Skinner Inc.

Auctioneers and Appraisers

Author Archives: Kerry Shrives

Fine Art Consignment Day | New York City

Thursday, October 26 | New York City

By appointment only.

 

Skinner’s Fine Art department is inviting consignments for the January 26th, 2018 auction. Experts from Skinner will be available to evaluate items in the New York office on October 26th by appointment.

REQUEST APPOINTMENT

Skinner New York 415 Madison Ave, New York

Contact Us:

paintings@skinnerinc.com 508.970.3206… Read More

An Endless Variety of Warmth & Light | Collecting Antique Hanukkah Lamps

A theme running through mid-winter celebrations across cultures is warmth and light, and the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah is no exception. Celebrated each year for eight nights and days beginning on the 25th day of Kislev, Hanukkah is the Festival of Lights.

Hanukkah commemorates the fight for religious freedom led by Judah Maccabee against the Seleucid Empire. After the Maccabean victory, when the Holy Temple in Jerusalem was rededicated,  it was found that there was scant little oil left to fuel the Eternal Lamp.… Read More

What to Collect: Contemporary Folk Art

James Eaton Polychrome Metal Weathervane Sculpture, America, 2002 (Lot 4, Estimate: $800-1,200)

The objects of everyday life, folk art, are the carved and decorated objects (weathervanes, whirligigs, and paintings) often made outside of urban areas by itinerant or self-taught artists and craftspeople. These naive and sometimes primitive objects are often colorful, highly individual and whimsical interpretations of utilitarian or decorative forms.… Read More

How to Buy American Victorian Furniture: A Guide for New Collectors

Victorian Furniture | Ebonized Mahogany Chair

I’m seeing a trend in the Boston area when it comes to Victorian homes. Home-buying opportunities abound, and I’ve met more than a few “young collectors” who speak admiringly of the ornate woodwork, beautiful hardwood floors and unique build-ins of their new Victorian homes. Although they realize they purchased gems, what they might not have thought about is how affordable it is to furnish their new homes with period designs.

I’ve overheard it said that Victorian antiques and Boston don’t agree – but that’s certainly not true in my experience. New York City housed the biggest powerhouses of design and manufacture in latter part of the 19th century, including Herter Brothers and Pottier & Stymus, but Boston had plenty of purchasing power, and museums and collections are plentiful here. Most importantly for collectors, great buys can be had if you know what to look for.

How to Find the Perfect Passover Haggadah for your Seder

Sold for $450,000: Seder Haggadah shel Pesach, Pressburg, copied and illustrated by Aaron Wolf Herlingen, 1735

Each Passover, Jews around the world fulfill the commandment to retell the Israelites’ liberation from slavery in Egypt. In Hebrew, the word for this telling is Haggadah (plural: Haggadot), and the name of the ritual meal is Seder.

A Haggadah text supplies an outline of the order of the Seder along with poetry and songs. However, like much Jewish ceremonial art, each Haggadah may have its own distinct and fascinating characteristics.… Read More

What are Antiques Worth? A Guide to the Collecting Market in 2013

Commonplace porcelain and glass items generally do not perform well at auction

“You don’t know until you ask,” a client told me the other day. I had just told her that her family’s antiques were not valuable enough to perform well at auction. In the antiques appraisal and auction business, people often show up with entire truck loads of antique items that they hope to auction. I do regularly find rare and valuable items, but just as often I have to say, “no, thank you” to everything.… Read More

36 Hours with Antiques Roadshow in Cincinnati, Ohio: The Queen of the West

Cincinnati, Ohio was the fourth stop in the Summer 2012 tour of Antiques Roadshow. This summer is season 17 for me, and while I’ve lost count of the cities I’ve traveled to over the years — I’m guessing nearly 60 — I always appreciate the opportunity to discover something about the art, architecture and design of the locale.

On Thursday night I represented Antiques Roadshow at a station event at the Cincinnati Museum Center. Formerly the railroad’s Union Terminal (built 1929-1933), the stunning Art Deco building is a National Historic Landmark. The central rotunda showcases a series of fabulous mosaics by Winold Reiss (1886-1953), commissioned in 1932 to depict the history of Cincinnati and its industries. Scenes of working Americans, the history of passenger transportation, and westward expansion all help to tell the story of how Cincinnati was transformed from a frontier town to a gateway city. I also peeked through the windows at the Rookwood Ice Cream Parlor, originally laid out in 1931-33 as a tea room. Famous for their art pottery, Rookwood created their last-known tile installation here.

A Guide to Wallace Nutting Furniture

Wallace Nutting (1861-1941) is perhaps the most recognizable name of the manufacturers discussed in my previous post. Before starting his furniture manufacturing business, he made hand-colored photographs, and is perhaps best known for this work. He produced millions of photographs including Colonial-themed interior views, bucolic landscapes, gardens, foreign locales, still life arrangements, people, and other more unusual subjects that fall outside of these earlier examples.

7 Fine Art & Antiques Websites Worth Visiting

When we started the Skinner Antiques & Fine Art Auctions blog in 2010, this was one of my very first posts. I continue to rely on the first four websites mentioned below for art, antiques and collectibles news. In addition, I’ve added three new sites to my retinue of regular morning reading about the antiques auction market.

A Week in the Life of an Antiques Appraiser: My Top 5 Finds

Have you ever watched Antiques Roadshow on PBS? As a senior art and antiques appraiser at Skinner, many of my days are a lot like the reality TV show. I spend considerable time meeting with prospective consignors at our Marlborough and Boston auction galleries and viewing the antiques, collectibles & fine art brought in for an auction evaluation.

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