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Skinner Ushers In New Year With European Furniture & Decorative Arts Auction Featuring Fine Ceramics On January 12, 2008

BOSTON, Mass. – December 21, 2007 – Skinner, one of the nation’s leading auction houses, will host a European furniture and decorative arts auction at the Boston gallery on January 12th at 10am. More than 800 lots of lots will be offered, including more than 300 lots of fine ceramics.

Al and Carol Pierce Collection of Wedgwood

Al and Carol Pierce, from San Marino, California, started collecting Wedgwood back in 1980 when they admired a neighbor’s collection. They never intended on being big collectors but through the years amassed a very diverse collection, with examples spanning the three centuries of Wedgwood’s production. Their first purchase was a set of creamware plates for $2. Well known among fellow Wedgwoodians, they are longstanding members in a number of Wedgwood organizations including the Wedgwood Society of Southern California and the Wedgwood International Seminar.

126 lots will be offered from the Pierce collection with highlights including a black basalt plaque depicting a Roman warrior (lot 144, est. $3/5,000); earthenware wall plaques with depictions of Falstaff and Mistress Ford (lots 256 & 257, est. $1/1,500 each) designed by Thomas Allen in the early 1880’s; a Christopher Dresser design aquarium vase (lot 20, est. $1,2/1,800); and a Louise Powell design bicentenary vase (lot 344, est. $1/1,500), circa 1930, commemorating the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of Josiah Wedgwood in 1730.

Other 19th century examples from their collection include dry body wares in rosso antico, cane and drab, first and second period bone china, pink lustre, majolica, Marsden art ware, Thomas Allen designed wares and carrara ware. The 20th century, a focus of the Pierce Collection, includes examples by Lindsey, Bert Bentley, Harry Barnard, Palliser, A.D. Holland, Norman Wilson, Arnold Machin, Kathleen Goodwin, Montague A. Weaver-Bridgeman, Erling Olsen, Alfred and Louise Powell, Elwyn James, Skeaping, Taplin, Ravilious, as well as Daisy Makeig-Jones designed wares with a number of fairyland lustre lots. Rounding out the offering are glass animals, modern limited edition pieces and the large volume OLD WEDGWOOD by Rathbone.

The Pierce’s scope of collecting expanded beyond just Wedgwood and the offerings include several other Christopher Dresser design items and examples of William De Morgan, including a pink lustre decorated panther bowl (lot 32, $1/1,500) decorated by Charles Passenger.

Other Pottery and Porcelains

Other objects include a large selection of fine 18th century white saltglaze stoneware from the Kanter Collection; a number of Christopher Dresser designed items from Minton, Linthorpe, Wedgwood and Ault; a variety of De Morgan designs including Wedgwood and Bushey Heath, several Pratt-type examples, early Adams jasper, an important private collection of Mettlach cameo wares; and a select group of Turner stoneware busts and figures. Doulton and Union porcelain are also represented.

Featured porcelains include a late 19th century charming German painted porcelain plaque (lot 548, est. $6/8,000) depicting a little girl napping with her dog in a nursery; a good group of the ever-popular Flora Danica pattern porcelain by Royal Copenhagen (lots 620-627; estimates range from $500 on the low end to $5,000 on the high); a Viennese porcelain vase (lot 682, est. $2,5/3,500) from the late 19th century, enamel decorated with scene of Constantin and other figures; a pair of Longwy enamel decorated Faience aesthetic movement vases (lot 736, est. $4/600) depicting various fish specimens; and a Limoges copper enamel Renaissance revival cup and saucer (lot 638, est. $7/900), with cast gilt metal winged cherubs and grotesque male masks.

European Furniture & Timepieces

Furniture pieces expected to draw significant interest include a George III mahogany and inlay stagetop sideboard (lot 667, est. $3/5,000) in a style associated with Scottish cabinetmaking; a last quarter 18th century Louis XVI gray painted beechwood bergere en cabriole (lot 716, est. $1,2/1,500) with arched backrest, scrolled hand-holds and circular stop-fluted legs; a highly decorative Renaissance walnut and polychrome painted hall bench (lot 799, est. $7/9,000); and an interesting Indian British colonial carved easel (lot 867, est. 1,5/2,500), the posts wrapped with cobras and surmounted by two figures. Two signature timepieces grace the sale: an impressive American Renaissance revival carved oak tallcase clock (lot 658, est. $12/15,000) stamped W&H, retailed by Tiffany & Company; and a fine Chippendale wall timepiece (lot 769, est. $6/8,000) by Charles Davis, London.

Additional highlights

Among the offerings of English and Continental decorative arts and furniture from the 18th through the 20th century are a number of additional highlights including a Continental carved ivory plaque depicting Empress Elizabeth of Russia (lot 502, est. $7/900); a whimiscal Black Forest carving depicting a family of cows (lot 752, est. $4/600); a lovely pair of parcel gilt bronze candelabra (lot 818, est. $6/10,000) from the first quarter 19th century; and wo large Louis Vuitton steamer trunks (lots 552 and 552A, est. each at $8/1,200) with brass fittings and cloth lined interiors.

Previews and Catalog Information

Previews for the auction will be held on January 10th from 12 to 5 p.m and on January 11th from 12 to 8 p.m. Illustrated catalog #2394 is available by mail for $32 ($39 for foreign requests) from the subscription department at 978-779-6241 x240. It is also available at the gallery for $29. Prices realized will be available at during and after the sale. For more information, call 978-779-6241, or visit 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 and the only major auction house headquartered in New England.  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, Paintings & Prints, English & Continental Furniture & Decorations, Fine Ceramics, Jewelry, Couture, 20th Century Furniture & Decorative Arts, Fine Musical Instruments, Asian Art, Fine Judaica, Toys, Dolls & Collectibles, Science & Technology, Oriental Rugs & Carpets, American Indian & Ethnographic Art, 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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