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Auctioneers and Appraisers

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.

Works by George Nakashima, Pablo Picasso, and Hans Wegner Highlight Skinner’s 20th Century Design Auction, December 15

BOSTON, MA – Skinner’s 20th Century Design auction on December 15 at 12PM features an impressive array of decorative arts and furniture from early 20th century through contemporary design. The auction of over 390 lots presents design collectors and enthusiasts much to appreciate, with strong collections of Art Deco design, mid-century American Modern, Danish mid-century and early 20th-century pieces on the block.


A sampling of late nineteenth-early twentieth century ceramic art tiles from an extensive special collection opens the auction. Many of these exquisite tiles were created by top tile makers of the late nineteenth century, such as, Low Art Tile Works and the American Encaustic Tile Company. Highlighting the collection are four J.G. & J.F. Low seasonal portrait tiles from 1885 (Lot 2, Estimated between $300-500) depicting all four seasons as goddesses and glazed in shades of teal green.

The auction also features a standout selection of playful ceramic plates and bowls by Pablo Picasso, many from the mid-1950s. A colorful visage bowl (Lot 237, $1,000-1,500) hand-decorated in black and green engobes and brick red under glaze highlights the Picasso grouping.


Low Table American Black Walnut New Hope, Pennsylvania, 1976 (Lot 250, Estimate: $20,000-30,000)


Skinner is pleased to offer a group of modern furniture by George Nakashima from several private collections. Nakashima aimed to express the energy of the whole tree through the objects he created, believing that “Trees have a yearning to live again, perhaps to provide the beauty, strength and utility to serve man.” An extraordinary example is a low table, 1976, cut from a slab of American black walnut (Lot 250, $20,000 to $30,000).

Early 20th century furniture offerings are led by a Gustav Stickley sideboard c. 1900, made of steamed oak and iron (Lot 64, $20,000-30,000) and four Emile Galle walnut nesting tables c. 1905 with inlaid marquetry depicting flora and foliate designs, one accented by a butterfly (Lot 31, $2,500-3,500).

Glass & Lighting

The works of Tiffany Studios are a perennial favorite in this auction. Featured among the twenty-six lots on offer are, a Tiffany bronze table lamp with gold favrile glass shades (Lot 57, $6,500-7,500), a Tiffany bronze candlestick c. 1910 (Lot 63, $2,500-3,500), and a Tiffany favrile art glass vase with gold iridescent decoration (Lot 56, $1,000-1,500).

Other highlights among art glass and lighting include a Loïe Fuller François-Raoul Larche Art Nouveau lamp c. 1907 (Lot 27, $12,000-15,000), an English cameo glass art vase (Lot 30, $2,200-2,800) and large selections of French glass by Lalique and Steuben crystal.

Mid Century Modern


Hans Wegner Valet Chair Teak, oak, brass, Johannes Hansen cabinetmaker, Copenhagen, Denmark, c. 1958 (Lot 186A, Estimate: $5,000-7,000)

Buyers and collectors drawn to classic design, beautiful wood, and quality craftsmanship, will be interested in a grouping of furniture by Hans Wegner. Superb creations by Wegner include a teak, oak, brass, valet chair c. 1958 (Lot 186A, $5,000-7,000), as well as five round chairs featuring one of Hans Wegner’s most iconic designs (Lot 177, $3,500-5,500). Other works on offer include designs by Poul Jeppesen, Axel Salto, Arne Jacobsen, Verner Panton, Kofod Larsen, Great Jalk, Hennigsen and Thomas Moser.

Other auction highlights include, but are not limited to:

Art Nouveau Chair, Probably Eugène Gaillard (Lot 26, $12,000-18,000)
Georg Jensen Samovar (Lot 96, $6,000-8,000)
Light Screen Attributed to Frank Lloyd Wright (Lot 87, $5,000-7,000)
Two Gilbert Poillerat Occasional Tables (Lot 138, $4,000-6,000)
Mary Ogden Abbott (1894-1981) Sculptural Panel (Lot 321, $4,000-6,000)

Previews, Catalogs, and Bidding

Auction previews are free and open to the public and held in Boston on Wednesday, December 14 from 12-8PM and Thursday, December 15, from 8-10AM. The print catalog is available for purchase from the Subscriptions Department at Prices realized will be available at during and after the sale. The Skinner website enables users to view all lots in the auction, leave bids, and bid live, in real-time through SkinnerLive!

About Skinner

Skinner auctions draw international interest from buyers and consignors alike, with material regularly achieving record prices. The company’s auction and appraisal services focus on fine art, jewelry, furniture, and decorative arts from around the globe, as well as wine, fine musical instruments, rare books, Asian art, clocks, Judaica, and more. Monthly Skinner Discovery auctions feature a breadth of estate material. Widely regarded as one of the most trusted names in the business, Skinner appraisers have appeared on the PBS-TV series, Antiques Roadshow, since the show’s inception. Skinner has galleries in Boston and Marlborough, Massachusetts, as well as in New York City and Miami, Florida, with bidders participating in person, by phone, and online. Join auctions live with SkinnerLive! and Bidsquare. For more information, visit, find us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.


December First Tuesday | Marlborough

Join us for First Tuesday in Marlborough

Tuesday, December 6 | 1:30PM – 4PM

Skinner experts will provide complimentary verbal auction evaluations during our monthly consignment event on the first Tuesday of each month.

Experts Available in December:

Robert Cheney, Director, Clocks Watches & Scientific Instruments ♦ Jay Dowling, Specialist, Clocks, Watches & Scientific Instruments ♦ Elizabeth Haff, Specialist, American & European Works of Art ♦ Robin S.R.Read More

It’s All About Detail: The Elaine Rush Collection Online, Featuring Folk Art & Funk

Rick Ladd Bottle Cap Chair and Footstool, Bottle caps, painted wood,   glass, metal, Brooklyn, New York, 1990 (Lot 1130, Estimate: $600-800)

Architectural Tramp Art Birdcage (Lot 1092, Estimate: $1,000-1,500)

Funky, quirky, out of sight, wild! Such words are heard repeatedly as people come upon the eclectic Elaine Rush collection in Skinner’s Marlborough gallery as it awaits the online auction that will run from November 30 to December 16.

It’s tempting to call the furniture, accessories, architectural elements, found art and decorative pieces a “cool-ection,”, because cool is the word most often uttered by passers-by.… Read More

Unique Holiday Gifts for Every Gentleman in Skinner’s Online Auction
Through December 7

Silver Cocktail Picks, Mexico (Lot 1005, Estimate: $50-75)

Silver Cocktail Picks, Mexico (Lot 1005, Estimate: $50-75)

BOSTON, MA – It is gift-giving time. Will it be: Another necktie, sweater, and pair of slippers? (Cue the politely suppressed yawn) Or something unique and memorable? (Cue the delighted smile.)

The Gentlemen’s Auction online, opens for bidding from November 28 at 12PM through December 7 at 3PM, offers the better choice. Lots include men’s jewelry and accessories, barware, sporting items, choice spirits, as well as collectibles, antiques and decorative arts with a masculine flair.… Read More

Kashmir Sapphires, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Signed Jewelry Highlight Skinner’s Fine Jewelry Auctions

Art Nouveau Gold, Opal, Peridot, and Enamel Ring (Lot 53, Estimate: $10,000-  15,000)

18kt Gold, Ruby, and Diamond Ring (Lot 454, Estimate: $100,000-150,000)

BOSTON, MA – Skinner, Inc. presents two Fine Jewelry auctions to close out 2016. The live auction on December 6 will feature over 450 lots, including the collection of noted jewelry expert Rita Goodman. The online auction, which is open for bidding until December 7th, features over 200 lots including many signed pieces by Tiffany & Co., Cartier, Bulgari, and Chanel.… Read More

Rare Kiowa Dress and Paiute Beaded Baskets Lead Skinner’s Auction of American Indian & Ethnographic Art, December 1

Inupiaq Carved Wood Mask, c. 19th century (Lot 205, Estimate:   $2,500-3,500)

Kiowa Woman’s Beaded Hide Dress, c. 1870’s (Lot 159, Estimate: $60,000-80,000)

BOSTON, MA – Skinner, Inc. will host an auction of American Indian & Ethnographic Art at 10AM on December 1 in its Boston gallery, featuring a wide range of weavings, pottery, baskets, pre-Colombian art, and objects from the Northeast woodlands, as well as an impressive collection of American Plains Indian material. The auction includes a standout selection of Paiute beaded baskets from The George and Jackie Bernheimer Collection.… Read More

What’s It Worth & Appraisal Day Events | Martha’s Vineyard


What’s It Worth?

Friday, December 2 | 5-7PM

Private Home

Family heirlooms and yard-sale treasures take the stage at this fun-filled evening of antiquarian show and tell. Join friends of the Museum for an open house, as appraisers from Skinner, Inc. identify, comment, and place a value on objects brought by the audience. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be provided, and each guest is invited to bring one item for appraisal. Please omit coins, stamps, jewelry, and musical instruments.$50 per person, reservations required.… Read More

Man vs. Machine: The Timeless Art of Hand Painted Trade Signs

Carved, Black-painted, and Gilt 'RARE BOOKS WILLIAM TODD' Trade Sign, America, late 19th century (Lot 219, Estimate $1,000-1,500)

Painted ‘BOILD EGGS BEANS PIES TEA AND COFFEE…’ Shop Sign, America, late 19th century (Lot 206, Estimate: $3,000-5,000)

The Janie and Peter Gross Collection being offered on November 19 is “the finest and most interesting assemblage of signs that Skinner has offered in many years,” in the words of Stephen Fletcher, Skinner Executive Vice President and Director of American Furniture.

Advertising is an inescapable fact of modern life.… Read More

A Panoramic View of the Town of Boston in 1815

Panel 3.  In the foreground on the Charlestown side, there are four churches which can be identified, from left to right: 1) First Parish on Town Hill Street built 1783, steeple in 1803. 2) Universalist Meeting House in Church Court built 1811. 3) First Baptist built 1810, corner Austin and Lawrence Streets. 4) Abandoned First Baptist, built 1801 and later used by Unitarians and Methodists. Corner High Street and Salem Hill. In the right center of this panel is the Charles River bridge built in 1786 as a result of the efforts of John Hancock who had to guarantee Harvard College two hundred Pounds annually as compensation for the loss of revenue from the ferry.  The most prominent building on the skyline at this point is the State House.

At Skinner we are privileged to be able to offer extraordinary items in all categories of antiques and fine art. Items of great historical importance are also regularly consigned for auction. Sometimes the objects are well known; often they are not or have not been seen for generations. The November 19 American Furniture & Decorative Arts auction features a beautiful watercolor panoramic view of the Town of Boston (Lot 2) that has been lovingly housed in a private collection since World War II.… Read More

What to Collect: Contemporary Folk Art

Three Contemporary Folk Art Polychrome Carved Figures (Lot 3, Estimate $200-300)

James Eaton Polychrome Metal Weathervane Sculpture, America, 2002 (Lot 4, Estimate: $800-1,200)

The objects of everyday life, folk art, are the carved and decorated objects (weathervanes, whirligigs, and paintings) often made outside of urban areas by itinerant or self-taught artists and craftspeople. These naive and sometimes primitive objects are often colorful, highly individual and whimsical interpretations of utilitarian or decorative forms.… Read More

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