As a Skinner appraiser, I see all different kinds of people come through the door, lugging furniture, carrying paintings, or holding boxes of heirlooms, looking hopeful, perhaps nervous, or maybe even overconfident. I find that many fit into three groups: The Dreamers, The Realists, and The Skeptics.
Category Archives: Blog
I spent six months working in a jewelry store, learning more about materials like gold, silver, and diamonds. After all of this, I went to Bob Skinner with a proposal to start a jewelry department. He asked if I was a gemologist. I said, “No, I just took this week long course and I’m smart and honest.” He said, “You have the job.” I almost fainted.
Chinese export silver, so long sold and exported to the western world, has caught the eye of discerning Chinese buyers. With all of this serious competition added to the recent escalating value of silver, the tide has turned and recent trends show a tremendous upswing and record prices.
I was privileged to attend the November 13th opening gala for MFA’s new wing. The party itself was quite a blowout, with complimentary libations, exotic bite-sized dinner servings, and a very good dance band. However, the ever-increasing volume of said band, which seemed intent by the end of the evening on blowing out a few of the glass panels which surround the Shapiro Family Courtyard, drove me to tour the very well soundproofed gallery spaces not once but twice.… Read More
Has anyone ever told you to stick to one, specialized collecting area? You can tell them a new trend is emerging, and diversification is the name of the game.
I’m sure you’ve heard that a diversified investment portfolio is a good idea, but we both know that collecting stocks is not nearly the same as collecting antiques. The former usually demands a lack of emotion; the latter just the opposite. Diversification, however, can have equally positive results for both.… Read More
People ask me all the time, “How do I get started buying fine jewelry?” Here’s what I say to them, “Don’t be afraid to buy something and make a mistake.”
My son is 6 years old. He’s smart and articulate, and no Mom could be prouder. One day not too long ago I tried to explain my job at a major Boston auction house to him…
Over 140 years ago, in 1868, the antique clock you see running below kept Standard Time in New England. This masterpiece is The Bond Shop Astronomical Regulator No. 396, crafted by William Bond & Son. It is one of only three known in the world, and once stood in the window of the William Bond chronometer shop in Boston.
Now I’ll let the clock speak for itself—Watch and listen to it running as cleanly as it did in 1868.
Skinner will auction this spectacular precision timekeeper on November 20, 2010 in our Marlborough, Massachusetts auction of Science, Technology, Clocks, & Militaria.… Read More
The Declaration of Independence, the very first and perhaps most important historical document, was intended to be printed and then thrown away.