Skinner Inc.

Auctioneers and Appraisers of Objects of Value

Antiques and Fine Art Auctions Blog

Skinner expert appraisers and auctioneers discuss antiques, fine art, and collectibles. Keep up on market trends and get collecting tips from antiques experts. Discover the stories behind the art and antiques Skinner offers at auction.

Abrams Original Edition Prints: Early Efforts to Promote Fine Art Photography Collecting

Arnold Newman (American, 1918-2006) Andrew Wyeth, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, 1948, printed 1970s (Lot 101, Estimate $1,000-$1,500)

Arnold Newman (American, 1918-2006) Andrew Wyeth, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, 1948, printed 1970s (Lot 101, Estimate $1,000-$1,500)

In 1972, the publisher Harry N. Abrams announced a program offering thirty limited edition black-and-white prints by ten eminent photographers. Each photograph (in editions of 99) was made from the original negative by the artist, assisted by a master printer from a custom lab. The photographers, representing a range of practices from photojournalism to creative photography, included Wynn Bullock, Eliot Elisofon, Ernst Haas, Philippe Halsman, Ken Heyman, Arnold Newman, Gordon Parks, Marc Riboud, Aaron Siskind, and Howard Sochurek. The project was conceived and directed by Peter Pollack, photo historian, curator, and author of The Picture History of Photography published in 1958. With Abrams Original Editions, noted Pollack, “limited signed editions of the best work by these photo craftsmen can be as successful as limited signed editions of fine etchings and lithographs have been in the art world.” Pollack was interested in providing income to the artists while building a market for fine art photography, adding that “it puts a good value on photographic prints which have been made with painstaking care. It may also prove to be an investment for knowledgeable collectors” (quoted in a feature by Irving Desfor, The Kokomo Tribune, Kokomo, Indiana, September 27, 1972, p. 35).

Gordon Parks (American, 1912-2006) Mademoiselle Victoire Desno, Unemployed Old French Domestic, Paris, 1950, printed 1970s (Lot 102, Estimate $1,000-$1,500)

Gordon Parks (American, 1912-2006) Mademoiselle Victoire Desno, Unemployed Old French Domestic, Paris, 1950, printed 1970s (Lot 102, Estimate $1,000-$1,500)

Our May Fine Photographs auction features two Abrams Original Edition prints: Arnold Newman’s 1948 portrait of Andrew Wyeth in his studio in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania (Lot 101, $1,000-1,500) and Gordon Parks’s depiction of Mademoiselle Victoire Desno, an unemployed domestic worker in Paris from 1950 (Lot 102, $1,000-1,500). Newman is perhaps best-known for making “environmental” portraits that reflect both the physical likeness and the essence or inner being of his sitters. He depicted his subjects in their most familiar surroundings with representative visual elements showing their professions and personalities. As this image of the painter Andrew Wyeth demonstrates, Newman was skilled at expressing complex layers of emotional, psychological, and cultural significance in his portraits. The photographer, filmmaker, writer, and composer Gordon Parks is perhaps best remembered for his efforts to chronicle the African American experience. However, as a staff photographer for Life magazine for over twenty years, Parks produced photo-essays on subjects ranging from poverty to racial segregation to fashion. From 1949 to 1951 he was assigned to the magazine’s bureau in Paris, where he photographed everything from celebrities and politicians to scenes of everyday life, including this portrait of Mademoiselle Desno.

I hope you will take the opportunity to preview these striking portraits alongside other photographs being offered during auction previews on May 11th from 12PM-5PM, May 12th from 12PM-8PM, and May 13th from 9AM-10AM. The Fine Prints & Photographs auction opens for bidding on May 13th at 12PM in our Boston Gallery.

American Indian Art Gallery Talk | May 5 | Boston

Rare and Important Blackfeet Chief's Shirt and Leggings, c. 1830s (Lot 143, Estimate $600,000-$800,000)

Rare and Important Blackfeet Chief’s Shirt and Leggings, c. 1830s (Lot 143, Estimate $600,000-$800,000)

American Indian & Ethnographic Art Gallery Talk

Thursday, May 5

Reception: 5:30PM Gallery Talk: 6PM

RSVP

Join Douglas Deihl for a guided tour of highlights from the May 6th American Indian & Ethnographic Art auction.

Exceptional Plains Indian clothing and objects stand out in the May American Indian & Ethnographic Art auction, highlighted by two masterpieces, a Blackfeet Man’s shirt and leggings, c.… Read More

Works by French and American Masters Highlight Skinner’s American & European Fine Art Auctions on May 13

Roy Lichtenstein (American, 1923-1997)  Reflections on Brushstrokes, from the series Reflections, 1990, edition of 68 plus proofs (Lot 70, Estimate $20,000-$40,000)

Roy Lichtenstein (American, 1923-1997) Reflections on Brushstrokes, from the series Reflections, 1990, edition of 68 plus proofs (Lot 70, Estimate $20,000-$40,000)

BOSTON, MA – April 29, 2016 On Friday, May 13 Skinner, Inc. will host an exceptional two-part auction, kicking off at 12PM with Fine Prints & Photographs and continuing at 4PM with Fine Paintings & Sculpture. The auctions showcase a strong selection of paintings, sculpture, prints, photographs, and works on paper ranging from Old Master prints through Modern and Contemporary offerings.… Read More

Exceptionally Rare & Historic Blackfeet War Chief’s Shirt & Leggings c.1830s

Rare and Important Blackfeet Chief's Shirt and Leggings, c. 1830s (Lot 143, Estimate $600,000-$800,000)

Skinner to offer an historic example of a Blackfeet war chief’s shirt and leggings form the 1830s in its American Indian & Ethnographic sale on May 6, 2016. This will be the first time a complete suit from this period has been available for acquisition in North America in over a century.

First Tuesdays | May 3 | Marlborough

Frank Stella (American, b. 1936) River of Ponds, IV, from the series Newfoundland, 1971, proof outside the edition of 70(Featured in the May 13 Fine Prints & Photographs auction)

Frank Stella (American, b. 1936) River of Ponds, IV, from the series Newfoundland, 1971, proof outside the edition of 70 (Featured in the May 13 Fine Prints & Photographs auction)

Join us for First Tuesdays in Marlborough

Tuesday, May 3 1:30PM – 4PM

Skinner Marlborough Gallery 274 Cedar Hill Street Marlborough, MA

Specialties include Fine Art, Jewelry and American Furniture & Decorative Arts

First come, first served. No appointment necessary. … Read More

Violano-Virtuoso: The World’s Only Self-playing Violin and Piano

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Coin-operated Mills Novelty Violano Virtuoso, No. 3002 (Lot 280, Estimate $15,000-$25,000)

The Violano-Virtuoso was invented by Henry Konrad Sandell, a contemporary of Thomas Edison, who arrived in Chicago via Sweden in 1888 at the age of twelve. In March 1905 Mr. Sandell applied for his patent for an electric self-playing violin. It was granted in December of 1905 and assigned to the Mills Novelty Company. The first instrument produced, the Automatic Virtuosa, only contained the violin.… Read More

Clocks Gallery Talk | April 28 | Marlborough

Louis E. Meyer 'Grand Complication' Skeleton Clock

Simon Willard Mahogany Eight-day Tall Clock, Roxbury, Massachusetts, c. 1795 (Lot 107, Estimate $18,000-$28,000)

Clocks, Watches & Scientific Instruments Gallery Talk

Thursday, April 28

Reception: 5:30PM Gallery Talk: 6PM

RSVP

Join Robert Cheney, Director of Clocks, Watches & Scientific Instruments for a guided gallery talk featuring a forensic look at a Simon Willard Eight-day Clock. This event is free and open to the public.… Read More

Plains Masterpiece Leads Skinner’s May 6 Auction of American Indian & Ethnographic Art

Rare and Important Blackfeet Chief's Shirt and Leggings, c. 1830s (Lot 143, Estimate $600,000-$800,000)

Rare and Important Blackfeet Chief’s Shirt and Leggings, c. 1830s (Lot 143, Estimate $600,000-$800,000)

BOSTON, MA – April 15, 2016 – Skinner, Inc. will host an auction of American Indian & Ethnographic Art at 10AM on May 6 in its Boston gallery, featuring a wide range of art from Africa and Oceania; American Indian material culture from the American Plains, Northwest Coast, Woodlands and Southwest; and related photography, paintings, and other artwork.… Read More

Skinner to Host Historic Arms & Militaria Online Auction, April 21-29

Left Handed Identified Non-regulation Officer's Sword, c. 1865 (Lot 1043, Estimate $1,000-$1,500)

Left Handed Identified Non-regulation Officer’s Sword, c. 1865 (Lot 1043, Estimate $1,000-$1,500)

MARLBOROUGH, MA –Skinner, Inc. will hold an auction of Historic Arms & Militaria featuring  pistols and muskets, historic documents, and antique arms from the time of the American Revolution through World War II.  Items on offer include artillery, swords, pistols, powder horns, uniforms, muskets, and rifles.  The online-only sale will begin on April 21, 2016 at noon and will conclude on April 29, 2016 at 10AM; live previews will be held at Skinner’s Marlborough Gallery on Wednesday, April 27 and Thursday, April 28 from noon to 7PM, and on Friday, April 29 from 8AM to 9:30AM.… Read More

Archaeology at Minuteman Historical National Park: The Parker’s Revenge Project

Left to right back row then front: Jo Balicki, Bill Rose, Corrine Rose, Bill Poole, Ed Hurley, Sheldon Skaggs, Eric Fahey, Meg Watters, Joel Dukes, Doug Scott, Joel Bohy.

As a child growing up in the town of Concord, Massachusetts, I have always had a passion for the history and material culture of the events leading up to the start of the American Revolution. Years ago, I began going to local historical societies trying to find new documentation, as well as objects with a solid provenance to this period. Last year, I had the wonderful opportunity to look into the ground and see if we could find the location of the spot that the Lexington militia arrived on the Battle Road on April 19th 1775 to attack the retreating British column on their return from Concord.… Read More

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