Ulysses S. Grant estate items to cross the block March 27-28

BOSTON — Kaminski Auctions has announced its March Estates Auction. The auction features fine art, antiques and a premier selection of historical items from the San Diego estate of the Grant family, descendants of United States President Ulysses S. Grant. The auction takes place March 27-28, 2010 at Woodman’s Function Hall, Rt. 133 Main Street, Essex, Mass. Bidding commences at 11 a.m. each day and auction previews are scheduled March 26, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. and on the days of the auction from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. Live online bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers. Visit www.KaminskiAuctions.com for information.

Highlighting this two-day auction is a circa 1860s Japanese lacquered tea box (estimate $10,000-$15,000), originally owned by the Grant family. The box was presented to the First Family by the Emperor of Japan and bears two inscriptions: “Grant” on the box’s top and “Mrs. U. S. Grant” on its interior. The piece boasts four gilt legs, carved to resemble dragons’ heads. Adorning the sides of the box is a scene depicting a number of servants carrying a wealthy individual in a golden litter (a popular form of transportation in Japanese antiquity).

A Tiffany & Co. carriage clock (estimate $7,500-$12,500) is also part of the Grant family estate. According to an inscription on the clock, Ulysses S. Grant presented the stunning brass timepiece as a gift to his wife Julia D. Grant on June 1, 1881. It was then passed down through subsequent generations of the Grant family and makes its auction debut at Kaminski’s March sale. The clock is in fine condition, with only a light complementary patina in the crevasses of its brass construction. It is encased on four sides by fine French beveled glass, through which its intricate clockwork mechanisms are visible.

Also offered is a painting by American artist Charles T. Webber (1825-1911), depicting the president’s father Jesse Grant with his young son Ulysses in uniform. The painting, housed in an ornate gilt frame, offers a rare glimpse in to the childhood of the 18th President. Webber was well known for his skillfully painted portraits and historical scenes. His most famous piece, “The Underground Railroad,” served as a tribute to abolitionists and is held at the Cincinnati Art Museum.

“These beautiful objects from the Grant estate are precious artifacts from a fascinating period of American History,” comments Frank Kaminski, owner of Kaminski Auctions. “The pieces have stood the test of time, preserved with loving care by the descendants of one of America’s great leaders.”

Photos courtesy Kaminski Auctions.