Category Archives: Blog

Josiah Wedgwood and the Abolition of the Slave Trade

Josiah Wedgwood, the English potter, was an original member of the Lunar Society, a group of prominent figures in the Midlands, including industrialists, natural philosophers, and intellectuals. Matthew Boulton, Erasmus Darwin, Joseph Priestley, and the author and abolitionist Thomas Day were members of the social club formed to discuss issues with other like-minded individuals.

In 1773 Thomas Day wrote the epic poem The Dying Negro, which may have been partly responsible for arousing Josiah’s practical opposition to the slave trade.… Read More

Virtual First Tuesday | March 2

Join us for First Tuesday online!

AUCTION EVALUATION DAY | TUESDAY, MARCH 2

See what hidden treasures our experts may be able to reveal

We invite you to join us online for our Virtual First Tuesday on March 2. Submit your items anytime before the 2nd 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

The Value of Standing (or Avoiding) the Test of Time

Though the form still flourishes today, what we now consider vintage “tool” watches were produced from the 1950s to 1970s—their inherent artistry, engineering, and layout led to use at great depths, heights, pressure, speed—all manner of expedition or adventure.

When assessing today’s buyers’ views on vintage “tool” watches, whether a Rolex “James Bond” reference 5508, Zodiac Stainless Steel “Sea Wolf” Reference 722-946B, or a Rolex GMT Master II Reference 16710, never mind the myriad other makers and references that exist, it is interesting to note two sides to the value coin: patina vs.Read More

Do I have a Kashmir sapphire?

You may have seen some incredible auction prices for sapphires from the fabled Kashmir mines in recent years. Could that sapphire ring in your jewelry box possibly be one? First, a bit of a background on these sought-after stones. In 1881 in the Zanskar Range of the Himalayas, a landslide revealed a remarkable deposit of sapphires. These sapphires had a unique velvety cornflower blue appearance and were brighter than other stones. Mining began in 1882 and continued until 1887 when the mine was depleted.… Read More

Undeniably Versatile: Living with Blue & White Ceramics

The universality, profound and lasting appeal, and decorative versatility of “blue & white” ceramics is undeniable. Through centuries and across continents, blue-decorated white- or off-white-bodied ceramics are nearly ubiquitous. This is due to a combination of reasons: available materials, certain production efficiencies, and, of course, the enduring popularity of the color combination.

Set of Three Blue and White Export Serving Dishes, China, 18th/19th century, estimate: $300-500

Generally, antique ceramics derive from local clay and materials—many of which are light in color—from bright white to dull gray.… Read More

Virtual First Tuesday | February 2

Join us for First Tuesday online!

AUCTION EVALUATION DAY | TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 2

See what hidden treasures our experts may be able to reveal

We invite you to join us online for our Virtual First Tuesday on February 2. Submit your items anytime before the 2nd 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

How to Look for a Painting’s Condition

Robin Starr, Director of American & European Works of Art  shows us how to look at a canvas, explaining condition issues such as craquelure, retouch, relining, and how a UV light can help uncover repairs hidden to the naked eye.

Interested in Fine Art? View upcoming auctions of American & European Fine Paintings & Sculpture and Fine Prints & Photographs now open for bidding. 

VIEW WORKS ON OFFER

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5 of the Best – 2020 Auction Highlights

Here are some top lots in the categories of fine art, jewelry, watches, Asian art, and Americana from 2020 that gave a jolt of excitement and wildly exceeded expectations in a year that saw major auctions go virtual.

Chinese Blue and White Lotus-mouth Bottle Vase, sold for: $1,272,500

Elegantly formed, with an elongated pear-shaped body, allover lotus scroll design executed in “heap and pile” style, animal masks applied to the shoulder and six-character Yongzheng mark in underglaze blue in a double ring to the base, the ht.… Read More

Pandemic Pastimes: Binge-watching Favorite Shows

Like many of you right now, I’ve spent the last few months retreating into comforts—comfort food, comfort clothes, and comfort TV. And nothing is more comforting than re-watching your favorites, the shows and movies you’ve seen hundreds of times and can recite line by line. After watching the much anticipated season 4 of The Crown (whether you liked this season or not, Gillian Anderson was INCREDIBLE), I found myself going back to seasons 1 and 2 again.  

The Queen’s jewelry reproductions were amazingly accurate, something I found lacking in seasons 3 and 4.… Read More

Virtual First Tuesday | January 5

Join us for First Tuesday online!

AUCTION EVALUATION DAY | TUESDAY, JANUARY 5

See what hidden treasures our experts may be able to reveal

We invite you to join us online for our Virtual First Tuesday on January 5. Submit your items anytime before the 5th 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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