Skinner European Auction Features Wedgwood, Religious Icons and Important Statuary

BOSTON, Mass. – June 17, 2010 – Skinner, Inc. will host an auction of European Furniture and Decorative Arts on Saturday, July 10th at 10 a.m. in its Boston gallery.  Skinner’s July European auction always features a great offering of Fine Ceramics and this sale is abundant, with 450 lots of ceramics, much of it coming from great collections built over a lifetime.  The entire auction is just over 1,000 lots, and estimates range to fit every budget.

Fine Ceramics highlights include the Wedgwood collection of Joe Skirchak and Pat Cerra.  Pat and Joe have collected Wedgwood for 30 years and have been dealing in it since 1984.   Encompassing the full breadth of Wedgwood’s manufacture, the collection numbers approximately 350 lots and includes many fine examples in jasper of all colors and a wide selection of black basalt.   Also well represented are queen’s ware decorated by Emile Lessore and others, several earthenware Peace plaques, Thomas Allen decorated Shakespeare chargers, and a wide range of wares produced by the many freelance and studio potters.  These include works by Alan Best, John Skeaping, Ernest Light, Keith Murray, Arnold Machin, Norman Wilson, Harry Sheldon, Peter Wall, Louise Powell, Daisy Makeig-Jones and others.

Complimentary ceramics in the auction include a set of four 18th century Wedgwood and Bentley period oval plaques; a collection of reticulated Royal Worcester featuring a number of double-walled vessels and a teapot attributed to George Owen; Belleek porcelains; a set of eleven Wilkinson commemorative toby jugs; and Royal Doulton offerings highlighted by a Mark V. Marshall decorated stoneware owl vase.

Decorative arts offerings are highlighted by the icon collection of Louis Albert McMillen, a prominent American architect, and founder of The Architect’s Collaborative (TAC) along with Walter Gropius and six other architects.  The collection is comprised of more than 45 Greek, Russian and Arabic Christian Icons.  A graduate of the Yale School of Architecture, and the Harvard Graduate School of Design, McMillen worked extensively in the Middle East, most notably on the TAC design of Baghdad University. McMillen was not only a designer, but a painter.  This wonderfully varied collection reflects his interest in painting, as well as a fascination with the artistry and symbolism of icons.

Also being offered is a nice group of impressive bronze and stone statuary, highlighted by Two French Soldiers on the Filed of Battle, La Defense Du Drapeau by Jean-Louis Gregoire. This patriotic bronze was one of at least five different compositions that Gregoire executed to protest the Prussian territorial land grab and occupation of Alsace-Lorraine in 1870. An alabaster figure by Edmonia Lewis, also known as Wildfire Lewis, is also up for bid.  Lewis was the daughter of an African American father and a Chippewa mother.  She studied for a time in Boston, and then traveled to Rome where she joined the women’s classical sculpture group known as the White Marmorean Flock.  Lewis’s works include scenes of American Indians, as well as depictions of freedom from slavery.  She is regarded as one of the first African American female sculptors to gain international fame.

Previews, Catalog and Bidding

Previews for the auction will be held on Thursday, July 8th from 12 to 5 p.m. and Friday, July 9th from 12 to 8 p.m.  Illustrated catalog #2513 is available by mail for $35 ($42 for foreign requests) from the subscription department at 508-970-3240.  It is also available at the gallery for $32.  Prices realized will be available at during and after the sale.  Skinner’s site also allows users to view all lots in the auctions, leave bids, order catalogs, and bid live in real-time through Skinner-Live.  To register for real-time bidding go to  Or, for more information call 508-970-3000.

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 Paintings & Prints, 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



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