Abstract plaster reliefs impress bidders

Two John Millard Ferren abstract plaster reliefs stole the show at the Kaminski Auctions sale Feb. 3, 2019. The abstract no. 29 sold for $58,000.
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BEVERLY, Mass. — Two John Millard Ferren abstract plaster reliefs stole the show at the Kaminski Auctions sale Feb. 3, 2019. Internet and telephone bidding was lively; competition for the two pieces that were signed and dated 1937 was intense. Over 50 bids were recorded on Kaminski Live alone, for the abstract work numbered no. 29, which drove the lot to $58,000, against an estimate of $20,000-$30,000.

John Millard Ferren plaster relief

John Millard Feren abstract relief no. 29 sold for $58,000, against an estimate of $20,000-$30,000.

The second John Millard Ferren plaster relief numbered No. 33, was bid to $44,000 against an estimate of $40,000-$60,000 with 26 bids recorded.

The two abstract plaster reliefs were most likely a product of John Millard Ferren’s (1905-1970) time in Paris where he studied informally at the Sorbonne and several art academies. He had briefly worked for a company that produced plaster sculpture in his early years in San Francisco.

Working in the 1920s and 1930s his contemporaries included such names as Hans Hoffman, Max Ernst, Joan Miró, and others. In 1938 upon his return to New York City, he became part of a collection of artists labeled the New York School of Abstract Expressionism

Other fine art auction highlights

In addition to the two Ferren artworks, a winter snow scene by the Philadelphia-born artist Antonio P. Martino (1902-1988) sold for $15,000 plus 20 percent buyer’s premium. The oil on canvas, titled ‘Early Snow,’ was signed and dated 1929. Additionally, a vibrant waterfront scene by the Cape Ann artist, Emile A. Gruppe, of fishing boats, nets, and fishermen setting out for the daily catch, titled “Town Landing at Gloucester Harbor,” signed and dated sold for $13,000 plus 20 percent buyer’s premium.

John Millard Ferren plaster relief

John Millard Ferren plaster relief numbered No. 33 was bid to $44,000 against an estimate of $40,000-$60,000. Photo courtesy Kaminski Auctions

A collection of sculptures by Kahlil Gibran, the Lebanese-American, Boston-born artist, and sculptor brought over $18,000 plus buyer’s premium with two individual pieces selling for over $7,500 each. 

The auction continued with strong prices for jewelry, silver, and select furniture.

Kaminski Auctions holds free appraisal days every Tuesday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at 117 Elliott St. (Rt. 62), in Beverly, Massachusetts and by appointment at their West Palm Beach, San Diego and Beverly Hills, California locations.

For a full auction schedule and to see all prices realized, visit kaminskiauctions.com.

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