Kaminski May 30-31 maritime auction once again realizes strong prices

BEVERLY, Mass. – Kaminski Auctions’ May Auction, which took place May 30-31, 2009, attracted bidders both locally in Massachusetts and internationally via phone and live online bidding. Day one of this two-day sale featured general fine art, antiques and collectibles, while day two highlighted a diverse selection of maritime antiques and memorabilia. Consignments hailed from estates spanning Massachusetts to Kaminski’s second location in California. (All prices reflect a 15 percent buyer’s premium.)

A pair of rare 19th century English silver salt-cellars stole the show. Each boasts a figural design with shell, butterfly and salamander accents. The salt-cellars are marked Edward and James Barnard, and two accompanying spoons are marked George Angell. Originally estimated $10,000-$15,000, the pieces realized $19,550 after a volley of over 20 bids.

Nautical highlights included a signed and dated painting by artist T.H. Hotchkiss (American 1834-1869). This unusual piece, which features an arched top in a matching carved giltwood frame, measures 13 1/4 inches by 10 1/8 inches and is dated 1859. A Hudson River School painter, Hotchkiss’ painting was completed just one year before he immigrated to Italy. The painting soared above its original estimate of $5,000-$8,000, realizing a final price of $10,350.

History buffs and maritime aficionados swooned over a cased model of the U.S.S. Constitution. The intricately detailed model includes an anchor, bowsprit, masts, boom, kegs and hatches, to name just a few features. Mounted in a wood framed case with a custom table stand, this faithfully executed replica fetched a final price of $2,875.

A selection of rare medallions also proved to be crowd-pleasers. A $3,100 circa 1831 British gold medallion of William IV more than doubled its high estimate at $3,100. A circa-1897 gold Victoria Jubilee medallion realized $3,450. Finally, a French gold medallion of Napoleon III, circa 1855, led the category, bringing $5,750.

“Prices realized were strong across a spectrum of fine art, decorative arts, furniture and collectibles. Many great pieces came in through our Tuesday free appraisal days," commented Frank Kaminski, owner of Kaminski Auctions. “Once again, our annual nautical auction proved to be quite popular with maritime collectors both from New England and across the country. Bidders were eager to take home their very own piece of this region’s rich maritime history.”

For more information, visit www.kaminskiauctions.com.