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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.

5 Questions with Skinner Jewelry Specialist John Colasacco

Fine Jewelry Specialist John Colasacco

John is a specialist in our Fine Jewelry department, nurturing a lifelong interest in jewelry with particular expertise in antique and period pieces. His love of antiques began in the flea markets, tag sales, and antique shops of his native Westchester County, New York, appreciating the beauty and simplicity of 18th century English silver. While studying at Boston University, John explored his interest in the auction world by joining Skinner’s Boston gallery team part-time in 2002 and the Jewelry Department in 2005. In 2013 John became an appraiser on the PBS series Antiques Roadshow.
 
How did you get your start in the auction world?  

I really started loving antiques when my friend’s dad used to take us to tag sales to look for silver when we were in high school.  He taught me what to look for, and how to haggle!  It got me into looking for great finds, and I was naturally drawn to the auction world.  I worked at Skinner through college as a part-time auction assistant (and I admit I cut a few lectures working sales!)

Favorite museum?

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) in New York.  I grew up in Westchester County, and I went a lot on school trips and with my parents.  I’d say the period rooms at the Met were where I started to fall in love with decorative arts.  

John Colasacco, Skinner Fine Jewelry Specialist

What do you love most about auctions?  

Anything is possible!  As an auctioneer, I love the thrill and excitement of a sale, when your heart races as the prices climb.  As a collector, I love the material that comes up because you can find unique pieces at competitive prices.  I think most of my home is furnished and decorated from auction purchases. 

What book(s) are you reading?

The Last Days of Haute Cuisine: The Coming of Age of American Restaurants by Patric Kuh about the evolution of the restaurant in the United States, its chefs, and personalities.

How have auctions changed since you started?

The internet has completely changed how auctions are attended.  People might complain that no one comes to auctions anymore.  They do- they’re just online now.  It has never been easier to buy at auction- buyers can participate from a computer or phone wherever they are without actually having to be in the room.  But still, for auctioneer and bidder alike, nothing beats the thrill of being in the sale room!

How to Recognize a Photo-reproduction

Are you looking at a work of art, but can’t decide whether you’re looking at an original painting or a reproduction? Don’t panic. To bust the vast majority of repros all you need to do is look closely.

Ask yourself if there a reason the work looks suspicious? Maybe the colors look a little off, like an old Kodachrome slide or that faded poster that used to hang in your dorm room? Maybe the texture of the surface seems wrong; it looks like the paint is applied with heavy impasto (meaning thick, loose, brushstrokes) but the surface is flat as a pancake?… Read More

Rare First Edition of Poe’s Tales Featured in the November Fine Books & Manuscripts Auction at Skinner

Poe, Edgar Allan (1809-1849) Tales, First Edition, in Paper Wrappers, New York: Wiley & Putnam, 1845 (Lot 224, Estimate: $60,000-80,000)

Boston, MA – November 2, 2018 – Skinner is pleased to announce the November 18 auction of Fine Books & Manuscripts to be held at the Skinner Boston Gallery at 11AM. Featuring 350 lots, this rare book auction offers fresh finds from several important New England estates including printed books, documents, natural history prints and maps.… Read More

The Marvill Collection: Power, Magic, Mystery, and Design

Skinner thanks Frank Maresca, co-founder of the Ricco/Maresca Gallery in New York City for penning an introduction to the catalog for the Marvill Collection featured in the November 3 American Furniture & Decorative Arts auction

If I had to choose one word to describe Mickey and Jill Baten in their lifelong commitment to collecting art, it would be “fearless.” It is a word that not only implies the lack of fear but, more significantly, the presence of courage; a willingness to venture into the unknown with one’s own instinct and conviction as guides.… Read More

Important Jewelry Preview | New York City

Edwardian Platinum and Diamond Tiara (Lot 125, Estimate: $8,000-12,000)

Important Jewelry Preview | New York City

Join the Jewelry Department in New York City to preview highlights from the December 4 Important Jewelry Auction. Private preview times are available by appointment only.

TUESDAY NOVEMBER 13 | WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 14

REQUEST APPOINTMENT

Skinner New York 415 Madison Ave, #1418, NY, New York

Questions? Contact us: jewelry@skinnerinc.com 617.874.4313… Read More

Boston Bookbinding Demonstration

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Reception: 5:30PM | Presentation: 6PM

Join Fine Books & Manuscripts specialist Devon Eastland for a demonstration of bookbinding techniques, restoration treatments and a discussion of approaches to repair with examples. See books from the inside out and bring your questions. Devon has worked in the field of restoration for more than twenty years. Repair a chair and sit down, fix a book and read!… Read More

First Tuesday | November 6 | Marlborough

Join us for First Tuesday in Marlborough 

Tuesday, November 6  | 1:30PM – 4PM

Specialists Robin S.R. Starr, Kaitlin Shinnick, & Christopher D. Fox will be on hand to evaluate items and accept consignments for upcoming auctions. 

Experts Available in November:

Sam Gilliam (American, b. 1933) Yellow Fan-White Float (Sold for: $267,000 on January 26, 2018)

Robin S.R. Starr – Director of American & European Works of Art, will be on-hand to evaluate paintings, prints, sculpture, and photography for upcoming auctions.Read More

Americana Gallery Walk | November 2

“Where Did You Get That?”

True Tales from the Homes of Connoisseurs, Collectors and Hoarders

Please join us for a gallery talk held in conjunction with the preview for the November 3 American Furniture & Decorative Arts auction, as department specialists share stories of how objects in the auction were collected by their owners, and how they made their way to Skinner.

Friday November 2, 2018  |  Skinner Boston Gallery

5:30PM Reception, 6:00PM Gallery Talk

Boston Gallery 63 Park Plaza  Boston, MA 02116

PLEASE RSVP HERE

Questions?Read More

Pre-Auction Wine Tasting Events

Meet the specialists from the Fine Wines Department and taste highlights from the upcoming November 5th Fine Wines & Rare Spirits auction.

  The Ultimate Wash-Ashore Dinner 

    Thursday, October 18 | Martha’s Vineyard | 7PM-10PM

    Beach Road Restaurant     79 Beach Road     Vineyard Haven, MA 02568 

    RSVP ONLINE

 

 

  Pre-Auction Wine Lunch

    Tuesday, October 30 | New York City | 12PM-2PM

    Vaucluse Restaurant     100 East 63rd Street     New York, NY 10065

    RSVP ONLINE

 

 

  Pre-Auction Wine Tasting

   Thursday, November 1 | Boston | 5PM-6:30PM

   haley.henry    45 Province Street    Boston, MA 02108

   RSVP ONLINE

 

Questions?Read More

Ahearn and Post Collections Lead Skinner Historic Arms & Militaria Auction

MARLBOROUGH, MA – October 3, 2018 Skinner is pleased to announce the November 2, 2018 auction of Historic Arms & Militaria. The bi-annual sale offers collectors material of historical interest from the American Revolution through World War II, including artillery, pistols, muskets, rifles, swords, powder horns, and uniforms.

British Pattern 1756 Long Land Service Musket Marked to the 4th Regiment of Foot, or the Kings Own Regiment, c.

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