Qianlong Starry Glass Mountain Sets Record at Kaminski's March Fine Asian Art and Antique Auction

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Qianlong and Qing Dynasty pieces soared above their high estimates at the March 30th Fine Asian Art and Antiques sale at Kaminski Auctions.

18th C., Starry Glass Mountain

18th C., Starry Glass Mountain

Prices for exciting and rare glass, ivory, bronze, and ceramic items soared above their high estimates at the March 30th day long Fine Asian Art and Antiques Auction at Kaminski.

The top lot of the day brought in phone and online bidders from around the world for competitive bidding. The auction hall audience and staff watched as the bidding for Lot 4236, a carved starry glass mountain, climbed well above the original estimate of $12,000 to finally settle at a record-setting $65,520. The glass mountain with a Qianlong mark was carved in the form of three rams on a rocky outcrop and set on a huanghuali wood stand. It came to Kaminski Auctions from the collection of a Boston College Professor, and stood only 6 ½ inches tall.

Despite the small scale of the mountain, the piece carries great historical significance and auspicious meaning. “Starry glass,” was a form of glass making newly developed in the eighteenth century, when artists added gold dust to give the glass its entrancing shimmer. Research done prior to the sale at Kaminski Auctions indicates that only one other starry glass mountain in this form has been sold at auction. The three rams that surround the mountain are known as sanyang and indicate that the New Year will bring a change of fortune.

A pair of monumental elephant tusks that became a focal point of the Kaminski gallery in the weeks leading up to the sale also garnered significant bidding attention. The tusks, complete with original documentation of their legal capture, towered above visitors at seven feet three inches tall, and each weighed over 100 pounds. The pair, after much competition, sold for $54,990.

A pair of equally large and impressive sixty-six inch tall huanghuali lanterns was also among the top lots of the sale. The pair of lanterns came from the Qing Dynasty and featured intricate carvings of clouds, monkeys, dragons, and coins, and sold for $25,740.

Kaminski’s sale also featured two high selling rhinoceros horn items. Lot 4378 included an antique pair of rhinoceros horns mounted in sterling silver that sold for $32,400. A pair of rhinoceros horn inkwells also sold well, fetching $13,200.

A beautiful pair of bronze vessels in the form of decorated elephants carrying vases on their backs also captured the interest of the audience. The Qing Dynasty pieces sold to an internet bidder for $25,200. A thangka from eighteenth or nineteenth century Tibet also sold above estimate at $19,890. The finely painted cloth featured the Shakyamuni Buddha in the center surrounded by guardians and Luohan.

Fine Asian furnishings also performed well. A pair of zitan chairs with distinctive cut out designs and back slat panels with intricately carved flowers fetched $17,000. Another pair of chairs, with horseshoe shaped woven seats and floral carved back panels, sold for $9,500.

With the closure of this record setting Asian sale, Kaminski Auctions looks forward to its next Fine Asian Arts and Antiques Auction, to be held on June 22, 2013.


Kaminski Auctions, located on the North Shore of Boston, has been serving the New England antiques market for over 25 years as a full service auction house and appraisal service for fine art, antiques and estates.

With two locations in Beverly, Massachusetts, including a new state of the art auction gallery located at 117 Elliott Street, and a historic 1850’s barn and office facility at 564 Cabot Street, Kaminski Auctions hosts 25 auctions a year.

In today’s highly competitive market of fine art and antiques, Kaminski Auctions provides its customers with bicoastal services and marketing with west coast offices in Beverly Hills and San Diego, California.

Kaminski Auctions offers specialty departments in Asian Art and Antiques, Silver, Glass and Lamps, Couture and Vintage Clothing, Photography and Modern Design . We have highly trained and knowledgeable appraisers on staff that will help you determine the true value of your antiques, or entire collections. Free Appraisal days are offered every Tuesday from 10:00am-4:30pm at our 564 Cabot Street location in Beverly, Massachusetts & our 5171 Santa Fe Street location in San Diego, California. We welcome emailed photos of your items!

Contact Harry Morgan - hmorgan(at)kaminskiauctions(dot)com

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