Skinner Country Americana Sale to Feature Important Collections

MARLBOROUGH, Mass – August 1, 2012 – Skinner, Inc. will host a two-day auction of American Furniture and Decorative Arts at its Marlborough gallery. On August 11, 2012, The Shaker Collection of Jean Brown, Tyringham, Massachusetts will be offered along with maritime art and nautical antiques, Chinese export porcelain, glass, early lighting, rugs and carpets. The sale will continue on August 12, 2012 with the Private New Hampshire Collection of Cheryl and Paul Scott, which features fine weathervanes, folk carvings, and Jess Blackstone bird carvings, and the Americana collection of William Hubbard, Sunderland, Massachusetts. Important American needlework and folk portraiture will also be featured.

The Shaker Collection of Jean Brown

The Shaker Collection of Jean Brown amounts to more than 70 lots in the auction. Brown, an American art collector, amassed a collection that includes many examples of the timeless and elegantly simple designs of Shaker furniture makers. Shaker furniture highlights include a pine and maple chrome yellow-painted storage bin (lot 29, estimated between $8,000 and $12,000), and a glazed hymnal cupboard with glass doors that open to numbered shelves (lot 33, $4,000 to $6,000). In addition to the Jean Brown collection, the auction includes other highly-collectible, utilitarian Shaker objects including a yellow-painted oval carrier with a shaped ash handle (lot 44, $30,000 to $50,000).

American Decorative Arts

The first day continues with marine paintings, half-hull models, ship models, and other nautical antiques. Paintings of note include a portrait of the schooner Susan Wardwell of Salem in coastal waters, painted on a wooden panel (lot 91, $4,000 to $6,000), and a watercolor portrait of the ship Sooloo of Salem entering Genoa (lot 87, $4,000 to $6,000).

Folk art offerings include a wooden dandy figure advertising whirligig (lot 239, $12,000 to $18,000), a polychrome carved lion carousel figure with glass eyes (lot 229, $20,000 to $30,000), a collection of 44 carved and painted wooden dog figures by Prudent Coderre (lot 244, $1,500 to $2,000), an eight car scratch-built wood toy train painted with “D.L. & W. Railroad” (lot 251, $3,000 to $5,000), and a fine group of 19th century trade signs.

The Collection of Cheryl & Paul Scott

Cheryl and Paul Scott are well respected dealers in folk art and country American furniture. Their private collection, lots 600 through 880, features fine weathervanes, furniture, bird carvings, and polychrome folk carving. Weathervane highlights include a rare copper butterfly vane (lot 767, $8,000 to 12,000), and a gilt cast zinc and molded copper “index” horse weathervane (lot 768, $8,000 to $12,000) by J. Howard & Co. of West Bridgewater, Massachusetts.

Country New England furniture includes a Chippendale tiger maple tall chest (lot 614, $6,000 to $8,000) made by Moses Osborn of Weare, New Hampshire, and a fine red-painted sack-back Windsor chair (lot 609, $7,000 to $9,000).

The collection also includes an impressive selection of Jess Blackstone decorative bird carvings, including a miniature carved and painted golden plover (lot 659, $1,200 to $1,500), and a miniature carved and painted black-bellied plover (lot 660, $1,200 to $1,500). One rare and interesting piece is Blackstone’s own wooden trade sign, used to advertise his carvings (lot 653, $800 to $1,200). The sign reads “All Bird Models Made of White Pine.” A carved robin perches on a driftwood branch from which the sign hangs.

Cheryl and Paul Scott possess a playful sense of humor. This is evident in many of their polychrome folk art carvings, such as a painted fisherman figure with his fishing pole hooked to the seat of his pants (lot 683, $800 to $1,200), and a realistic looking carved pine feather that stands over 25 inches tall (lot 692, $400 to $600).

According to Stephen Fletcher, Director of American Furniture and Decorative Arts, “The Scotts amassed their distinctive and rare private collection of American antiques and folk art over a 35 year period. They collected with their eyes and their hearts, and like all true collectors, they have an encyclopedic memory of when, where, and from whom they purchased these pieces. Skinner is really pleased to be bringing this collection to auction.”

Connecticut River Valley items from William Hubbard

Property from the collection of antiquarian and auctioneer William Hubbard will be featured at the sale. Many of Hubbard’s pieces come from the Connecticut River Valley region. Highlights include a Chippendale fan-carved scroll-top cherry chest-on-chest (lot 948, $8,000 to $12,000), a Federal carved cherry tall case clock, probably from Springfield, MA, with boldly inlaid mahogany pateras (lot 955, $15,000 to $20,000), and a charming James Wells Champney landscape depicting figures enjoying the view from Mount Sugarloaf in South Deerfield (lot 889, $8,000 to $12,000).

Other notable furniture pieces include an oak and pine Hadley chest over two drawers (lot 1026, $15,000 to $25,000). This chest is illustrated and described in Clair Franklin Luther’s The Hadley Chest where she describes the chest as “one of a limited number having square posts turned at the bottom.” A late 17th century red-stained pine box, illustrated in Wallace Nutting’s Furniture of the Pilgrim Century, 1620-1720, is also on offer (lot 1027, $10,000 to $15,000).

Outstanding examples of needlework include a sampler by Mary Talbot of Providence, Rhode Island (lot 1090, $30,000 to $50,000). The sampler is illustrated in the Let Virtue Be a Guide to Thee exhibition catalog, curated and written by Betty Ring, published by the Rhode Island Historical Society in1983. Another fine example of needlework is a garden scene depicting a courting couple (lot 1091, $15,000 to $25,000).

Sales Tax Holiday

Skinner will be holding the Country Americana sale during the two-day sales tax holiday on August 11th and 12th recently passed by the Massachusetts legislature. Skinner customers can enjoy an exemption from the usual 6.25% Massachusetts Sales Tax on items up to $2,500 (including a buyer’s premium) purchased and paid for during the Country Americana sale. Cars and boats are not included.

Previews, Events, Catalogue, and Bidding

Previews for the auction will be held on Thursday, August 9, 2012, 12 p.m.-5 p.m., Friday, August 10, 2012, 12 p.m.-8 p.m., Saturday, August 11, 2012, 12 p.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, August 12, 8 a.m.-10 a.m.

Stephen Fletcher, Department Director, and Chris Barber, Deputy Director, will offer a gallery walk on Friday, Aug 10 at 5:30 p.m. in the Marlborough Gallery. To register, please visit: http://bit.ly/cana-walk-aug10

Illustrated catalogue #2608M is available by mail from the subscription department at #508-970-3240. It is also available at the gallery. Prices realized will be available at www.skinnerinc.com during and after the sale. Skinner’s site also allows users to view all lots in the auctions, leave bids, order catalogues, and bid live in real-time through SkinnerLive! Like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/skinnerauctions.

About Skinner

Skinner, Inc. is one of the world’s leading auction houses for antiques and fine art. With expertise in over 20 specialty collecting areas, Skinner draws the interest of buyers from all over the world and its auctions regularly achieve world record prices. Skinner provides a broad range of auction and appraisal services, and it is widely regarded as one of the most trusted names in the auction business. Skinner’s appraisal experts regularly appear on the PBS-TV series, Antiques Roadshow, and its specialty departments include American Furniture & Decorative Arts, American & European Works of Art, European Furniture & Decorative Arts, 20th Century Design, Fine Ceramics, Fine Silver, Fine Jewelry, Couture, Fine Musical Instruments, Asian Works of Art, Fine Wines, Rare Books & Manuscripts, Oriental Rugs & Carpets, American Indian & Ethnographic Art, Fine Judaica, Antique Motor Vehicles, Toys, Dolls & Collectibles, Discovery and Science, Technology & Clocks. Skinner galleries are located in Boston and Marlborough, Mass. For more information on upcoming auctions and events, visit Skinner’s web site www.skinnerinc.com.

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