Category Archives: Blog

The Rarity Factor in Numismatics

1873-CC Arrows at Date with Motto Seated Liberty Half Dollar, MS64+, WB-4, R.4

There are many factors to consider when valuing an object, and rarely does a piece have all the elements to make it a true rarity. For numismatics, these can include low mintage, collectability of the series, surface, eye appeal, grade, grade relative to the known population, and whether the coin is fresh to market. These concepts have been addressed in previous blogs, but we’ll briefly overview some of these terms and why they’re desirable in a coin.… Read More

The Catalogue Raisonné: A Brief History

What Is It?

Simply put, a catalogue raisonné is a compendium of all known works created by an artist. They are the go-to source for a comprehensive understanding of an artist’s oeuvre. The primary focus is to establish a published record of each work: title, approximate year of creation, medium, signature and inscriptions, labels, provenance (or history of ownership), and other information. Perhaps most importantly, a catalogue raisonné assigns a permanent reference number to each known work.… Read More

Virtual First Tuesday | September 1

Join us for First Tuesday online!

AUCTION EVALUATION DAY | TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 1

See what hidden treasures our experts may be able to reveal

We invite you to join us online for our Virtual First Tuesday on September 1. Skinner specialists from all departments will be on hand to evaluate items via email.

Let’s get started: 

Step 1: Gather information and images for up to three items of fine & decorative arts, furniture, jewelry, silver, watches & coins and much more.Read More

The Undeniable Appeal of Folk Art

Folk art can appeal in different and often unexpected ways, and I think that surprise element is what draws me to it most. That we don’t often know a lot about its imaginative makers adds to the intrigue.

Folk Art Fish Weathervane, America, mid-20th century (Lot 2514, Estimate: $300-500)

A 20th century figure of a fish made from a bowling pin is a great example of the unexpected nature of folk art. The pin, which has clearly been used, shows the wear from the heavy contact it received from bowling balls over its years in its first life, has been altered to look like a fish, in much the way that a 19th century folk artist saw a tree root and fashioned a snake.… Read More

The Fascination with Chinese Export Silver

Three-piece Chinese Export Silver Tea Set, Shanghai, late 19th/early 20th century, Tuck Chang & Co., sold for $8,575

Following a blossoming of interest in the 1960s, Chinese export silver has never been more collectible than it is today. The demographics of the market, however, have changed. The days of American collectors ruling the roost has given way to Chinese collectors, demonstrating their willingness to out-pay and outbid all others.… Read More

Virtual First Tuesday | August 4

Join us for First Tuesday online!

AUCTION EVALUATION DAY | TUESDAY, AUGUST 4

See what hidden treasures our experts may be able to reveal

We invite you to join us online for our Virtual First Tuesday on August 4. Skinner specialists from all departments will be on hand to evaluate items via email.

Let’s get started: 

Step 1: Gather information and images for up to three items of fine & decorative arts, furniture, jewelry, silver, watches & coins and much more.Read More

August Americana 2020

Welcome to August Americana at Skinner! Our three online sales offer all that you’ve come to expect this time of year, and more. We’ve showcased some highlights in the flyer, and explore the rest online.

The Kolar Collection online

AUGUST 3–12

Skinner is honored to be offering the Kolar Collection as the centerpiece of our annual August Auction. Carefully assembled over decades by collector, scholar, and author John Kolar, the collection is an impressive grouping of painted furniture, Windsor chairs, folk art, pottery, and weathervanes from 18th and 19th century America.… Read More

Tiffany & Co. Enameled Silver at the Columbian Exposition of 1893

Looking West From Peristyle, Court of Honor and Grand Basin of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition (Chicago, Illinois)

Beginning in the 19th century, as the popularity and accessibility of international travel increased substantially, countries began hosting international fairs and exhibitions to drive both commerce and tourism. Luxury goods makers like Tiffany & Co. used these fairs not only as a way to market their pieces to a wide audience, but also showcase their skills in hopes of attracting international press and prestige.… Read More

Skinner Offers The Andy Goessling Collection to Benefit MusiCares

Multi-instrumentalist and founding member of festival mainstay Railroad Earth, Andy Goessling (1959-2018) had a passion for musical instruments as big as it was eclectic. Accumulated over a lifetime, this special collection of more than 100 lots bridges centuries, from pre-Columbian flutes to Jazz Age saxophones, orphaned antique zithers to sought-after vintage guitars, and each a part of Andy’s musical legacy. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this collection to benefit MusiCares, providing a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need, including our peers in the music community affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.Read More

Black Light Essentials: Navigating Authenticity and Additions in Fine Art

From cataloging to previewing, the black light is an essential tool for the American & European Works of Art department. There are two main types of black light devices we use in the department, one being affectionately termed “the beast,” as it produces quite a strong ultraviolet light that can cover a wide surface area; the second has both black light and incandescent light, of which the black light produces a softer glow than “the beast” and can pick up more subtleties, such as older retouch.… Read More

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