Skinner Inc.

Auctioneers and Appraisers

Author Archives: Gloria Lieberman

The Collection of George and Jackie Bernheimer

The antique and estate jewelry presented in the Fine Jewelry Collections online auction was lovingly assembled over more than four decades by George and Jackie Bernheimer.  Their interests were primarily in unusual colored stones, snake rings, and moonstones, especially those sculpted into cameos and intaglios.  The inspiration for collecting jewelry was initiated by gifts from George’s parents, Paul and Louise, who were best-known for their splendid Harvard Square gallery, Bernheimer’s Antique Arts (1963-1992); which was an off-shoot of the one of the most prominent art businesses in Europe, the renowned L.… Read More

Pablo Picasso Jewelry

Pablo Picasso is best known for paintings that changed the face of modern art. However, he was much more than just a painter. Picasso experimented with artistic techniques and created works in many different media, including sculpture, prints, ceramics, and jewelry.

Early in his career, Pablo Picasso made a series of one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces, most likely cast in the south of France with the assistance of his dentist, Dr. Chatagnier.… Read More

Rare Art Deco Jewelry by Marie Zimmermann

Marie Zimmermann created jewelry, silver, metalwork, and other objects in varying patinas and forms. Though her name is unknown to the average person, I consider her to be one of the great jewelry artists of the 20th century. She collected beautiful objects, including jade carvings and stones, and incorporated them into the jewelry and art pieces that she made in her Gramercy park studio.

This pair of Asian-inspired Art Deco bangle bracelets perfectly captures her unique style.… Read More

Alexander Calder: Playful and Artful Jewelry

This brooch by Alexander Calder is one of my favorite items in the September 10, 2013 Fine Jewelry auction at Skinner. Calder was known for his sense of design, and in this case the piece is handmade from brass with the slightest touch of silver. Calder rarely soldered his jewelry, instead joining pieces of metal with loops or sections of wire. The stem of this pin coils in a quirky, exaggerated fashion that is both playful and artful – it’s a beautiful piece that has never been on the market.… Read More

The Life of a Dress: Wearing Zandra Rhodes

Last week, Karen Keane and I met designer and fashion icon Zandra Rhodes for the first time at a lovely opening reception for the exhibit  Zandra Rhodes: A Lifelong Love Affair with Textiles at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. If you haven’t seen it yet, stop by – the show is on display until December 1, 2012.

With her bright pink hair and bold, hand-painted garments, Zandra is impossible to ignore and has exerted her influence on the textile and clothing design world since the 1960s.… Read More

Sculpture to Wear: Artist Jewelry and Joan Sonnabend

Joan Sonnabend opened her tiny gallery at the Plaza Hotel in New York in 1973. She started with a one hundred piece collection of “sculpture to wear.” Included among the pins, necklaces, bracelets, and rings were works by such artists as Man Ray, Pol Bury, Picasso, Arp, and Calder. After Sculpture to Wear opened, many artists sought out Sonnabend, hoping to create items for the gallery. She became friendly with many of them, and maintained these relationships for many years.

Keeping An Eye On Birmingham

Eye miniatures, commonly known as “lover’s eyes” are miniature hand-painted human eyes set into jewelry. The tradition started with royalty, when the Prince of Wales and his mistress Maria Fitzherbert, exchanged miniature paintings of their own eyes in 1785. The fad spread through Europe around 1800; people gave eyes to lovers, family, or even friends.

Why People Want More Fashion & Jewelry at Museums

Who would’ve thought that one day we would have a jewelry gallery and a jewelry curator at the Museum of Fine Arts here in Boston? I never would have predicted this 31 years ago when I started the Skinner Fine Jewelry Department, but it’s clear to me now that people have been craving exhibits devoted to jewelry and fashion all along. Our previews, in fact, serve much the same purpose. And, just look at the success of the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York — 661,509 people went to see the famous designer’s work in just three months!

The Solar-Lunar Series: Handmade Pendants by Margret Craver

Each glass pendant hangs suspended, reflecting light with its own unique glints of silver and gold. This is the Solar-Lunar Cosmos series of modernist necklaces, created by Margret Craver, a pioneer in the American Studio Jewelry movement. On June 14, 2011, Skinner will bring Margret Craver’s work to auction for the first time. Her fabulous handmade jewelry pieces range from expert silverwork to notoriously difficult en resille enameling, and her work is featured in numerous museum collections. The Solar-Lunar series from the 1970s is an example of an experiment in glasswork.

Fabulous Hand-crafted Jewelry by Early Modernist Margret Craver

Have you ever heard of Margret Craver? This amazing silversmith and master jeweler lived to 103, but many people do not even know her name. Although several museums exhibit examples of her early modernist jewelry, her work has never sold at auction… until now.

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