web analytics
September 17, 2014 / 22 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Home » Sections » Arts »

Judaica Auctions

Kestenbaum Russian Jewish Couple 19 cent Lot 431

Kestenbaum Russian Jewish Couple 19 cent Lot 431

Dear Readers,

Several Judaica auctions took place in New York and Israel during the month of March – we are fortunate that in the last 20 or so years two auction houses were established that specialize in Jewish Ceremonial Art and books.

The Kestenbaum Company is the oldest.  Daniel Kestenbaum, originally from London, came to Swann Galleries in 1986 as its Judaica expert, a position he held until 1992. In 1995 he opened his own auction house where he specialized mostly in books, manuscripts and illustrated material, however, in the last few years he began acquiring significantly more Jewish ritual art.

In 2012 Kestenbaum obtained 19 magnificent objects to be auctioned, consigned by the Jewish Historical Society of England.

Every piece in this sale was important but the showstoppers were: an 18th century filigree spice tower with six figures of Jews holding various ritual objects, it sold for over $400,000 to a dealer/collector, and an 18th century festival goblet from Augsburg Germany, with four engraved figures of Jews also holding various ritual objects pertaining to the four main holidays. We had the winning bid at $65,000.

Kestenbaum & Company’s March auction featured several very important items, among them a celebrated portrait of Rav Yom Tov Lippman, the Tosfos Yom Tov, which realized ten times its estimate and sold for $120,000.

A contemporary miniature Torah Scroll (2 inches tall) sold for $140,000 (we own the oldest miniature Torah Scroll; it’s in a magnificent silver Ark which will be on exhibit in our galleries in 2014).

Another winning lot: the first Jewish Prayer book in German, published in America, with a presale estimate of $8-10,000 – it sold for $50,000!

A manuscript of Chief Rabbi Shmuel Salant fetched $28,000 amid many other books and manuscripts.

Among the ritual objects, a magnificent Russian Chanukah lamp from Zitomir estimated at $100-120,000 did not find a buyer, but subsequently came to us. Some Bezalel objects, always very desirable, sold briskly; two rare Russian “Gardener” porcelain figures of a Jew and Jewess made in Moscow (circa 1880) sold for $8,000.

The Jonathan Greenstein Judaica Auction house is owned by Jonathan Greenstein, a recognized expert in the Judaica field. His March auction featured many important items in the painting and ritual art sections.

A beautiful silver filigree “Baal Shem” Chanukah lamp sold for $16,000 ( I will elaborate a bit more on these lamps in an upcoming article); a rare Folk Art Torah Ark from a “rebbishe”  provenance sold for $22,000; and a large 18th century filigree spice tower sold for $15,000 – very reasonable for this type of piece.  A very rare and important pair of Rimonim (Torah Finials) from Charleston, South Carolina realized $31,000 – a very low price for a 19th century piece of American Judaica.  An extremely rare Augsburg 18th century Sukkot goblet brought $26,000; a unique silver Vienna 1869 spice box realized $13,000 and a Havdallah Compendium by the famous silversmith B. Friedlander sold for $24,000 (double the presale estimate).

The highlight of the auction was a superb and extremely rare ram-shaped silver spice container (very similar to the one in the Kiev Jewish Museum, and probably by the same maker) which brought $36,000.

It’s now appropriate to mention the “Granddaddy” of Judaica auctions in New York – Sotheby’s.  It inherited a Judaica department from the venerable Park Bernet Galleries sometimes in the 1970s.  Sotheby’s runs only one single auction a year, usually in December – except for private collection sales such as the Michael Steinhardt collection in April 2012.

The last Sotheby’s auction in December 2013 had many important and rare items, but I will only mention a few: a pair of miniature gold Torah Finials, early 20th century, and a magnificent pair of Bezalel Rimonim which sold for $62,500.  There was an important Montefiore item: a beautiful silver gilt Candelabrum dedicated to D.W.Wire Esq for having accompanied Sir Moses on his mission to the East – it fetched $46,700.  A rare English Silver Sabbath Lamp (circa 1812) sold for $57,500.  The highlight was a splendid Nuremberg silver spice tower from 1730. The estimate was $70-100,000 and sold for $227,000 – more than double the estimate.

About the Author: Romanian-born Peter Ehrenthal came to the States in 1957. He and his son have owned one of the finest Judaica galleries in the world since 1973.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Judaica Auctions”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Gidon Saar Resignation Announcement
Minister Gidon Saar Unexpectedly Announces Resignation
Latest Sections Stories
Ganz-091214-Fifty

Today, fifty years and six million (!) people later, Israel is truly a different world.

Goldberg-091214

There will always be items that don’t freeze well – salads and some rice- or potato-based dishes – so you need to leave time to prepare or cook them closer to Yom Tov and ensure there is enough room in the refrigerator to store them.

Women's under-trousers, Uzbekistan, early 20th century

In Uzbekistan, in the early twentieth century, it was the women who wore the pants.

This is an important one in raising a mentsch (and maybe even in marrying off a mentsch! listening skills are on the top of the list when I do shidduch coaching).

While multitasking is not ideal, it is often necessary and unavoidable.

Maybe now that your kids are back in school, you should start cleaning for Pesach.

The interpreter was expected to be a talmid chacham himself and be able to also offer explanations and clarifications to the students.

“When Frank does something he does it well and you don’t have to worry about dotting the i’s or crossing the t’s.”

“On Sunday I was at the Kotel with the battalion and we said a prayer of thanks. In Gaza there were so many moments of death that I had to thank God that I’m alive. Only then did I realize how frightening it had been there.”

Neglect, indifference or criticism can break a person’s neshama.

It’s fair to say that we all know or have someone in our family who is divorced.

The assumption of a shared kinship is based on being part of the human race. Life is so much easier to figure out when everyone thinks the same way.

Various other learning opportunities will be offered to the community throughout the year.

More Articles from Peter Ehrenthal
Silver - Persia, 19th century.

While the Torah categorically forbids the practice of magic and sorcery, the type of magic that utilizes the many mystical

Chanukah lamp, Russia 19th century (2)

Synagogue ritual art is also abundant but for various reasons not usually collected.

A new generation of Sabra artists have come to the fore, creating imaginative and attractive pieces of arts.

The highlight of the auction was a superb and extremely rare ram-shaped silver spice container (very similar to the one in the Kiev Jewish Museum, and probably by the same maker) which brought $36,000.

Collecting Jewish antiques entails a bit of dedication as well, as there are many different categories of art that we have to deal with.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/arts/judaica-auctions/2014/05/02/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: