John Millard Ferren Paintings Soar at Kaminski Auctions February Sale

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Two John Millard Ferren abstract plaster reliefs stole the show at the Kaminski Auctions sale on February 3rd, 2019. Competition for the two pieces that were signed and dated 1937 was intense.

Two John Millard Ferren abstract plaster reliefs stole the show at the Kaminski Auctions sale on February 3rd, 2019. The Internet lit up with bidders, as well as several phone lines. Competition for the two pieces that were signed and dated 1937 was intense. Over fifty bids were recorded on Kaminski Live alone, for the abstract work numbered no. 29, which drove the lot to a stunning $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 reliefs that 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.

In addition to the two Ferren paintings, a winter snow scene by the Philadelphia born artist Antonio P. Martino (1902-1988) sold for $15,000 plus twenty 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 twenty percent buyer's premium.

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 $7500.00 each.

The auction continued with strong prices for jewelry, silver, and select furniture. Kaminski Auctions schedule continues with the March Estate auction on Saturday, and Sunday, March 2nd, and 3rd at their auction gallery at 117 Elliott Street, Rt. 62, Beverly, Massachusetts. For a full schedule and to see all prices realized, visit the website at kaminskiauctions.com.

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Diane Riva
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