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Our Staff reveal their favorite pieces ahead of our upcoming Gentleman’s Auction

The Gentleman’s Auction online, open for bidding through December 5, is curated with an eye for masculine flair and to pique the interest of all gentlemen. The sale tempts with cross-departmental offerings and a broad spectrum of hand-picked items selected to fit a wide range of interests and budgets. 

We caught up with Skinner’s own gentlemen, sale specialist Chris Barber, along with Richard Kenworthy and Sam Sutner, to ask them to curate their “likes” from the nearly 150 lots on offer. Here are their picks: 

Hot Rod Movies from the Big Screen

Detail | “Dragstrip Riot” One Sheet Movie Poster (Lot 1007)

Memorable for names like “Hot Rod Hullabaloo” and “Hot Car Girl,” one-sheet movie posters and lobby cards illustrate a genre of movies that was prevalent as early as the late 1940s and popular into the early 1960s and beyond. The “Hot Rod” Movie, featuring fast cars, rebellious young characters, and rock and roll music, and advertised with splendidly eye-catching graphics and exuberant language, Lot 1007 is a poster that at once so perfectly reflects the 1950s moment, but also has a timeless vintage look that appeals to me over 60 years later!
– Chris Barber 

Watch Mania

Detail | Rolex Two-tone Reference 15223 Wristwatch, c. 1993 (Lot 1053)

The Rolex Two-tone Reference 15223 Wristwatch is for young professionals looking to acquire a watch that signifies more than just time. This Rolex signifies sportiness and fashion sense. The two-tone stainless steel and gold are satisfyingly flashy, while the Prussian blue dial adds counterbalancing warmth and depth. You can’t go wrong with this classic vintage Rolex.
– Sam Sutner

A Great Bartender

The Bon Vivant’s Companion, or, How to Mix Drinks, by Professor Jerry Thomas, printed in 1928 (Lot 1099)

The Bon Vivant’s Companion, or, How to Mix Drinks, by Professor Jerry Thomas, edited and with an introduction by Herbert Asbury (who penned Gangs of New York) satisfies those with a fondness for early cookbooks and bartender’s guides. The book contains hundreds of recipes for punches, cocktails, juleps, mulls, flips, fizzes, smashes, cobblers, and more, and is a fascinating volume for anyone who, like me, is appreciative of the current renaissance in cocktail culture.
– Chris Barber 

Captain Cook’s Liquor Chest

The Captain Samuel Cook Mahogany Veneer Liquor Chest and Six Gilt-decorated Blown Glass Bottles, England or America, early 19th century (Lot 1090)

What a great memento of a time when sailing ships ruled the waves. Romantic, yes, but also a life of danger and hard work, hopefully, softened by a relaxing drink. I like to think of those days and of course, toast the Captain. Captain Samuel Cook began his career at sea in 1798 at the age of 14, and according to a note accompanying this “grog chest,” “his life afloat was uniformly successful.”
– Richard Kenworthy 

Tiffany is Luxury

Tiffany & Co. Sterling Silver Shaker-style Box, Milan, late 20th century (Lot 1033)

The Tiffany & Co. Sterling Silver Shaker-style Box is a stunning and classic dresser accessory for the modern man and perfect for holding mementos and other treasured small belonging. Also appealing for the great name, workmanship, and the intrinsic value of sterling.
– Sam Sutner 

Rooted in Tradition

Detail | Makoto Yabe (1947-2005) Studio Pottery Sake Bottle and Two Cups, Massachusetts, late 20th century (Lot 1118)

Makoto Yabe was a great teacher and mentor at the Harvard Ceramics Program. His unique spirit touched the lives of many undergraduates and the wider community. Here, the simple classical elegance of the forms combined with innovative use of glazes are so much like the man who respected traditions, but also looked to the new.
-Richard Kenworthy 

Take a Seat

Detail | Red/Brown Leather and Chrome Wassily-style Armchair, 20th/21st century (Lot 1141)

Both Richard Kenworth and Sam Sutner picked the Leather and Chrome Wassily-style Armchair. Sam notes the Wassily-style armchair is “the piece I’ve been trying to acquire since I’ve begun collecting. It’s a legendary, timeless design — the object with which to start your own collection of mid-century furniture. You can put it anywhere, from the living room in your small apartment to your office, or even your bedroom. The brown-red Wassily style armchair is a style that generations love. It’s as iconic as it is comfortable. I’m still looking to get my hands on a pair”. Richard concurs,  simply put, an icon of modern design. Since this one is a replica, you, your friends, and the dog can use it without fear of damaging a museum piece. Best of all, it is comfortable.
– Richard Kenworthy & Sam Sutner

Chris Barber, Deputy Director, American Furniture & Decorative Arts, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in the History of Art and Architecture from Harvard University.  

Richard Kenworthy, Cataloger of European & Asian Works of Art, and 20th Century Design, is a former Professor of Architecture at Auburn University, Alabama.

Sam Sutner, Warehouse team, holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) focused in Art History from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. 

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