Skinner Inc.

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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.

Highlights from Skinner’s Upcoming Fine Jewelry Sale

This blog is republished with permission from the blog Jewels du Jour, by guest author Claibourne Poindexter.  

While not one of the big corporate auction houses, Skinner in Boston makes a strong presence in the auction market for Fine Jewelry, holding sales quarterly at their Park Plaza location.

Lot 212 – Important Archive from Descendants of Frank Gardner Hale – Estimate: $3,000 – $5,000

Lot 212 – Important Archive from Descendants of Frank Gardner Hale – Estimate: $3,000 – $5,000

The department head Victoria Bratberg, specialist John Colasacco, and Vice President Gloria Lieberman are known for their expertise in the field of fine jewelry and their willingness to educate and share their knowledge in the jewels they sell, both to their consignors as well as buyers, leading to some stellar consignments in the past.  From the jewels of Hope Goddard Iselin and artist jewelry from the collection of Joan Sonnabend to important singular examples from houses such as Cartier, Chaumet, Mauboussin, Tiffany & Co., and Boucheron, Skinner consistently brings interesting jewels to the auction block.

This particular sale, as with every Fine Jewelry sale at Skinner, has something for every collector at all price points.

Always bringing great antique jewels to light, this sale has several important examples of significant pieces. Highlights include a private collection of jewelry and archive materials from the descendants of Frank Gardner Hale, arguably one of the greatest Arts & Crafts jewelers of all time. Particularly interesting lots from the collection include a pair of gold, silver, and coral ear pendants (LOT 233), a yellow gold and jade clip (LOT 239), and a darling pink tourmaline and gold ring, which would make a terribly chic pinky ring for today’s modern stylish woman (LOT 243).

Lot 467 – Arts & Crafts 18kt Gold, Tourmaline, and Sapphire Necklace, Tiffany & Co. – Estimate: $40,000 – $50,000

Lot 467 – Arts & Crafts 18kt Gold, Tourmaline, and Sapphire Necklace, Tiffany & Co. – Estimate: $40,000 – $50,000

Perhaps the most important lot from the collection is the grouping of archival material including original renderings and photographs from Hale’s studio (LOT 212).  It goes without saying that there will no doubt be competition from educational institutions and private collectors for this unique assemblage of quintessentially American Arts & Crafts jewelry from the early 20th century.

Other important antique pieces include a grouping of three lots of Arts & Crafts jewelry from Tiffany & Company, all probably designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany and coming up for sale from a private New England collection.  Of particular note is a green tourmaline, sapphire, and pearl necklace (LOT 467), which perfectly echoes the colors in some of Mr. Tiffany’s most famous stained glass pieces.  Another two important jewels from the same collection, being sold to benefit the Campaign for Catholic Schools, are the art nouveau plique-à-jour enamel, peridot, and diamond brooch (LOT 462) and an enamel and baroque freshwater pearl iris brooch (LOT 466), both from the venerable but now defunct firm of Marcus & Co.

Lot 662 – Art Deco Sapphire Ring, Tiffany & Co. – Estimate: $20,000 – $30,000

Lot 662 – Art Deco Sapphire Ring, Tiffany & Co. – Estimate: $20,000 – $30,000

For collectors of important jewels from the art deco period through the 1970s, this sale is sure to delight.

Great deco examples include an emerald and diamond bracelet from Black, Starr, & Frost (LOT 250), a diamond, jade and natural pearl tassel necklace (LOT 656), an aquamarine and diamond clip by Cartier London (LOT 648), and a superb Kashmir sapphire ring from Tiffany & Co. (LOT 662)

A particularly special jewel, reminiscent of the all white large carat weight style of the house of Harry Winston, is the 65-carat diamond bracelet (LOT 457), which also happens to grace the cover of the printed catalogue.

Wonderful jet setter jewels from the 60’s and 70’s include a “Dot Losange” bangle bracelet by Schlumberger (LOT 621) which is a fun variation on the classic “croisillon” bangle composed of white and yellow paillone enamel, a wonderful coral and diamond ring by Van Cleef & Arpels (LOT 620), and a particularly unusual amethyst and ruby suite by Black, Starr, & Frost (LOT 591).

Lot 591 – 18kt Gold, Amethyst, and Ruby Suite, Black, Starr & Frost – Estimate: $15,000 – $20,000

Lot 591 – 18kt Gold, Amethyst, and Ruby Suite, Black, Starr & Frost – Estimate: $15,000 – $20,000

Lot 457 – Platinum and Diamond Bracelet – Estimate: $30,000 – $40,000

Lot 457 – Platinum and Diamond Bracelet – Estimate: $30,000 – $40,000

Rounding out the sale are several jewels done by famous artists, a category within the jewelry department that Skinner is strongly known for, including two pieces by Henryk Kaston for Salvador Dali and a brooch done after Pablo Picasso (LOT 609).

Lot 611 – 18kt Gold, Ruby, and Cultured Pearl Lips Brooch, Henryk Kaston, Designed by Dali – Estimate: $6,000 – $8,000

Lot 611 – 18kt Gold, Ruby, and Cultured Pearl Lips Brooch, Henryk Kaston, Designed by Dali – Estimate: $6,000 – $8,000

Lot 610 – Artist-designed Enamel and Gem-set Brooch, Henryk Kaston – Estimate: $6,000 – $8,000

Lot 610 – Artist-designed Enamel and Gem-set Brooch, Henryk Kaston – Estimate: $6,000 – $8,000

The variety in every sale at Skinner makes it one of my favorite places to both browse and shop.  The thrill of the hunt and combination of unique and often times affordable jewels combined with excellent customer service makes it in an undeniably fun experience.

Containing over 650 lots this sale will, without a doubt, be no exception.

Additional highlights include:




September 12 | Asian Art Preview in New York City

Monumental Fencai Flower and Landscape Vase, China, Imperial Qianlong period (Lot 96)
Friday, September 12, 2014, 12-7 PM

Join us for an auction preview during the New York fall Asia Week. View a selection of Chinese art to be offered at the Asian Works of Art auction on September 17, 2014.

The event is free and open to the public.

The Culture Center 410 Columbus Avenue New York, NY 10024

Asian Works of Art

Auction Information

NOTE: Only bidders who have received prior approval from the Accounting Department will be eligible to bid on Lot 96 in Auction 2751B.… Read More

Boston magazine names Skinner, Inc. Best of Boston 2014 – Antiques

Best of Boston 2014

Boston, MA – August 21, 2014 – Skinner, Inc. is pleased to announce that it has been named Boston magazine’s Best of Boston 2014 – Best Antiques. Skinner expert appraisers host auctions of rare, beautiful, and one-of-a-kind objects at 63 Park Plaza in downtown Boston. Featuring everything from jewelry and wine to paintings and furniture, Skinner auctions attract collectors, dealers, and art and design enthusiasts from New England and around the world.… Read More

Uncovering the History of Sleep at the Concord Museum

Grandfather Emerson’s Bedroom, Edward Waldo Forbes, Photograph by David Bohl

Guest blog post by the Concord Museum. Behind Closed Doors: Asleep in New England and Good Night, Sleep Tight: Art from Children’s Literature opens on Friday, October 10, 2014 and will be up through March 23, 2015 at the Concord Museum. 

Sleep is universal. We need it to survive, and people spend approximately one third of their lives in bed. Yet nobody, generally, talks about sleep. The Concord Museum aims to begin this conversation with two upcoming exhibitions that showcase material culture related to sleep.… Read More

Discover Studio Art at Auction, August 21st through 29th

Richard K. Loud (American, b. 1942)  Racing Yacht, c. 1960s.  (Lot 1014, Estimate $3,000-$5,000)

MARLBOROUGH, MA – August 20, 2014 – Skinner is hosting an Online Studio Paintings auction from Thursday, August 21st through Friday, August 29th. Bidders are invited to view all lots in the auction online, or in person at the Skinner Marlborough Gallery on August 26th and 27th.

The online auction features artwork in a variety of media from Old Masters to modern artists. Over 500 landscapes, marine art, portraits, prints, woodcuts, and summer scenes will be offered, along with a collection of Frank Weston Benson prints of birds and sculpture.… Read More

Announcing Bidsquare, the First Online Bidding Platform Created for Collectors by America’s Leading Auction Houses


NEW YORK, August 19, 2014 – In an unprecedented move, six renowned auction houses have joined forces to launch Bidsquare, a new online bidding platform. Bidsquare will provide access to a huge variety of top property from the country’s leading auctions on an intuitive, easy-to-use website and – for the first time ever – allow collectors and auction houses to do business directly in an online forum.

The site, created by Brunk Auctions, Cowan’s Auctions, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, Pook & Pook, Inc., Rago and Skinner, Inc., is a bidding platform where like-minded competitors are coming together for the good of buyers, sellers and auction houses alike.… Read More

Monumental Fencai Vase Leads Chinese Art Auction at Skinner on September 17

Monumental Fencai Flower and Landscape Vase, China, Imperial Qianlong period (Lot 96)

View auction highlights during the New York fall Asia Week

BOSTON, MA – August 18, 2014 – Skinner will hold an Asian Works of Art auction on September 17, 2014 in Boston, focusing on rare and important Chinese art, and featuring a monumental, Fencai, Imperial Qianlong period vase. In addition to the auction preview in Boston from September 14th through 17th, collectors are welcome to a preview on September 12th from noon to 7PM during the New York fall Asia Week.… Read More

Folk Art Carvings Lead $2 Million Americana Auction

Sold for $92,250. Polychrome Carved Indian Princess Tobacconist Figure, Samuel   Robb, New York, late 19th century

Continuing to present exceptional examples of Americana at auction, Skinner, Inc. is pleased to announce strong results from its August Americana auction.

Earning over $2 million, a compelling selection of American paintings, furniture, weathervanes, folk art carvings, trade signs and more, as well as Part I of the Howard Roth Collection of Early American Iron, offered something for every collector and Americana buff. View highlights from the auction.… Read More

How to Bring Design into your Garden with Sculpture

Garden Sculpture | Outdoor Design

What you see outside your window can be as important as the furniture and decorative arts that you live with inside – especially in the winter.

Imagine that the snow is falling over a sleeping garden, and you pass by this red and black geometric composition by Balder as you head inside. That pop of form and color makes a huge impact against the white and brown landscape.

Over the years, I’ve had several opportunities to observe how 20th century sculpture transforms the design of outdoor environments.… Read More

Exceptional Plains Indian Art Stands Out at Auction

Rare Wasco-Wishram Beaded Hide Man's Shirt and Trousers, c. third quarter 19th century (Lot 191, Estimate $80,000-$120,000)

BOSTON, MA – August 11, 2014 – Exceptional Plains Indian clothing and beaded objects will be available at Skinner, Inc.’s American Indian & Ethnographic Art auction on September 6, 2014 in Boston, alongside tribal art from Africa, Melanesia, Polynesia, and Australia, pre-Colombian art, and objects from the Northeast woodlands and Northwest coast of North America. “Rare objects at a range of price points will catch the interest of both new and advanced collectors,” says Douglas Deihl, Director of American Indian & Ethnographic Art.… Read More

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