Category Archives: Blog

In Full Bloom – A Salute to Gardens

As Sir William Gilbert wrote in “The Mikado”, the flowers that bloom in the spring, tra la, bring promise of merry sunshine. The sunshine may be fleeting, but those welcome blossoms are the enduring theme of songs and poems and, of course, paintings.

For hundreds of years, floral still life paintings have flourished everywhere, from palaces to cottages. There are treasured examples ranging from kindergartener’s refrigerator art to multimillion dollar masterworks.… Read More

A Very Singular People, The Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Andaman Islanders, c. 1900

I have always had a fascination with the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, ever since I was young and read Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Sign of Four, partially set in the Andamans. These days in my dealings with tribal art, I seldom come across objects from these far-flung isles, but when I do, they always hold a particular intrigue for me, no doubt due in part to Sherlock Holmes.

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands form an archipelago in the Bay of Bengal, between India to the west, and Myanmar, to the north and east.… Read More

A Time for Watches

Tornek-Rayville TR-900 Dive Watch

Timekeeping devices have a long and fascinating history dating back to the sundials and water clocks of the ancient world. Increases in accuracy began with the earliest mechanical European timepieces in the 14th century. Still, for most people the clock in the church tower was more a source of wonder and pride than practical importance.

By the mid-17th century, improving technology resulted in portable timekeepers – pocket watches that allowed their noble owners to display their wealth and good taste.… Read More

Virtual First Tuesday | May 4

Join us for First Tuesday online!

AUCTION EVALUATION DAY | TUESDAY, MAY 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 May 4. Submit your items anytime before the 4th and Skinner specialists from all departments will be on hand on Tuesday to evaluate items and respond by 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

Old Ingledew Whiskey: Currently Believed to be the Oldest Known Whiskey in Existence

Old Ingledew Whiskey: Currently Believed to be the Oldest Known Whiskey in Existence.

Marlborough, MA – April 23, 2021 – Skinner is pleased to offer this historic bourbon whiskey at auction. Skinner’s Rare Spirits expert, Joseph Hyman, remarks “The Old Ingledew Whiskey, bottled by Evans & Ragland, Lagrange GA, c. 1860s, is thought to be the only surviving bottle of a trio from the cellar of J.P. Morgan gifted in the 1940s to Washington power elite.”

Carbon 14 dating conducted in 2021 in collaboration with the University of Georgia indicates, with the highest probability, that the whiskey was produced between 1762-1802.… Read More

Chess Sets by Wedgwood

The popular Netflix drama miniseries The Queen’s Gambit, written and directed by Scott Frank, has undoubtedly helped to repopularize the game of chess for both novices and enthusiasts. Interest in collecting chess pieces has never waned, and the market has been competitive for many years.

Thirty-two-piece Wedgwood Jasper Chess Set modeled after an original design by John Flaxman, based on characters from Shakespeare’s Macbeth

In the mid 1780’s John Flaxman, Jr., a young sculptor in his early 30’s designed a set of chess pieces for Josiah Wedgwood.Read More

Hester Bateman: Domestic Silver in 18th Century England

Hester Bateman (1708–1794) is considered one of England’s most successful woman silversmiths of the late eighteenth century due to her entrepreneurial acumen. From a poor background and no formal education, she married the goldsmith and chain maker John Bateman at 24. Upon his passing in 1760, the widowed Hester took over the shop, registering at London’s Goldsmiths’ Hall on April 16, 1761 with the first of her nine ‘HB’ marks.

‘HB’ mark

Over the next 30 years, along with her sons, Jonathan and Peter, and daughter-in-law Ann, Hester Bateman built up the family business using thin gauge sheet silver, specializing in household silver.… Read More

April Regional Consignment Days | Maine & Westchester

We invite you to join us online for regional consignment days in Maine and Westchester, New York. Skinner specialists look forward to evaluating items via email, and beginning the conversation about the advantages of selling at auction.

Gather information and images for up to three items of fine & decorative arts, furniture, jewelry, silver, watches & coins and much more. Send an email with the information and images at maine@skinnerinc.com, newyork@skinnerinc.com or at the buttons below.… Read More

April Americana at Skinner: Old Surfaces Abound; Two Connecticut Collections Featured

The April Americana online auction consists of over 850 lots of quality American furniture, decorative and folk art, and paintings from the 18th through early 20th centuries. The sale is gathered from collections built over decades, property from private collectors, talented members of the trade, and institutions; the auction contains breadth and depth and will give buyers quite a bit to look at, linger over, and love.

The Judi & Cy Stellmach Americana Collection

Skinner is honored to be offering Judi and Cy Stellmach’s well-known collection as a centerpiece of the April sale.… Read More

Virtual First Tuesday | April 6

Join us for First Tuesday online!

AUCTION EVALUATION DAY | TUESDAY, APRIL 6

See what hidden treasures our experts may be able to reveal

We invite you to join us online for our Virtual First Tuesday on April 6. Submit your items anytime before the 6th and Skinner specialists from all departments will be on hand on Tuesday to evaluate items and respond by 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

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