Headlands, oil on canvas, with its original Max Kuehne hand-carved silver leaf frame achieved $7,500. Other paintings from the collection that sold within their estimates included David Hatfield’s Spring Smith Street, with a North Shore Art Association label, and Ken Knowles’ View from Governors Park Gloucester.’  A landscape painting by Paul Strisik ANA, titled Autumn Jewels, and a Wayne Morrell landscape of Spring Stream Jeffersonville, Vt., both achieved $3,250.

Italian marble

Max Kuehne, ‘Rockport Harbor from the Headlands.’ Hammer price realized: $7,500. Kaminski Auctions image

California paintings from the collection also garnered a lot of interest on the Internet with a Ray Roberts, Winter Sun, oil on canvas mounted on wood panel selling for $3,350. From a West Palm Beach estate an Emile Gruppe, oil on canvas winter scene of a woodcutter sold for $4,500.

A circa 1865 deck of playing cards, complete with 52 cards, made by the A. Dougherty Co. of 26 Beeker St., New, York, sold for $3,250 to an avid Civil War collector. The rare set of playing cards was described as an Army and Navy Civil War deck of playing cards, titled The Monitor and the Merrimac.  The Ace of Monitor card read, “To Commemorate the Greatest Event in Naval History, the Substitution of Iron for Wood.”  The four suits included the Monitors, Merrimacs, Soaves and Drummers.

Italian marble

Complete 52-card deck of Civil War-era playing cards made by the A. Dougherty Co. Hammer price realized: $3,250. Kaminski Auctions image

The top decorative art lot was a portrait of Czar Alexander, oil on porcelain, in a Russian silver Fabergé frame hallmarked 88 (for .916 silver), with marks for the master Michael Perchin (1860-1903), St. Petersburg, Russia. It was finally hammered down for $3,200.

The top furniture lot was a stunning pair of 18th-century Irish Chippendale mahogany side tables with finely carved ball-and-claw feet. They sold for $4,000 plus buyer’s premium.