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Emile Gruppe

Emile Gruppe painting sails to $34,000 at Kaminski Auctions

Emile Gruppe
Emile Gruppe (American, 1896-1978), ‘The Old Timer,’ oil on canvas, 50 x 40 inches, dated 1977. Sold for $34,000. Kaminski Auctions image

BEVERLY, Mass. – The Kaminski Auctions Annual Thanksgiving sale is a favorite of the calendar year. Old friends, dealers and clients that are home for the holiday pass through the auction gallery at the preview or attend the auction. There is a festive atmosphere and both days are always well-attended by families and guests seeking something fun to do after the Thanksgiving feast. This year’s sale, Nov. 24-25, was no different. With a packed gallery, it was exciting to see the spirited bidding from the floor throughout the auction. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.

Paintings and jewelry were plentiful both days although Saturday kicked off with an unusual carved Vicenza stone fountain consisting of three parts, all intricately carved with a feline pedestal bottom, and stone pool with a mystical mask. This historic fountain was installed for Andrew Carnegie II in 1906 at his home in Manchester by the Sea, Massachusetts, and sold for $11,500. Prices do not include Kaminski Auctions’ 25 percent buyer’s premium.

The sale continued with an Andy Warhol (1928-1987), Campbell’s Beef Consommé Soup screen-print in colors on paper, selling for $20,000. The print was rubber stamp numbered 43/250, ink signed and published by Factory Additions, and printed by The Salvatore Silkscreen Co. Originally from the Martin Lawrence Gallery New York and referenced in Andy Warhol Prints, 4th edition by Feldman/Schellmann, Figure 11.52, it was finally hammered down at $20,000.

Emile Gruppe
Andy Warhol screen-print in colors on paper. Sold for $20,000. Kaminski Auctions image

The star lot of the weekend was a recently discovered marine painting by Emile Gruppe (1896-1978), titled The Old Timer. The painting previewed at the October auction of the William H. Trayes Collection held Oct. 21 at the North Shore Artists Association in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and garnered a lot of attention from the Cape Ann audience. The stunning oil on canvas of ships at a Gloucester dock in foggy conditions measured 50 inches by 40 inches and was dated 1977. The painting is thought to be one of the largest works completed by Gruppe. With over six phone lines and others on the floor bidding the oil on canvas rose to $34,000 and was purchased by a determined phone bidder.

American art in the sale continued with a vivid still life of a shotgun and rabbit, oil on canvas by the artist A.F. Tait selling for $15,000 and an F.S. Cropsey, from a California collection of an autumn view on the lake, signed and dated 1887 selling for $12,000. A Howard Logan Hildebrandt, water scene with mother and child, in its original carved giltwood frame, from a  Wenham, Massachusetts, estate sold for $8,500.

The sale continued with Russian and European artists taking the stage with a watercolor and gouache on board by the Russian artist Mstislav Dobuzhinsky (1875-1957), titled White Night, St. Petersburg, showing a view of St. Petersburg across the Neva River which brought $16,000.

Emile Gruppe
Mstislav Dobuzhinsky (Russian, 1875-1957), ‘White Night, St. Petersburg,’ watercolor and gouache on board, 16¾ inches x 12 inches (sight). Sold for: $16,000. Kaminski Auctions image

Russian art continued with strong prices as a Mikhail Marianovich Guermacheff (1868-1930), winter landscape, oil on canvas from a New York, New York, collection brought $13,000,while a Leon Bakst (Russian, 1866-1924), Cleopatra – Costume Study, watercolor on paper, with The Fine Art Society, London, November 1960, label verso sold for $12,000.

European highlights included an Edmond Francois Aman-Jean (French, 1858-1936). A portrait of a French noblewoman marked Mademoiselle V.G., oil on canvas that exhibited at the Paris salon in 1908 brought $9,000, and a Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot (French, 1796-1875), Barbizon landscape with pond sold for $8,000. From the German printmaker Albrecht Durer (1471-1528), The Doctor’s Dream, an engraving on laid paper, circa 1515 brought $8,000 as well.

An important Tiffany & Co. designed sterling trophy with a detailed horse-jumping motif, marked “The International Challenge Trophy” and  “National Horse Show Association of America” sold to the phones for $15,000. The trophy had been presented at the NHSA annual horse show held at Madison Square Garden starting in 1934. It is mounted on a mahogany base with sterling plaques engraved with the various winners from 1934 through 1957. The trophy also included a framed Cartier presentation scroll.

Emile Gruppe
Tiffany & Co. sterling trophy, 23 inches high, approximately 148.7 troy ounces. Sold for $15,000. Kaminski Auctions image

Italian marble statues are a fixture on the Kaminski roster and once again two entries in the auction from a Rome, Italy estate brought significant interest. A 19th-century (or earlier) carved Italian marble of Faun depicting Zeus Ammon (Amon) on a newer stand, measuring 22½ inches high achieved $10,000 while an 18th-century or earlier Greek marble sculpture of a woman’s head mounted on a stone stand sold for $6,000.

Three entries by contemporary glass blower Dale Chihuly achieved excellent results with a giant hand-blown glass macchia bowl, signed and dated 1987, displayed on a lighted Lucite revolving pedestal was hammered down for $10,000. Two additional lots which included a Dale Chihuly hand-blown red Persian sea form sculpture, signed and dated 1999 brought $5,000, while two smaller sea form bowls together with an original New York Botanical poster sold for $3,750.

Emile Gruppe
Dale Chihuly giant hand-blown glass macchia bowl, 1987. Sold for: $10,000. Kaminski Auctions image

Outstanding jewelry collections from Palm Beach and a Martha’s Vineyard estate pieces brought in the dealers and a large audience of woman and men buying for Christmas gifts. On offer were many highly desirable pieces including an 18K white gold diamond and ruby necklace, with 78 straight baguette diamonds in groups of six, approximately G-I color, VS-SI, and 189 straight baguette rubies in groups of four, almost 19.0 carats troy weight which sold for $9,500. A stunning signed Buccellati 18K yellow and rose gold necklace with 15 cabochon sapphires and approximately 58 grams troy weight sold for $8,000.

Tiffany brought strong prices with a signed Tiffany & Co. 18K yellow and white gold necklace with 33 round rubies and 33 heart-shaped clusters of five round diamonds selling for $5,500. A women’s 18K white gold natural ruby ring, with a 2.68-carat center stone, and GIC report sold for $5,750.

Additionally, a signed David Webb, 18K yellow gold and platinum brooch with two cabochon emeralds, approximately 25.0-carat troy weight surrounded by 17 cabochon rubies, and 81 round diamonds brought $5,500.

Other disparate items of interest that sold well included a Carlo Bugatti chair that was hammered down at $6,500 and an elephant folio titled A Natural History of British Birds by William Hayes, 1775, with a dedication to the Duchess of Northumberland. The folio, composed of 36 hand-colored engravings including two double-page engravings, rebound in fine leather with gilt titles. Housed in a presentation box along with original covers and a complete restoration detail inside the case it was hammered down at $5,000. The book had significant provenance that traced it through the Clark family of New Jersey and originally commissioned by George III for the Duchess of Northumberland.

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