Skinner to Host Auction of 20th Century Furniture & Decorative Arts December 20, 2008

BOSTON, Mass. – December 03, 2008 – – Skinner, one of the nation’s leading auction houses, will host an auction of 20th Century Furniture & Decorative Arts in its Boston gallery on December 20th at 10 a.m.  The sale will feature more than 750 lots of furniture and decorative and utilitarian objects from the Art Nouveau, Arts & Crafts, Art Deco, Mid-Century and Post Modern periods (1880-contemporary time).  This sale promises to offer interesting products of good design and quality material.

In time for the holidays, the range of objects includes mosaic glass windows, lighting, handmade glass, pottery, silver, metalwork, rugs, sculpture and decorative artwork to fit every budget.

Decorative Arts

For history buffs, a Tiffany Mosaic Glass Window in a landscape design, the cover lot, (lot 69, est. $60/80,000) offers an interesting tie to Boston.  The window was commissioned in Memory of Margaret Baker from Tiffany Studios, New York, and signed.  It is purported that it was installed in the ward room of the Woman’s Free Hospital in Brookline, Massachusetts in the early 20th century.  The circular form, glass quality and composition make this a very important work in glass.  This auction also includes lighting, art glass vases and bowls and a large selection of bronze desk items made by Tiffany from the early 1900’s.

More Massachusetts history comes in the way of the collection of Arthur Stone silver. Stone had a workshop in Gardner, Massachusetts during the Arts & Crafts period and later. His craftsman made hollowware and flatware by hand. The forms and quality of craftsmanship are exemplary.  Examples include a mug, porringer and plate (lot 259, est. $6/800); a mixed metal covered box (lot 263, est. $2,5/3,500); a mixed metal bowl (lot 268, est. $14/16,000); and a decorated tray (lot 286, est. $1,6/1,800).

Two collections of pottery are of great significance in the auction.  One collection of note is the work of Edwin Scheier, 1910-2008.  Edwin and his wife Mary lived, taught, and made pottery vessels together for many years in New Hampshire and both continued to do so after they moved to Arizona.  Though both are now deceased, the Currier Museum in Manchester, N.H. has a large collection of their work.  A stoneware pottery vase and catalog (lot 481, est. $2/3,000); a stoneware pottery bowl (lot 482, est. $1,5/2,500); a stoneware pottery charger (lot 483, est. $1,5/2,500); and a digital print (lot 484, est. $3/500) depicting a female figure with two figures encircled by her arms in a stylized womb will be auctioned to benefit the Currier Museum.  Another noteworthy collection is that of the woman of Newcomb College Pottery, New Orleans, early 1900’s.  These women decorated some of the prettiest pottery ever seen, drawing inspiration from their local natural environment.  The vases are glazed in shades of blue and green.  The majority of the Newcomb offered in this sale is descended in the family of one of the decorators.  Highlighted lots include an iris vase (lot 170, est. $3/5,000); a cylindrical decorated vase (lot 172, est. $1,5/2,500); two decorated tiles (lot 182A, est. $1,1,500); and a set of four small decorated bowls (lot 177, est. $8/1,200).


Another highlight of the sale is the Art Deco furniture collection from the estate of Dr. Anella Brown, the first female surgeon in Boston. The collection includes a Grosfield House cabinet (lot 348, est. $15/20,000), which is quintessential Art Deco; a mirrored console table (lot 344, est. $1.2/1,800); and a coffee table (lot 347, est. $2/300).

Finally, Scandinavian furniture from the 1950’s and 60’s will be offered and has become increasingly popular; much of the furniture is made from slow growth teak wood.  A chaise with footstool (lot 505, est. $3/5,000) was designed by Hans Wegner, 1914-2007, in Denmark and was purchased at Design Research in Cambridge. The chaise’s provenance is of a Boston academic family.

Previews & catalog information

Previews for the auction will be held from 12 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Dec 18th, 12 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec 19th, and from 8 to 9 a.m. on Saturday, December 20th.  Illustrated catalogue #2439 is available by mail for $35 ($42 for foreign requests) from the subscription department at 978-779-6241 x1240.  It is also available at the gallery for $29.  Prices realized will be available at during and after the sales.  For more information on the auctions, auction preview times, and the gallery walk, visit Skinner’s website at  Skinner’s site also allows users to view all lots in the auctions, leave bids, and order catalogs online.

About Skinner

Skinner, Inc. is one of the nation’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, Science & Technology, Oriental Rugs & Carpets, American Indian & Ethnographic Art, Fine Judaica, Antique Motor Vehicles, Toys, Dolls & Collectibles, and Discovery.  Skinner galleries are located in Boston and Bolton, Mass.  For more information on upcoming auctions and events, visit Skinner’s web site


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