BOSTON, MA – It is gift-giving time. Will it be: Another necktie, sweater, and pair of slippers? (Cue the politely suppressed yawn) Or something unique and memorable? (Cue the delighted smile.)
The Gentlemen’s Auction online, opens for bidding from November 28 at 12PM through December 7 at 3PM, offers the better choice. Lots include men’s jewelry and accessories, barware, sporting items, choice spirits, as well as collectibles, antiques and decorative arts with a masculine flair.
The experts of Skinner’s specialty departments have chosen a broad spectrum of items to fit a range of interests and budgets. Offerings range from luxurious to practical to flat-out fun. Join online to browse, bid, and connect with your inner gentleman—without the hassles of crowded stores, parking problems, and inconvenient shopping hours.
Up, up and away
Particularly intriguing is Lot 1075 (Estimated between $150-250), two sheet aluminum bomber silhouette models. According to Chris Barber, Deputy Director of American Furniture and Decorative Arts, they are relatively rare.
These are examples of mid-century modern design with an unusual twist. They were made as teaching tools for the military and for civilian watchers. Die-stamped with identifying information and measurements, their primary use was as a visual aid in teaching how to recognize planes by their outline as viewed from below.
These models of the B-50 and B-52 bombers are part of military history. The importance of the skill of aircraft recognition and the development of methods to teach it stretches back to the period between World Wars I and II when the threat of large-scale aerial warfare was recognized. Today’s teaching aids such as printed silhouette charts and computer programs simply can’t compare in terms of elegance and visual interest.
Another mid-century military collectible is Lot 1077 ($60-80), a Korean War-era Type A-17 Air Force watch made by the Waltham Watch Company. The back is inscribed with detailed specifications for the timepiece, which presents on a well-worn vintage fabric band.
Mix it up
Fine barware and fine spirits are favorites for the holidays and year round. Among the festive offerings are:
Lot 1008 ($50-75), an English mahogany decanter set. The baize-lined box contains a removable brass rack holding three cut-glass decanters, an elegant way to present one of the fine bourbons, ryes and Scotch whiskies offered in Lots 1038 to 1063.
Lot 1006 ($80-100), two Japanese silver drink sets, each in a fitted case. Included is a set of six long-stemmed stirring or iced drink spoons, and a set of six each of cocktail spoons and forks, all with fanciful finials.
Lot 1004 ($200-400), an English drinking mug by Wakely and Wheeler (1923-24), and six three-handled “loving cup” cordials (1908-9). All pieces are sterling silver.
Sailing has been defined as the fine art of moving slowly at great expense. The Gentleman’s Auction offers a number of nautical-themed items at modest expense. Among them are:
Lot 1069 ($300-500), a Chelsea ship’s bell clock on stand to signal the changing of the watch (or time for dinner) ashore or afloat. These Massachusetts-made timepieces have been the gold standard for clock watchers from yachtsmen to the White House and on board U. S. Naval ships since 1897.
Lot 1030 ($75-125), a German Arts & Crafts glass box with a bronze lid depicting a finely detailed cutter under full sail.
Lot 1153 ($100-150), for the sailor who prefers short voyages in calm water. This 5 ½ inch long Japanese-made toy boat outboard motor is mid-century modern machinery in working condition.
Fun and games
This auction includes items to suit any gentleman’s playful spirit. Lot 1034 ($400-600) is an English mahogany inlaid games table. The early 19th century piece has a triple-folding top with card-playing surface and a roulette wheel and betting surface. If the gentleman is short on space, Lot 1037 ($1,200-1,600) is a silver-plate poker chest which opens to reveal a poker-chip rack complete with chips. There are several other gaming sets to choose from.
The fun doesn’t stop here. From a floor kaleidoscope to Marilyn Monroe-themed collectibles, there is something unique and intriguing for every gentleman on the gift list.
Previews, Catalogs, and Bidding
Auction previews are free and open to the public and held in Boston on Sunday, December 4 from 12-5PM and Saturday, December 5, from 12-7PM. The catalog is online with images of all lots to be sold in this internet-only auction. Log in or create a new account on the Skinner website to participate.
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, visit www.skinnerinc.com, find us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.