Treasures surface at Kaminski’s annual maritime auction: Historic bowsprit reaches $9,200

Kaminski Auctions’ Annual Maritime Auction, held Saturday, Aug. 8 under the tent at Kaminski’s Beverly location, was a success with many items selling above original estimates. Enthusiastic auction-goers enjoyed beautiful weather at the auction, which featured nautical consignments from estates in Massachusetts and beyond. A general estate auction followed on Sunday, Aug. 9, offering a medley of rare and valuable fine art, antiques and collectibles. All prices reflect a 15 percent buyer’s premium.

The prized lot of the maritime auction was a historic bowsprit, carved in the likeness of Admiral Oliver Hazard Perry. Perry, a famed officer in the United States Navy, served in the War of 1812 and is renowned for his triumph over British forces at the Battle of Lake Erie. The hand-carved details of the piece uncannily capture the Admiral’s distinct features. The bowsprit, which achieved an impressive $9,200, was originally fitted to a ship sailing out of Salem, Mass.

A ship beacon boasting a polished brass casing also wowed auction-goers. The beacon, once used to guide ships to safe waters, is mounted on a mahogany pedestal. This pristine piece proved highly desirable, reaching a final price of $6,900.

Romance was also in the air at Saturday’s auction. A 19th century sailor’s valentine decimated its original estimate of $600-$900, reaching an astounding $4,025. The whimsical trinket, housed in an octagonal wooden box, features hundreds of hand set shells designed to resemble flowers, hearts and the message “A Present From Barbados.”

A circa 1780 Philadelphia Chippendale tallboy stood out at Sunday’s general estates sale. The piece boasts an intricate shell carving and fluted quarter columns on cabriole legs. Made of walnut, the tallboy stands a prodigious 77 1/2 inches high and has a number of secret drawers.

Sunday’s auction also showcased an authentic Civil War surgeon’s kit, originally owned by Dr. Lewis Whiting of Danvers, Mass. The kit, made by Wade & Ford of New York, contains over 15 original medical instruments. Accompanying the kit are two photographs of Dr. Whiting and a copy of his logs, detailing his service aboard the steamer Virginius. This impressive collection brought a final price of $9,200.

“Our annual maritime auction is one of our most popular events of the year,” commented Frank Kaminski, owner of Kaminski Auctions. “Bidders were eager to own their very own piece of New England’s rich maritime history.”

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