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MFA Nets Mary Todd Lincoln Jewelry at Kaminski’s

05-15-2008 08:58 AM CET | Arts & Culture

Press release from: Kaminski Auctions

/ PR Agency: Fusco & Four
Mario Carreno

Mario Carreno

(Beverly, MA) - Kaminski Auctions’ Spring Fine Art and Estates Auction, held April 26-27 under the tent at Kaminski Auctions in Beverly, was a success, with many items selling well above original estimates. An impressive array of antiques, collectibles, furniture, decorative accessories and jewelry hailed from estates in Salem, Hamilton, Swampscott and beyond. (All prices reflect a 15% buyers premium)

A remarkable 3-piece suite of jewelry, previously owned by First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln, wowed auction goers. The set consisted of a pair of yellow gold diamond earrings with a matching brooch, containing 58 old mine cut diamonds with approximately 4.70 carats total weight. Both historically and intrinsically valuable, the jewelry descended in the family of Robert Allen, Jr. A feverish bidding war culminated in a sale to the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, with a final price of $24,150.

Topping the auction was a painting by renowned Cuban artist Mario Carreño, Concierto de Guitarra, 1946, which brought an astounding $253,000. Carreño, originally from Havana, Cuba, has lived and worked in Spain, Mexico, Paris, New York and Chile. His work, predominantly abstract in style, is highly sought-after.

Bidders swooned over a painting by Cape Cod artist Ralph Eugene Cahoon. Housed in an octagonal metal leaf frame made by the artist, Sirene’s Tonsorial Parlor illustrates Cahoon’s penchant for mermaids as subject matter. This highly collectible painting fetched a final price of $43,700.

Furniture was also in high demand at the sale. An 18th Century Chippendale mahogany chest highlighted the furniture category of this two-day auction. Standing 31” high with four drawers, the piece realized an impressive $34,500. Also featured was a rare 18th Century Italian walnut secretary desk from the Clark family (Clark Thread Company) of Manhattan, NY. The desk, which boasts a checkered inlay writing top with a serpentine front, brought a final price of $24,150.

Surprise headliners of the auction included a pair of 19th Century Belter rosewood sofas, originally estimated $2,000-$4,000, which realized $11,500; a 20th Century Rebecca Cauman sterling silver cranberry glass bowl, estimated $300-$400, which brought $4,945; and a lithograph, Native Son, by Afro-American artist John Wilson that fetched a final $5,460, decimating its original estimate of $250-$350.

“I’m thrilled with the turnout for our first outdoor auction of the season,” comments Frank Kaminski, owner of Kaminski Auctions. “A selection of top-notch consignments, combined with the idyllic weather, really made for an exciting auction.”

Kaminski Auctions’ next takes place May 31 – June 1, 2008 and will feature fine art, antiques and collectibles from estates spanning across New England to the West Coast.

Editor’s Notes:
• Additional photos are available on request.
• Interviews with Frank Kaminski are encouraged and can be arranged.
• On-site media coverage of the auction action is invited.

Press Contact:
Joshua Payne
Fusco & Four

About Kaminski Auctions
Kaminski Auctions, headed by Frank Kaminski, specializes in appraising and auctioning fine art and antiques. As part of a complete estate service package, Kaminski provides expert appraisals, local and national advertising for all sales, competitive fees, itemized accounting of all transactions for heirs and representatives. In addition to full estate auctions, Kaminski accepts partial estate liquidations, as well as individual pieces and collections for consignment. The firm's extensive clientele includes museums, historical societies, corporations, non-profit organizations and private individuals. In early 2007, Kaminski launched a second operation in San Diego, California. For information, visit or call 978-927-2223.

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