Skinner Inc.

Auctioneers and Appraisers

Author Archives: Kerry Shrives

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.

Discovery Auctions in Massachusetts: Infographics, Word Clouds, and Maps

If you told me to visualize a Skinner Discovery auction, I’d think about our preview room full of antique furniture, ceramics, paintings, rugs, collectibles, and more. Then I’d see myself up at the podium at the monthly antiques auction, selling this variety of objects to bidders in the room, on the phone, and online. I definitely wouldn’t usually think of words, or maps, as a way to visualize the antiques auction process.

5 Reasons to Try Absentee Bidding Online

Some people call them absentee bids, and others say proxy bids or left bids. Whatever the name, this type of bidding has long been an important part of live auctions. For a variety of reasons, it is not always possible or practical to attend a Skinner auction in person. Perhaps you live 3,000 miles away, so flying to Boston might not be possible; or you have tickets to a Red Sox & Yankees ball game and can’t make it to the sale; or maybe you’re just plain old busy with family responsibilities. Life happens!

The Market for Victoriana: A Variety of Affordable Antiques

Discovery auctions at Skinner are eclectic [link to prior blog post]. Among the antique furniture, estate jewelry, silver, and collectibles, you’ll always find a wide a variety of Victoriana: materials produced during the Victorian period (1837-1901) that reflect the design ethos of the time.

New to collecting antiques? Monthly Auctions in Massachusetts are a Shopper’s Delight

There are great ways to get started learning about and participating in the auction world. Monthly estate auctions are one of the best ways to do this. At Skinner, we’ve been holding monthly “Discovery Auctions” of affordable antiques, decorative arts and collectibles since the 1980s.

1 3 4 5 6