BEVERLY, Mass. – Kaminski Auctions will hold an estate auction Feb. 2 and 3 starting at 10 a.m. Eastern featuring high-end furnishings from a Biltmore, Palm Beach residence. Painting highlights include a specially commissioned Emile Gruppe waterfront scene, two modernist paintings by John Millard Ferren and a collection of sculptures by Kahlil Gibran, the Lebanese-American, Boston-born artist and sculptor. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.
Cape Ann art collectors will take note of a large Emile A. Gruppe (1896-1978), oil painting of the Town Landing at Gloucester Harbor, signed and dated 1948. A vibrant waterfront scene (above) of fishing boats, nets, and fishermen setting out for the daily catch. The painting hailed from a Gloucester, Massachusetts, collection and was purchased by Gruppe’s lawyer directly from the artist and thence descended within the family. It is conservatively estimated at $12,000-$15,000. There is also a seascape with a boat in the view by the American artist Alfred Thompson Bricher (1837-1908).
The two John Millard Ferren pieces on offer, are abstract plaster reliefs signed and dated 1937 and numbered no. 33 and no. 29. John Millard Ferren (1905-1970) was an American-born painter who was mostly self-educated. In his early 20s, he studied art for a brief time in San Francisco and also worked for a company that produced plaster sculpture. He later apprenticed to a stonecutter. He briefly attended art school in San Francisco. In his 30s, he moved to Paris and went on to study informally at the Sorbonne, and different art academies. Working in the 1920s and 1930s his contemporaries included such names as Hans Hoffman, Max Ernst and Joan Miró.
His paintings were largely abstract works, and on his return to New York City in 1938 he became an integral part of a collection of artists labeled the New York School of abstract expressionism. During his time in Paris, he married the daughter of a Spanish artist, Manuel Ortiz de Zarate. Through his father-in-law and wife, he met the Spanish painters that were working in Paris at the time that included Picasso, Miró and Joachim Torres-Garcia.
In addition to the two Ferren paintings, there is also a Joachim Torres Garcia, harbor scene on offer from a Boca Raton estate. Modern paintings continue with an interior view by the Swiss artist Rene Auberjonois (Swiss, 1872-1957), an abstract composition on board by Antoni Tapies, and a modern composition on board by Luis Martinez Pedro (below).
American art continues with a Frederic Remington watercolor and gouache, signed and dated 1890, titled Comanche Brave from the collection of Ralf Levy of Palm Beach, Florida.
An important collection of sculptures by Kahlil Gibran (American, 1922-2008), the Lebanese-American, artist, and sculptor includes a bronze head of a woman in a collar, signed K. Gibran valued at $3,000-$5,000, a bronze Delphic mask, and a bronze head on painted wood base among others.
Asian highlights include an Indian Kashmir carved stone sitting Buddha from approximately the 10th century. It stands 23 inches high by 13 inches wide and is valued at $5,000-$8,000. There is also a Chinese blue and white porcelain jar from the Kangxi period, with cover and decorated flower pendant from a private New England collection and a large 18th-century Chinese enamel on copper Zun vase decorated with Hundred Deer motif standing 18 inches high from the same collector.
Furniture in the sale features a 19th-century Chippendale mahogany chest-on-chest, with dental carving, bat-wing pulls, and bracket feet from a Plymouth, Massachusetts, collection, a 19th-century mahogany Chippendale bonnet-top chest and an antique Horner Brothers library table with carved griffins and hand-carved top.
From a Rome, Italy, estate comes several marble sculptures including an 18th-century Italian marble torso representing Efebo Romano on a newer marble base, standing 15 inches in height plus base, a 19th-century Italian marble skull with an iron spike on the top to hold a candle, used for Masonic rites, and a carved marble bust on a marble pedestal standing 19 inches overall.
Jewelry and silver entries include a South Sea pearl necklace with a 14K gold clasp and 28 lustrous white pearls measuring 12.5-13.5 mm each and one center pearl measuring 16.9 mm. The 16-inch-long strand is from a Kaunakakai, Hawaii, collection and a sterling silver six-piece tea service by Bailey, Banks & Biddle Co., in the Paul Revere pattern.
A collection of antique and semiantique Persian Kazvin, Bibi Kabad, Kashan, Heriz, and Shirvan rugs from various estates, scrimshaw, coins and decorative furnishings are also offered.