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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.

Heavy bidding for Massachusetts’ American Country House Past in July

Victorian Carrara Marble Lion Garden Table, late 19th century. Sold for: $29,000

Victorian Carrara Marble Lion Garden Table, late 19th century. Sold for: $29,000

Highlight’s from  the European Furniture & Decorative Arts Auction Sale # 2835B

The European Department’s banner two-day sale, which featured over 1200 lots of decorative arts, ceramics, furniture and fine silver, was a heavily bidded event.  Featuring lots from top collectors across the country, one lucky bidder took home a stunning Victorian table with alabaster top marble winged lion pedestals (Lot 163), with a great story to tell.  From the time of Massachusetts’ American Country House past, when its own Downton Abbey Gilded Age set dominated the social scene, furniture such as this lion table set the tone for the whole era.  The winning bidder took home a great piece of Massachusetts and Industrialist-era history when they picked up this table for $29,000 (estimate of $8,000-12,000).

Our sale on July 18th of European furniture was not the first time this exceptional lion table appeared at auction.  It was reportedly part of a robust July auction in Lenox Massachusetts in 1946, where a sea of luxurious imported furniture and furnishings–all belonging to former Bellefontaine house owner Giraud Foster–was in the hands of auctioneers.  The goal was to liquidate everything, including the house holding the contents, a house built by Carrere and Hastings in 1897 to emulate Petit Trianon (architects of the New York Public Library, Henry Clay Frick’s Manhattan residence, and others).  The lion table, which once stood in a marble hall with Foster’s seemingly endless collection of statuary, was part of the contents to be sold in 1946.  Giraud Foster, his wife, Jane Van Nest, and their son (from the moment of birth, he was just called “Boy”), lived at the estate, until Foster died at the age of 95 in 1945. The estate changed hands several times after the initial sale in 1946, and suffered from a fire on the interior in the late 1940s, then owned by Our Lady of Mercy Seminary who had to rebuild and restore the interior. It was purchased in the late 1980s by Canyon Ranch Spa, which still owns it today.

Seven-piece Empire Ormolu Surtout de Table, Paris, early 19th century (Lot 364, Estimate $10,000-$20,000)

Seven-piece Empire Ormolu Surtout de Table, Paris, early 19th century (Lot 364, Estimate $10,000-$20,000)

The lion table was just one of the many remarkable pieces for auction at sale 2835B in July.  Other auction highlights include, just to name a few, Lot 364, a fine Seven Piece Ormolu Surtout de Table, in the manner of Pierre-Philippe Thomire, (sold for $45,000, with an estimate of $10,000-20,000); Lot 601, Wedgwood & Bentley Period Self-framed Encaustic Decorated Black Basalt Plaque (sold for $15,000, with an estimate of $8,000-12,000); and Lot 1047, an Extensive David Andersen Sterling Silver and Cloisonné-enameled Tea and Coffee Service (sold for $10,000, with an estimate of $3,000-5,000).

More exciting pieces are being consigned now for our next auction of European Furniture & Decorative Arts in Boston, on Saturday, October 10, 2015! See you there!

Vintage Automobiles Cross the Block at Skinner August 8

1930 Model A Deluxe Roadster (Lot 1, Estimate $14,000-$18,000)

1930 Model A Deluxe Roadster (Lot 1, Estimate $14,000-$18,000)

Marlborough, MA – July 31, 2015Skinner, Inc. will present an eclectic group of automobiles to open  its summer American Furniture & Decorative Arts auction on August 8th in Marlborough, MA. The six vehicles on offer, produced between 1930 and 2002 by both domestic and foreign manufacturers, will appeal to a broad range of discerning antique and special interest car collectors and enthusiasts.… Read More

August Americana Returns to Skinner with Superb Private Collections On the Block

Carved and Painted Pine Hanging Spice Box, Samuel L. Plank (Mifflin County, 1821-1900), Pennsylvania, last quarter 19th century (Lot 1107, Estimate $12,000-$18,000)

Carved and Painted Pine Hanging Spice Box, Samuel L. Plank (Mifflin County, 1821-1900), Pennsylvania, last quarter 19th century (Lot 1107, Estimate $12,000-$18,000)

Two-day Auction Features The Collection of Ellie Walker Hoover and Robust Offerings of Furniture, Maritime Antiques and Sandwich Glass

MARLBOROUGH, MA – July 30, 2015Skinner, Inc. will present important collections of Americana and Sandwich glass as part of its auction of American Furniture & Decorative Arts on August 8th and 9th.… Read More

Highlights from the Sara and Bob Hunt Collection of Early English Oak

The Sara and Bob Hunt Collection of Early English Oak

The Sara and Bob Hunt Collection of Early English Oak

The Sara and Bob Hunt Collection of Early English Oak is an exemplary collection which brings together the best elements of English craftsmanship of the 17th-18th century (and earlier), and will be featured as part of the European Furniture & Decorative Arts auction on July 18th, 2015. Highlights from the sale to be auctioned include the following oak pieces and Bellarmine, which reveal many stories about how they were used, and how they could fit into your home today.… Read More

Dining Elegance: A Magnificent Surtout de Table Service Offered on July 18th

Regency Ormolu Nine-light Figural Centerpiece, London, early 19th century (Lot 359, Estimate $8,000-$12,000)

Regency Ormolu Nine-light Figural Centerpiece, London, early 19th century (Lot 359, Estimate $8,000-$12,000)

At the turn of the 19th century, the art of table decoration transformed as dining patterns changed. The once popular dining à la française in which all of the courses were laid out for the guests at the start of the meal began fading out of popularity as a new fashion of eating was ushered in: dining à la russe. Similar to modern restaurant service, food was prepared in the kitchen and brought out to the guests in courses, leaving room on the table for decoration.… Read More

So You Know…

Twirl, 1997, Pine bark. Courtesy of the Artist. Image by Will Howcroft.

Terry Albright ’82, Spring, 1995, bittersweet bark, 95″ x 43″ x 32″. Courtesy of the artist. Image by Will Howcroft.

A special exhibition celebrating artist Terry Albright

Skinner is proud to host an exhibition of works by Massachusetts artist Terry Albright in our Boston Gallery, from July 30th through August 14th.

So You Know… showcases select sculptures from the past thirty-five years of Terry Albright’s career.… Read More

Country Americana at Skinner in July

Gilt Copper Setter Weathervane (Lot 45, Estimate $2,000-$3,000)

Gilt Copper Setter Weathervane (Lot 45, Estimate $2,000-$3,000)

MARLBOROUGH, MA – July 9, 2015 – Skinner is hosting a live Country Americana auction in its Marlborough, MA Gallery on Thursday, July 16th at 10 A.M. The auction may be viewed in person at the Marlborough Gallery on July 14th and 15th or online at any time.

The July Country Americana auction comprises nearly 700 lots of Chippendale, Federal, country, and British furniture, together with broad offerings of folk art, weathervanes, textiles, ceramics, and glass.… Read More

Collecting Trends in British Delftware and Dutch Delft

Dutch Delftware Blue and White Five-piece Garniture (Lot 897, Estimate $800-$1,200)

Dutch Delftware Blue and White Five-piece Garniture (Lot 897, Estimate $800-$1,200)

In the 17th and 18th century the manufacturing of tin glazed earthenware in Holland and the British Isles (including Scotland and Ireland) referred to as delft or delftware, was all the rage.

Chinese porcelains strongly influenced much of their designs, first in blue and white and then in the beautiful soft polychrome enamels. Certainly the influx of these porcelains to Holland via the Dutch East India Company helped inspire the beautiful designs and motifs, particularly on the large elegant chargers.… Read More

Collecting Jeweled Coalport Porcelain

Jeweled Coalport Porcelain Box and Cover, England, late 19th century (Lot 948, Estimate $800-$1,200)

Jeweled Coalport Porcelain Three-handled Loving Cup, England, late 19th century (Lot 970, Estimate $800-$1,200)

Established in 1795 in Shropshire, England, Coalport porcelain has a long and storied history of quality craftsmanship dating to the late 18th century. The manufactory produced both ornamental and table wares, beautifully decorated, in a very high standard to meet the demand of discerning patrons.

Late in the 19th century the Coalport manufacturers added yet another specialization to their repertoire of hand decorated porcelains.… Read More

Skinner to Present Exceptional Offering of European Furniture & Decorative Arts in July

Jeweled Coalport Porcelain Perfume Bottle and Cover (Lot 943, Estimate $1,500-$2,500)

Regency Ormolu Nine-light Figural Centerpiece, London, early 19th century (Lot 359, Estimate $8,000-$12,000)

Two-day Auction Spotlights Superb Collections of Early English Oak, Wedgwood, Fine Silver, and More

BOSTON, MA – June 26, 2015 Skinner, Inc. announces an outstanding two-day auction of European Furniture & Decorative Arts, taking place July 18th and 19th in Boston. Twelve-hundred lots, distributed evenly over the two days, showcase a wide range of fine furniture, ceramics, bronze works, sculpture, silver, glassware, and more, with many examples hailing from significant private and museum collections.… Read More

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