Antiques and Fine Art Auctions Blog

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Bonhams Skinner Announces Its Third Sale of Eclectic Objects from the Jim Dixon Collection

MARLBOROUGH, MA – Bonhams Skinner is pleased to present Art & Antiques | Jim Dixon Collection, the next sale from the Jim Dixon Collection auction series. Featuring more than 300 lots of Japanese, Chinese, Middle Eastern, American, and African art, antiques and vintage collectibles, the auction will run online June 5, 2022 – June 15, 2022. Previews will be available June 10, 13 and 14.

Highly regarded for his collection of rugs and textiles (which has come to be known as the ‘Hesperides Collection’) Dixon also sought out an eclectic range of objects throughout his lifetime that complimented his primary passion for early carpets. Gathered in a single auction that spans the breadth of this collection, bidders have the unique opportunity to both add to or begin a focused collection of their own, and also discover some statement home décor amongst pieces selected by Dixon for his purpose-built mountain residence in Occidental, California.

As a textile enthusiast, Japanese Buddhist Monk’s Robes, Kesas, were of particular interest to Dixon, with more than twenty individual robes offered in total—comprising the largest collection that Bonhams Skinner has brought to auction so far. A visual and textural delight, these woven vestments and the arrangement of the sections of fabric and patches hold deep significance in Buddhism. Several examples date to the Edo period, such as this stunning blue and gold Kesa. A rare and significant Chinese Brocade Panel Fragment, which potentially dates to the Ming Dynasty, features a set of familiar five-clawed dragons reaching for flaming pearls alongside a distinctly unusual motif of six animals from the Chinese zodiac bordering the sides of the panel.

Brocade Buddhist Monk’s Robe, Kesa, Japan, 18th/19th century
(Lot 1020, Estimate $300-500)
Brocade Panel Fragment, China, possibly Ming dynasty
(Lot 1010, Estimate $800-1,200)

A striking Maki-e Lacquered Box and Cover, Japan, Edo period, incorporating gnarled peach trees with delicate blossoms, using the natural beauty of the wood enhanced by lacquer and gold, is a highlight from the thirty lots of Japanese lacquerware on offer. At the other end of the scale, an exquisite Ryukyu Gold/Mother-of-pearl-inlaid Incense Covered Box, Japan, late Edo perioddemonstrates the detailed and delicate lacquer work indicative of that period.

Maki-e Lacquered Box and Cover, Japan, Edo period
(Lot 1060, Estimate $1,000-2,000)
Ryukyu Gold/Mother-of-pearl-inlaid Incense Covered Box, Japan, late Edo period
(Lot 1062, Estimate $600-800)

Dixon’s discerning eye also shone on a select group of American and European oil landscapes, primarily sweeping rural and mountainous compositions from the mid to late 19th into the 20th century, such as Daniel Huntington’s (American, 1816-1906) Hudson River style mountain view and an evocative scene of Majestic Mountains with Waterfall and Foreground Cliff and Tree.

Daniel Huntington (American, 1816-1906) Mountain View
(Lot 1170, Estimate $300-500)
Continental School, 19th Century, Majestic Mountains with Waterfall and Foreground Cliff and Tree
(Lot 1132, Estimate $400-600)

A select few notable Chinese offerings include a Silvery Bronze Ritual Tripod Covered Vessel as well as several lots of Neolithic pottery (beginning at Lot 1196). Dixon also appreciated woven American baskets (beginning at Lot 1239), and the sculptural qualities of African wood masks and carvings (beginning at Lot 1249), resulting in micro-collections of each.

Silvery Bronze Ritual Tripod Covered Vessel, China
(Lot 1286, Estimate $800-1,200)
Painted Pottery Funerary Jar, China, Neolithic period, Banshan type
(Lot 1198, Estimate $300-500)
Two Northwest Coast Polychrome Twined Baskets, early 20th century
(Lot 1240, Estimate $400-600)
Senufo Antelope Mask, Waniugo, Ivory Coast
(Lot 1254, Estimate $100-200)

Additional highlights include: A Mother-of-pearl-inlaid Wood Casket, Northwest India, Guijarat, possibly late 16th century.

Mother-of-pearl-inlaid Wood Casket, Northwest India, Gujarat, possibly late 16th century
(Lot 1001, Estimate $1,000-2,000)

A Pair of Mother-of-pearl Inlaid Armchairs, Syria, early 20th century. (These Syrian inlaid chairs appear in photographs of the interiors of Dixon’s Occidental, California home).

Pair of Mother-of-pearl Inlaid Armchairs, Syria, early 20th century
(Lot 1103, Estimate $400-600)

Previews, Catalogs & Events

Previews for the auction open June 10, 13 and 14. Free and open to the public, book a preview appointment on Bonhams Skinner’s website to attend. Specialists will be on hand to answer questions.

About Bonhams Skinner

Bonhams Skinner attracts top consignments and commands record-breaking prices in the international auction marketplace. In March 2022, Skinner was acquired by the global auction house Bonhams, simultaneously bringing Skinner to the world’s stage and providing Bonhams with greater access to the North American market. With renowned expertise and extraordinary service, Bonhams Skinner is the place for buyers, sellers and the passionately curious. Bonhams Skinner appraisers are familiar faces on PBS’s 19-time Emmy Award-nominated ANTIQUESROADSHOW. Visit us in Boston, Marlborough, New York, Maine, Florida, or online at www.skinnerinc.com

First Tuesday | June 7 | Marlborough & Online

Join Us in Marlborough or online for First Tuesday!

TUESDAY, JUNE 7 | 1:30-4PM

We invite you to join us in person in Marlborough or online for our First Tuesday on June 7 For a virtual appraisal, submit your items anytime by the 7th and Skinner specialists from all departments will be on hand on Tuesday to evaluate items and respond by email.

For those attending in person in Marlborough, please SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT. There is a 3 item maximum per person.… Read More

Pre-Auction Wine Tasting | June 1

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 1 | 4PM-6:30PM | NEWTON, MA

With the warm weather upon us, we invite you to an exciting tasting of reds, whites and bubbles from the Old and New World alike! The tasting will include a selection of wines hand-picked by Skinner Fine Wine Specialists Marie Keep and Louis Krieger from the upcoming June 6-16 online auction.

Featuring a combination of current releases and rare, back vintage bottlings (our two most recent events included a 100 year old bottle of Grand Cru Burgundy and a 1945 Chateau d’Yquem!) this is an event you won’t want to miss!… Read More

Opening Sales of Rugs and Carpets from The Jim Dixon Collection Gross $1.3M

MARLBOROUGH, MA – April 25-May 5, 2022 – Skinner Auctioneers presented its initial two sales from the The Jim Dixon Collection, commanding widespread interest beyond the centerpiece Ming Imperial Dragon Carpet. The auctions represent the first of five planned sales from the lifetime accruals of Jim Dixon, a passionate antiquarian and outsized figure in the world of fine woven textiles, who passed away in 2020. Sales for both the live and online auction reached $1,375,805.  

Ming Imperial Dragon Carpet, China, c.

Read More

Arts of Japan: Ukiyo-e to Shin-hanga at Auction on May 21st

MARLBOROUGH, MA – Skinner is pleased to announce a specialized auction focusing on Japanese prints and paintings open for bidding from May 21-31, 2022. Arts of Japan: Ukiyo-e to Shin-hanga focuses on the enduring charm of ukiyo-e, the technical brilliance of Japanese modern and contemporary prints, and the Nihonga tradition expressed well in the kakejiku hanging scrolls and the byobu screens from Edo to Meiji periods.… Read More

Skinner’s American Art Sale Features Visions From Sea to Shining Sea

MARLBOROUGH, MA – Skinner Auctioneers is pleased to announce an upcoming live auction of American Art on May 25, starting at 10 a.m. EDT, at Skinner’s Marlborough gallery, to be accompanied by an online sale of Prints & Photographs, available for bidding from May 16 to 26, 2022. Ranging across centuries from the early Hudson River School to early American Modernism, the sale features masterworks by some of this country’s greatest painters and sculptors, with something for everyone in its striking eclecticism.… Read More

Gems Abound as Skinner Announces Its Spring Jewelry Auctions

MARLBOROUGH, MA – Skinner Auctioneers is pleased to announce two upcoming sales in Jewelry and Gemstones – the first of which will be a live version of the auction house’s biannual sale of Important Jewelry. This major auction, which includes treasured items from the family collection of J. Pierpont Morgan Jr., will take place on May 17 at 12pm at Skinner’s Boston galleries, to be followed by an online auction of Fine Jewelry – an eclectic collection open to bidding from May 8 to May 18, 2022. 

Antique Natural Pearl and Diamond Necklace(Lot 31, Estimate: $15,000-20,000)

The live auction comprises a vast collection of rare and significant lots spanning the 19th and 20th centuries and continuing up to the present.… Read More

The Resurgence of Relief Printing in Early 20th Century America: Woodcuts

Relief prints use the raised relief of a printing matrix, such as a block of wood, to carry the ink to make prints.  A rubber stamp is essentially a relief print.  If you made prints as a kindergartener by carving a potato with a plastic knife, you have made a relief print.  Woodcut is the oldest printmaking technique and was popular in both Asia and in Europe.  It predates the year 1,000 AD. 

In Western art, as early as the 16th century printmakers like Albrecht Dürer saw the short comings of the technique, compared to the slightly newer technique of engraving and intaglio printing.… Read More

First Tuesday | May 3 | Marlborough & Online

Join Us in Marlborough or online for First Tuesday!

TUESDAY, MAY 3 | 1:30-4PM

We invite you to join us in person in Marlborough or online for our First Tuesday on May 3. For a virtual appraisal, submit your items anytime by the 3rd and Skinner specialists from all departments will be on hand on Tuesday to evaluate items and respond by email.

For those attending in person in Marlborough, please SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT. There is a 3 item maximum per person.… Read More

Skinner’s New Director of Books & Manuscripts Brings Decades of Experience Across Print Media

John Dorfman, the Director of Skinner’s Books & Manuscripts Department, is a lifelong collector with vast experience covering the world of antiquarian auctions.

John Dorfman, Skinner Director of Fine Books & Manuscripts

MARLBOROUGH, MA | April 25, 2022 — Skinner Auctioneers is pleased to announce John Dorfman as the company’s director of Books & Manuscripts. In his capacity with the auction house, Dorfman will oversee the research, acquisition and sale of rare books, historical documents, autographs, and ephemera.… Read More

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