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Auctioneers and Appraisers

Author Archives: Jane Prentiss

How to Identify Art and Studio Pottery

A Guide to Developing an Expert’s Eye

 

This pottery vessel was made in Boston, Massachusetts in the early 20th century by Grueby Pottery. It realized $12,300 at auction.

  

I appraise valuable objects almost every single day, and I’m often asked how I identify a piece so quickly. The short answer is lots and lots of experience!

But how does one go about obtaining that experience? That’s the longer answer. This visual checklist can help you begin to develop an expert’s eye when it comes to looking at and identifying pottery from Art Nouveau to present day studio pottery.Read More

Rethinking Your Interior

Jorgen Hovelskov Harp Chair (Lot 539, Estimate $2,000-$3,000)

Creating a design that reflects how you want to live while representing your interests

My first interiors were all of one period of design, they fit together beautifully and were seamless in design. I have come away from that experience bringing those pieces of history that delight me. For me, it was the rich colors and organic forms of Art Nouveau pottery. It led me into a life-long interest of beautiful objects made from clay.… Read More

The Burke House: Mid-Century Modern Architecture & Furnishings

Furnishings from the Burke House (Lots 423 and 424, estimates vary)

The Mary Griggs Burke Estate includes the furnishings of the Burke house, on Centre Island in Oyster Bay, New York overlooking Long Island Sound. Designed and furnished by Boston architect Ben Thompson, the home was featured in the book: Design Research: The Store That Brought Modern Living To American Homes. In 1956, the magazine Architectural Record reviewed the home for its architecture and elaborate Japanese-style garden.… Read More

Little Red Sports Cars: From the Model T to the Ferrari

1957 Ford Thunderbird Convertible/Hardtop, VIN# D7FH120128 (Lot 2, Estimate $30,000-$35,000)

Many people express their individuality through their automobile. Apart from make, model and performance, color is an important factor, and red has always been a classic, sporty choice. In the young adult book The Red Car by Don Stanford, a teen boy falls in love with a little red sports car, a story that car lovers around the world can easily connect with.… Read More

How to Bring Design into your Garden with Sculpture

Garden Sculpture | Outdoor Design

Alton P. “Jim” Balder sculpture sold for $1,599 in the 20th Century Design auction on December 15, 2012 (Lot 752)

Outdoor sculpture in carved marble, sold for $7,200 in the 20th Century Design auction on December 15, 2012 (Lot 344)

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.… Read More

Tour the Glass House: An Icon of Mid-Century Modern Design

“I have very expensive wallpaper,” Philip Johnson said of The Glass House, an iconic mid-century modern building he designed in New Canaan, Connecticut. Indeed, the “wallpaper” is the vast, unfolding landscape outside the clear glass walls of the house, featuring a pond, tall pines, and meandering stone walls.

My Three Favorite Modern Design Websites

One of the best ways to feel more inspired about objects and design is to see examples of beautifully designed rooms and elegantly solved design problems. I’ve always enjoyed magazines and books on design, but of course nowadays there’s also a wealth of information online.

Discover the Studio Movement in Boston: Events around the City

Judy Kensley McKie (b. 1944) Triple Chest with Birds and Bees, Sideboard, United States, 1984 (Lot 518, Estimate $8,000-$10,000)

Artists of the Studio Movement create furniture, pottery, glass, metalwork, textiles, and jewelry for individual enjoyment rather than mass production. The movement traces its beginnings to the period just after World War II, and I, personally, have been watching the movement develop and mature for more than 30 years.… Read More

The Story of a 1972 Ferrari Dino

In the history of race cars, Ferrari is one maker that stands above the rest for consummately stylish designs built for pure speed. Enzo Ferrari, the company’s founder, groomed his son Alfredo, nicknamed “Dino,” to be his successor. Dino attended the best schools in Europe, became a mechanical engineer, and was instrumental in the development of the overhead camshaft V-6 engine.

Sadly, Dino passed away in 1956 at the young age of 24.… Read More

America’s Affair With The Ford V-8 Automobile Engine

The distinctive logo on a 1941 Ford V-8 Super Deluxe Five-passenger Coupe

In 1932, Ford began mass-producing the V-8 engine in America. Up until that time, only luxury cars had eight-cylinder engines. Henry Ford had been looking for a way to produce one of these powerful engines more efficiently.

Ford’s engineers used an existing light-weight four cylinder chassis with a 3.6 liter engine, which created a burst of power without the weight drag.… Read More

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