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Press Release - May 7, 2021

Estate of Important Nautical Fine Art and Antiques Debuts at Heritage Auctions

The Estate of Kenneth Alan Hill, Sr., offers rare ship models, European art and Decorative Arts across three saless

DALLAS, Texas (May 7, 2021) — Kenneth Hill, Sr., turned his love of the water into a lifetime of collecting. The Fort Worth, Texas, resident and retired pharmaceutical pioneer sought only the finest examples of maritime fine art and antiques to complete a truly outstanding collection.

Ken Hill Fort Worth
From ship models, including a coveted Napoleonic prisoner-of-war ship carved from bone, to masterpiece paintings by Montague Dawson and Franz Richard Unterberger.

"Hill's astute collector's eye pursued objects rarely seen outside of institutions," said Michelle Castro, Director of Trusts & Estates at Heritage Auctions. "His taste was impeccable and now his collection is ready for an entirely new generation of connoisseurs."

"Hill's estate will be presented across three auctions. Highlights first appear in Heritage's Automobilia, Transport History and Mechanical Models Auction, May 25 and an important group of paintings will be offered in the firm's European Art Auction, June 4 and objects of Decorative Art will be offered June 18."

Kenneth Alan Hill, Sr. was born in Texas to a third-generation ranching family in 1941. Growing up in West Texas, Hill and his two brothers worked cattle on a 20,000-acre ranch during the 1940s and 1950s. Hill attended The University of Texas at Austin and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Pharmacy in December 1971.

Ken's waterside residences on Texas' Possum Kingdom Lake and on Miami's Venetian Islands inspired his passion for collecting maritime art and objects. Each house was meticulously curated with the finest antique furnishings and marine style paintings purchased from his travels.

His Miami home included an eclectic mix of Versace furnishings paired with glimmering Venetian scene paintings by Felix Ziem and Antonio Maria de Reyna. Driven by a playful spirit and a love of the sea, Hill blended modern, colorful design with 18th- and 19th-century paintings and rare ship models.

Carved Bone Napoleonic Prisoner-of-War Ship HMS Alexander Model
A number of Napoleonic prisoner-of-war ship models are featured in the May 25 auction. A rare find is a Carved Wood Napoleonic Prisoner-of-War Ship Model (circa 1795-1815) and a Carved Bone Napoleonic Prisoner-of-War Ship HMS Alexander Model (circa 1795-1815). Hill's diverse collection also includes a Presidential Steam Yacht Mayflower Model with Mahogany and Glass Case, a fascinating American Engraved New London Piquot Harbor Lighthouse Powder Horn with Mahogany and Glass Case and an original English, 2-inch Bore Bronze Naval Cannon.

Later in his life, Ken settled into a historic Fort Worth home that exuded sophistication and luxury. In an effort to remain connected to nature, he acquired marine masterpieces by Montague Dawson and Franz Richard Unterberger. Elaborate mirrors, candelabras, fine china and silver graced nearly every room in his palatial estate, but the true showstopper was a pair of bronze patinated horse chandeliers signed by François Linke, one of the most important furniture makers of the late 19th- and early 20th-centuries.

"Ken was a man who let his passions dictate what he collected," Castro said. "The joy he felt out on the water was a feeling he sought to replicate through his art collection."

Among the fine art that embodied his passion for the open sea is Montague Dawson's Night Suspect (1958) (est. $150,000-250,000), which comes to auction for the first time in more than a decade. Two additional works by the artist, The Song of the Sea(1936) and Up Channel are also on offer June 4.

Franz Richard Unterberger artist Santa Maria della Salute from the Grand Canal
Also featured in the European Art Auction is Gondaliers at Esclavons Quay (circa 1865) by Felix Ziem (est. $50,000-70,000). Franz Richard Unterberger's monumental Riviera di Santa Lucia (Naples) (est. $40,000-60,000) is on offer along with two additional works by the artist, including a sweeping view of the Grand Canal titled Santa Maria della Salute from the Grand Canal (est. $30,000-50,000) and Venice Under Sunset (est. $12,000-18,000), in which the artist depicts a highly detailed sunset over a vast expanse of the waterway highlighted by bright white sails of merchant ships on the canal.

An additional highlight of European Art includes Self-portrait with Saskia, 1636, by Rembrandt van Rijn (est. $10,000-15,000).

Breathtaking examples of decorative art, to be presented June 18, range from a Twenty Piece St. Louis Excellence Pattern Stemware Service (est. $3,000-$5,000) and a stunning 202-piece Versace for Rosenthal Porcelain Les Trésors De La Mer Pattern Dinner Service for Twelve, designed 1996 (est. $5,000-$7,000).

For more information on Property from the Estate of Kenneth Alan Hill, Sr., visit

Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world's largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

Heritage also enjoys the highest online traffic and dollar volume of any auction house on earth (source: SimilarWeb and Hiscox Report). The Internet's most popular auction-house website,, has more than 1,400,000 registered bidder-members and searchable free archives of five million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos. Reproduction rights routinely granted to media for photo credit.

Eric Bradley, Director, Public Relations

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