Skinner Inc.

Auctioneers and Appraisers

Author Archives: John Colasacco

5 Essentials for Entertaining

Deputy Director of Jewelry and all-around and bon vivant John Colasacco enacted a “takeover” of The Gentleman’s Auction. John’s lifelong interest in antique and period jewelry is matched by his love of antiques — particularly the accoutrements of entertaining. With his passion and trained eye, John appraises decorative arts & silver for the PBS series Antiques Roadshow.

Cocktail glasses can be both both stylish and versatile

Vintage Cocktail Glasses

I love how they look, you can find unique sets almost anywhere, or you can mix and match.Read More

Ancient Treasures for a Modern World

It’s pretty unusual to see a piece of ancient jewelry come up in one of our Fine Jewelry auctions, so when we do it’s always exciting.  Lot 23 in our September 19 auction is a 2nd-century Roman bracelet, and I love everything about it. It’s almost 2,000 years old and is still so wearable and stylish today. Dare I even say that it is reminiscent of Alexander Calder’s jewelry?  By the 2nd century, a combination of the rejection of previous policies on austerity and the increase of the availability of gold saw restrictions on the ownership of jewels lifted.… Read More

John’s Cameo Corner, Part II

Welcome back to John’s Cameo Corner! The March 22nd Fine Jewelry auction features several cameos and intaglios worth noting, in various mediums. Carved gemstones are rare and desirable, and Skinner is pleased to have two such lots in our upcoming March sale. My personal favorite in this auction is Lot 298, which is an antique amethyst intaglio. The quality of the carving here is particularly fine as seen in the incredible detail of the hair and beard.… Read More

John’s Cameo Corner

The art of cameo carving has been around for centuries, and may have originated in ancient Sumerian jewelry where carved beads were used as seals. Generally, hardstones with layers of differing colors are carved to highlight the contrast in colors; precious gemstones are also engraved as intaglios, cameos, and seal rings.

The ancient Greeks and Romans produced cameos to be worn in jewelry, often depicting deities and other talismanic images. … Read More

A Tiara Fit for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee

This antique tiara from the Estate of Charles P. Fisher has a very special and well-documented history.

Charles Fisher’s grandmother, Julia Bryant Paine, purchased the tiara in London in 1897. Julia’s husband, Charles Jackson Paine, was appointed to the international Bimetallism Commission by President McKinley and served with Senator Wolcott of Colorado and ex-Vice-President Adlai E. Stevenson (the grandfather of Adlai who ran for president against Ike Eisenhower).… Read More

A Gorgeous Gold and Swiss Enamel Necklace: Worth Far More than Scrap Value

Imagine my surprise when the consignor of a wonderful Swiss enamel necklace walked in the door. We do see Swiss enamel jewelry from time to time, mostly in the form of brooches, but to have a necklace is quite unusual. Both pieces (pictured here) sold well in Skinner’s spring 2011 Fine Jewelry auction.