Skinners European Furniture & Decorative Arts Auction Nets More Than $2M; Khlebnikov Silver And Enamel Box Sells For $787,000


Klebnikov box sets a record for the highest priced lot ever sold in a Skinner European Furniture & Decorative Arts auction


BOSTON, Mass. – April 15, 2008 – – Skinner, one of the nation’s leading auction houses, today released the results of its European Furniture & Decorative Arts auction, which was held in its Boston gallery on April 10th and 12th.  The sale, which offered more than 800 lots and featured fine Silver and Judaica, brought in $2,010,483.00, with the cover lot – a Khlebnikov case (lot 116) – far exceeding sale expectations.

The fine Khlebnikov goldwashed, enameled, and jeweled silver casket from Moscow, circa 1908-17, was estimated at $50/80,000, but sold for $787,000.  The case features a miniature enamel on copper painting of A Boyar Wedding Feast by the painter Konstantin Makovsky; the original painting by Makovsky, painted in 1883, resides in the collection of The Hillwood Museum in Washington, DC.  The exquisite piece boasts green and red cabochon jeweled borders, opaque green sugarloaf jewels in the corners, and all over fine cloisonne enameling of scrolling vines.  Its goldwashed interior is engraved with the previous owner’s monogram “EKB” and dated 1913.    The case was originally purchased in Russia by the consignor’s grandmother in 1913, for her husband, most likely in St. Petersburg.  The box had remained in this same family since its purchase in 1913.  The sale of the box sets a record for the highest priced lot ever sold in a Skinner European Furniture & Decorative Arts auction.

“We’ve seen tremendous interest in all things Russian, said Skinner’s silver specialist Sara Wishart, “especially items crafted in silver.  The current market for this material is incredibly strong.”

Other significant highlights included a silver gilt enamel cased teacup from Russia (lot 113), estimated at $1/1,500, but selling for $26,070.00; a Tadolini marble figure of a slave girl (lot 782), estimated at $2,5/3,500, and bringing in $28,440.00; a monumental Chinese rose medallion porcelain palace vase (lot 812), estimated at $2/4,000, which went for $20,825.00; and a Antoine-Louis Barye bronze figure of an eagle (lot 534) that was estimated at $1/1,500 sold for $11,850.00.

Judaic items, which were offered as part of the sale for the first time in five years, also did remarkably well.  Of the top lots sold, Arthur Szyk’s Portrait of a Family (lot 476) sold for $14,220.00, well beyond its estimate of $3/500, and an 18th century Italian illuminated Esther scroll (Megillah) (lot 365) estimated for $1,5/2,500 sold for $13,035.00.


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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