August Americana Returns to Skinner with Superb Private Collections On the Block

Carved and Painted Pine Hanging Spice Box, Samuel L. Plank (Mifflin County, 1821-1900), Pennsylvania, last quarter 19th century (Lot 1107, Estimate $12,000-$18,000)

Carved and Painted Pine Hanging Spice Box, Samuel L. Plank (Mifflin County, 1821-1900), Pennsylvania, last quarter 19th century (Lot 1107, Estimate $12,000-$18,000)

Two-day Auction Features The Collection of Ellie Walker Hoover and Robust Offerings of Furniture, Maritime Antiques and Sandwich Glass

MARLBOROUGH, MA – July 30, 2015Skinner, Inc. will present important collections of Americana and Sandwich glass as part of its auction of American Furniture & Decorative Arts on August 8th and 9th. This two-day auction of over 1,000 lots will also feature maritime paintings, decorative arts, and fine examples of urban and rural New England furniture.

The Ellie Hoover Walker Collection

Skinner is pleased to offer the collection of the late Eleanor “Ellie” Hoover Walker of Hudson, Ohio on Sunday, August 9th at 10AM. An avid antique collector and dealer for over 50 years, Ellie was well known for her expertise in early Pennsylvania German and New England furniture and decorative arts.

“Ellie collected with remarkable consistency – prioritizing color, form, condition, and aesthetics,” said Stephen Fletcher, Executive Vice President and Director of American Furniture & Decorative Arts. “We are pleased and proud to have been chosen to offer her collection at auction.”

Most noteworthy in Ellie’s collection is a Berks County, Pennsylvania, paint-decorated dower chest of particularly fine quality (Lot 1068, Estimated between $150,000 and $250,000). Its tulips, pinwheels, and balusters, painted in vibrant colors on a brick-red ground, inspired Monroe Fabian, author of The Pennsylvania-German Decorated Chest, to comment that this “chest is one of my all-time favorites.” The chest is big, but Ellie loved painted “smalls” as well: highlights in this category include a rare colorfully painted and carved hanging spice box by Samuel L. Plank in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania (Lot 1107, $12,000 to $18,000); a carved yellow and black-painted songbird by the Virginville Carver (Lot 1055, $10,000 to $15,000); and a paint-decorated slide-lid trinket box by Jacob Weber of Fivepointville in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, (Lot 1065, $10,000 to $15,000). Characteristically painted in lively colors, this example is reportedly one of only six slide-lid boxes known by the maker.

Birth Certificate Fraktur by Daniel Peterman (1797-1871), York County, Pennsylvania, c. 1826 (Lot 1036, Estimate $5,000-$7,000)

Birth Certificate Fraktur by Daniel Peterman (1797-1871), York County, Pennsylvania, c. 1826 (Lot 1036, Estimate $5,000-$7,000)

Ellie’s well-known collection of Pennsylvania German fraktur and watercolors is highlighted by an 1826 birth certificate fraktur by Daniel Peterman of York County, Pennsylvania (Lot 1036, $5,000 to $7,000), in which the script is flanked by stylishly dressed women holding flowers, with an elaborate figural, bird, and floral cresting. Also impressive is Ellie’s large collection of spatterware (Lots 1077-1106 and Lots 1155-1179), in an array of bright colors and styles, many with pictorial designs including tulips, thistles, peafowls, and houses. Ellie also loved painted tinware, of which there are a number of examples in near-perfect condition (Lots 1000-1013).

New England furniture is represented by a dazzling yellow paint-decorated stand from Norway, Maine, embellished with flowers and vines (Lot 1117, $12,000 to $15,000), and a Massachusetts mahogany fan-carved dressing table with its original brasses and old surface, which was exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in 1929 (Lot 1015, $15,000 to $20,000).

American folk portraiture highlights in the collection include a rare pair of portraits dated 1832: John Samuel Blunt of New England’s, Timothy Loring Boutelle and His Sister (Lot 1016, $15,000 to $25,000), and Micah Williams’ pastel of a gentleman wearing a navy jacket (Lot 1024, $6,000 to $8,000).

Pair of Light Green Pressed Glass Loop Pattern Lamps, Boston & Sandwich Glass Company, Sandwich, Massachusetts, c. 1840-60 (Lot 59, Estimate $800-$1,200)

Pair of Light Green Pressed Glass Loop Pattern Lamps, Boston & Sandwich Glass Company, Sandwich, Massachusetts, c. 1840-60 (Lot 59, Estimate $800-$1,200)

Sandwich Glass

To be offered on Saturday, August 8th, The Herbert E. Green collection of colored Sandwich glass (Lots 7-178) is the best such grouping that Skinner has ever presented; approximately 300 individual pieces will be on the block. Unseen for over 35 years, this collection includes a large variety of open salts and dozens of tulip vases, whale oil lamps, and candlesticks, many of which were exhibited at the Sandwich Glass Museum in Sandwich, Massachusetts, decades ago.

Maritime Art & Antiques

Maritime art highlights include an early 19th century oil on canvas of a Cannon Salute to an American Ship of the Line in New York Harbor (Lot 179, $15,000 to $25,000). Impressive in size, measuring 32 ½ x 44 inches, this rare and folky depiction was consigned by a Boston-area family. The portrait of the Packet Ship “Emerald” of Boston (Lot 182, $20,000 to $30,000) represents a very different but no less outstanding early 19th century approach to maritime portraiture: in this anchored view, the Emerald displays an extensive  variety of signal and code flags off Liverpool.

The maritime category is rounded out by a number of additional ship portraits, a collection of Liverpool creamware, artifacts of the whaling industry, and decorative arts of the China trade.

Diminutive Carved Cherry Desk Bookcase (Lot 1332, Estimate $15,000-$25,000)

Diminutive Carved Cherry Desk Bookcase (Lot 1332, Estimate $15,000-$25,000)

American Furniture

The August Americana auction presents many opportunities to acquire very fine pieces of 18th and 19th century furniture. Urban cabinetmaking is represented by a Massachusetts Chippendale mahogany block-front bureau table of diminutive proportions (Lot 1325, $8,000 to $12,000), while a carved cherry desk-bookcase (Lot 1332, $15,000 to $25,000), illustrates a rural cabinetmaker’s sophisticated interpretation of a city form, with its carved swan’s-neck cresting, scallop-paneled doors and well-fitted interior. The collection of Gedeon A. and Jean G. LaCroix includes several examples of paint-decorated Vermont furniture, including chests of drawers, blanket chests, and an especially nice work table (Lot 1397, $800 to $1,200). A complete room of paneling, comprising a shell-carved barrel-back corner cupboard, over 25 feet of wainscoting, a fireplace mantel, and a door, all from a late 18th century Connecticut house (Lot 1341, $15,000 to $25,000), affords a rare opportunity for those who are looking for interior architectural elements from this time period.

Previews, Catalog, and Bidding

Previews for the auction will be held at Skinner’s Marlborough gallery from August 3rd through August 5th by appointment, with open previews on Thursday, August 6th from noon to 5PM; Friday, August 7th from noon to 8PM; and Saturday, August 8th from 9AM to 5PM. Illustrated Catalog #2838M is available from the Subscription Department, at 508-970-3240, or from the Gallery. Prices realized will be available online, at, both during and after the sale. The Skinner website enables users to view every lot in the auction, leave bids, order catalogs and bid live, in real-time, through SkinnerLive! and Bidsquare.

About Skinner

Skinner auctions draw international interest from buyers and consignors alike, with material regularly achieving record prices. The company’s auction and appraisal services focus on fine art, jewelry, furniture, and decorative arts from around the globe, as well as wine, fine musical instruments, rare books, Asian art, clocks, Judaica, and more. Monthly Skinner Discovery auctions feature a breadth of estate material. Widely regarded as one of the most trusted names in the business, Skinner appraisers have appeared on the PBS-TV series, Antiques Roadshow, since the show’s inception. Skinner has galleries in Boston and Marlborough, Massachusetts, and offices in New York City and in Miami, Florida. Bidders participate in person, by phone, and online; join auctions live with SkinnerLive! and Bidsquare. For more information and to read our blog, visit the website at, find us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.




Stephen Fletcher
Director of American Furniture & Decorative Arts


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