Skinner European Furniture & Decorative Arts Auction Features Special Collection of Wedgwood and Early English Potteries, July 13 & 14

Franz Bergman Cold-painted Bronze Figure of Cleopatra’s Barge, Austria, early 20th century (Lot 476, Estimate $8,000-12,000)

BOSTON, MA – Skinner, Inc. will present an auction of European Furniture & Decorative Arts in its Boston Gallery on Thursday, July 13 and Friday, July 14. With over 1000 lots on offer, the auction will feature an expansive selection of fine ceramics and silver as well as European furniture and decorative arts of the 16th through early 20th centuries.

Session I: Victor & Muriel Polikoff Collection

The auction opens on Thursday, July 13 at 4PM with almost 300 lots from the Victor & Muriel Polikoff collection. The Polikoffs began collecting over 50 years ago and amassed an extensive collection that consists of 18th and 19th century Wedgwood and other early English ceramics, including Moorcroft, Turner, Doulton, Staffordshire, 18th century salt glaze and Whieldon ware. Some highlights from their collection include:

Staffordshire Solid Agate Pecten Shell Teapot and Cover (Lot 33, Estimated between $1,000-1,500)

Wedgwood & Bentley Solid Agate Vase and Cover (Lot 73, $3,000-5,000)

Pair of Wedgwood Encaustic Decorated Black Basalt Calyx Krater Urns (Lot 102, $3,000-5,000)

Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre Vase (Lot 252, $2,000-3,000)

Tin-glazed Earthenware Noah’s Ark Charger, Holland or Germany, early 18th century (Lot 696, Estimate $1,500-2,500)

Session II: European Furniture & Decorative Arts

Session II of the auction begins at 10AM on Friday, July 14 and features over 700 lots of furniture, decorative arts, paintings, ceramics and silver. Additional fine ceramic offerings from session II feature almost 100 lots of Wedgwood from numerous fine collections including the Dr. Norman and Romaine Jacobs collection, the estate of Paul Lauer, and the Edward Knowles collection.  Several notable lots from this selection include:

Tin Glazed Earthenware Noah’s Ark Charger (Lot 696, $1,500-2,500)

Wedgwood Black Basalt Figure of Achilles (Lot 356, $800-1,200)

Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre Argus Pheasant Bone China Plate (Lot 300, $2,500-3,500)

Furniture and decorative art offerings in the auction span a range of styles and mediums with 40 lots of porcelain plaques many by KPM, a large group of Meissen “Blue Onion” pattern porcelain, as well as a strong selection of Art Nouveau furniture. Early English and Continental furniture also make a strong showing, with many pieces from Colonial Williamsburg from which the proceeds will be used by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, exclusively for the acquisition of art and antiques to be exhibited in its art museums and historic buildings. Other highlights for Session II include:

Galle Cameo Glass Fire-Polished Vase (Lot 433, $6,000-8,000)

Emile Galle Two-tier Marquetry Table (Lot 434, $1,500-2,500)

Franz Bergman Cold-painted Bronze of Cleopatra’s Barge (Lot 476, $8,000-12,000)

Italian Marble Bust of the Apollo Belvedere (Lot 648, $1,500-2,500)

Set of Fourteen Carrara Marble Stations of the Cross Plaques, probably Joseph Sibbel Studios (Lot 589 selection 1 of 14, Estimate $20,000-40,000)

Perhaps the most impressive lot in the auction, however, is a Set of Fourteen Carrara Marble Stations of the Cross, probably by Joseph Sibbel Studios (Lot 589, $20,000-40,000) (to be previewed by appointment in the Marlborough MA gallery). The plaques were originally from the Immaculate Conception Church in Boston, which was dedicated on March 10, 1861, and designed by Patrick Charles Keely as the first church of Boston College. German-born American immigrant Joseph Sibbel (1850-1907) was often employed by Keely to work on a number of marble and plaster sculptures, altars, and Stations of the Cross. A similar group of Stations attributed to Sibbel and constructed in plaster are found at St. Joseph’s Church in Amesbury MA.

Friday’s auction concludes with nearly 200 lots of silver featuring a broad range of flatware and hollowware from the United States, Asia, and Europe. Prominently featured are almost 50 lots of Southeast Asian silver most from China or Japan as well as numerous offerings by American makers including Gorham, Tiffany, George Shiebler, and Dominick & Haff, including:

Extensive Japanese Art Nouveau Silver Tea and Coffee Service (Lot 950, $8,000-12,000)

Gorham Martelé .9584 Silver Five-light Candelabra (Lot 981, $8,000-12,000)

Georg Jensen Sterling Silver Pitcher (Lot 903, $4,000-6,000)

Previews, Event & Catalog

Free public Previews will be held in Boston on Wednesday, July 12 from 12PM – 5PM and on Thursday, July 13 from 12PM – 8PM.

Skinner will also present a lecture by the former managing editor and current contributing editor of Ars Ceramica, Harwood (Woody) Johnson, titled Storied Wedgwood Collections and Stories about the Collectors. The lecture will begin at 6pm on Wednesday, July 12 with a reception at 5PM.

Printed catalog 3020B is available from the Subscriptions Department at or from the Gallery. Prices realized will be available online at during and after the sale.

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, as well as in New York City and Miami, Florida, with bidders participating 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 and Instagram.



Stuart Slavid
Senior Vice President
Director of Fine Ceramics
Director of Fine Silver
Director of European Furniture & Decorative Arts

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