2011 was a great year for fine art & antiques, and it wasn’t easy to choose favorites from all the wonderful items that came through our auctions.
Great works of art, historical items, and finely crafted objects leave a lasting impression on those who encounter them. At Skinner Auction House, we are thankful for the privilege and responsibility of caring for these objects.
Here are our picks, and the reasons why we feel these items are important and worthy of recognition.
Folk Art Portrait
This stunning picture of Abigail Rose broke the record for the sale of a folk art portrait at auction – Karen Keane, CEO
Extra accoutrement in portraits is always alluring. Abigail Rose sat in a Queen Anne chair holding a rose, next to a table with four books and a Battersea patchbox. The compelling complementary colors of green and red and the asymmetrical composition create an at once vibrant and peaceful scene. The painting, from 1786, is well-preserved, in original condition, and broke the record for the sale of a folk art portrait at auction.American School, 18th Century, Portrait of Abigail Rose, North Branford, Connecticut, 1786, at the Age of Fourteen, Auctioned for $1.27 million in the American Furniture & Decorative Arts auction on November 5, 2011
Art Deco Bracelet
The fire-breathing dragon is such an unusual and delightful motif – Victoria Bratberg, Director of Fine Jewelry
Skinner sold so many beautiful things this year, but my favorite had to be this figural bracelet. I loved the fire-breathing dragons—made of diamonds and calibre-cut rubies—and the fact that it was a piece of American art deco jewelry. Most of the fine art deco jewelry we see is made in France, but this was an exception and a fantastic example. The bracelet descended in a prominent New York family, and was originally retailed by Thomas Kirkpatrick, & Co., New York.
1961 Petrus Wine
It was a thrill watching this major vintage sell so well – Don Kelly, CFO
Even though 1961 is a major vintage, it’s still amazing that one bottle of wine can sell so strongly. I’ve gotten more interested in wine over the past 6 or 7 years, and I now have a small collection of 30 or so bottles. I’m starting to be able to tell the difference between a good bottle and a great bottle, and I wish I could try a glass of this 1961 Petrus.
As quoted in the auction catalogue, “The 1961 Petrus was pure perfection,” and, “The wine is crammed with viscous, thick, over-ripe black-cherry, mocha-tinged fruit flavors. Extremely full-bodied, with huge amounts of glycerin and alcohol, this unctuously-textured, thick wine makes for an awesome mouthful. Imagine a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup laced with layers of coffee and cherry, and encased in a shell of Valrhona chocolate!” (R. Parker, 100 pts. 02/96)Chateau Petrus 1961, Auctioned for $17,010 on November 8, 2011
Favorite Auction Highlights of 2011, Part II
Watch for the next post about a rock crystal bowl, remarkable dwarf clock, rare turning lathe, and antique diamond necklace.