European Decorative Arts the Focus of Skinner January 12th Auction

BOSTON, MA – Skinner, Inc. will hold an auction on January 12, 2019, of European Furniture & Decorative Arts. With over 500 lots on offer, the auction features fine ceramics and silver as well as European furniture and decorative arts of the 18th through 20th centuries.

Collection of Hungarian Silver from the Estate of Francis M. Bator (Lot 32, Estimate: $3,000-5,000; Lot 34, Estimate: $2,000-3,000; Lot 27, Estimate: $2,000-3,000; Lot 28, Estimate: $2,000-3,000; Lot 26, Estimate: $2,000-3,000)

This sale features a collection of 17th to 19th century Hungarian Silver from the estate of prominent White House economist, writer, and professor Francis M. Bator. Bator’s family fled to the United States in 1939; escaping pro-fascist leaning Hungary at the onset of World War II. Educated at the Groton School and M.I.T he was a special advisor to President Lyndon B. Johnson on economic policy and relations with Europe. Known as urbane and erudite, he sought to surround himself with the art and culture of Hungary. Featured are a collection of Hungarian silver beakers from the 16th to 19th centuries. 

Other Highlights:

Gorham Sterling Silver and Mixed Metal Bowl (Lot 92, Estimate: $1,500-2,500)

A fine example of American Aesthetic Movement silver, a Gorham Sterling Silver and Mixed Metal Bowl, last quarter of the 19th century decorated in the Japonesque style and decorated throughout with a hand-hammered finish and applied with birds and high relief strawberry sprays with insect (Lot 92, Estimate: $1,500-2,500)

Russian silver is represented by a Russian Cloisonné and En Plein Enamel Box by Feodor Ruckert decorated circa, 1908-1917 with a troika scene within borders of all-over floral motifs (Lot 82, Estimate: $10,000-20,000) 

An extensive flatware service in a popular pattern is a Reed & Barton “Love Disarmed” Sterling Silver Flatware Service (Lot 126, Estimate: $6,000-8,000)

Assembled Empire-style Dore Bronze, Crystal, and Porcelain Three-piece Clock Garniture, France, 19th/20th century (Lot 306, Estimate: $10,000-15,000)

Furniture offerings range from a colorful and highly decorative Italian giltwood low table decorated with gouaches based on Pompeian Third Style wall paintings (Lot 240, Estimate: $1,500-2,500) to a Pair of William IV Mahogany and Leather Upholstered Tub Chairs (Lot 480, Estimate: $300-500) to an Alphonse Giroux et Cie Ebony-parquetry Ormolu-mounted and Brass-inlaid Petit Commode (Lot 382, Estimate: $3,000-5,000)

Decorative objects include collections of Moorcroft and Minton ceramics, a Bronze of a Pointer Guarding Game by a Tree Stump After Pierre-Jules Mêne (Lot 296, Estimate: $1,500-2,500) and an Assembled Empire-style Dore Bronze, Crystal, and Porcelain Three-piece Clock Garniture (Lot 306, Estimate: $10,000-15,000).

Previews, Catalog & Events

RISD Museum Curator Elizabeth A. Williams

Previews will be held in Boston on Thursday, January 10 from 12PM – 5PM and on Friday, January 11 from 12PM – 8PM. Free and open to the public, specialists will be on hand to answer questions.  A PDF auction catalog can be viewed and downloaded here.

On Friday, January 11, Skinner welcomes Elizabeth A. Williams, the David and Peggy Rockefeller Curator of Decorative Arts and Design, who will speak about Gorham silver and the upcoming RISD Museum exhibition, Designing Innovation: The Gorham Manufacturing Company, American Silver 1850-1970, opening May 2019. This talk is held in conjunction with the January 12 European Furniture & Decorative Arts auction, featuring Gorham silver. Join us on Friday, January 11 for a reception at 5:30PM and the talk at 6:00PM. Space is limited, please RSVP here.

About Skinner

Skinner attracts top consignments and commands record-breaking prices in the international auction marketplace. With renowned expertise and extraordinary service, Skinner is the place for buyers, sellers and the passionately curious. Skinner appraisers are familiar faces on PBS’s 16-time Emmy Award-nominated ANTIQUES ROADSHOW. Visit us in Boston, Marlborough, New York or Miami, or online at

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