Antiques and Fine Art Auctions Blog

Skinner expert appraisers and auctioneers discuss antiques, fine art, and collectibles. Keep up on market trends and get collecting tips from antiques experts. Discover the stories behind the art and antiques Skinner offers at auction.

A Video Introduction | Fine Paintings & Sculpture at Auction

Robin Starr introduces a selection of highlights from the upcoming May 31 Fine Paintings & Sculpture auction

This auction covers a broad range of Western styles, media, and regions from the 16th century to the present day including paintings, sculpture, and works on paper. Star lots include a dramatic escape from wolves by Alfred von Wierusz-Kowalski; a skiing scene set in the Austrian Alps by Alfons Walde; and a stunning Hans Hofmann composition from 1950.

The sale also features a strong group of Hudson River School and related land- and seascapes by Jasper Cropsey, Worthington Whittredge, Thomas Moran, William Trost Richards, and George Durrie. Sculpture includes diverse works by Antoine-Louis Barye, Alfredo Pina, Jo Davidson, Donald De Lue, and Harry Jackson. Beyond Jackson, Buck Denton and Gerald Cassidy headline works depicting the American West from a number of collections. Modern and Contemporary artists including Wolf Kahn, Judy McKie, Mon Levinson, LuiZijian, George Grosz, and Jamini Roy, round out the sale.

BROWSE THE AUCTION

The Color of Wolf Kahn

The art of Wolf Kahn is challenging to categorize. His loose, gestural brushstrokes take their cue from the Abstract Expressionists. Kahn studied and worked with Hans Hofmann in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Likewise, his palette is intense and expressive. Unlike some of his contemporaries, Kahn’s subject matter is very much representational. He is best remembered for his energetically colored landscapes.

Hans Hofmann (American, 1880-1966) Image in Blue, oil on canvas, 30 x 24 in.

Read More

Fire Buckets in 18th Century Boston

Fire buckets have been popular with collectors and owners of period homes for a long time. They represent a time long before most towns had established and well-equipped fire departments ready to respond at a moment’s notice to a house or shop fire, when people relied on their neighbors to come to their aid. The risk for catastrophe from fire was great. A single stand-alone house could be consumed in minutes. In towns, fire in densely populated neighborhoods could quickly result in the destruction of dozens of buildings.… Read More

Staff Picks—Our Favorite Things: The Tornek-Rayville TR-900 Dive Watch

Tornek-Rayville TR-900 Dive Watch, serial number 0270

As a teenager in the 1980s, wristwatches, especially Swatches, were what got me and a lot of my friends into wearing timepieces. I recall owning Swatches, Seikos, and a few Victorinox “tool” watches. I remember receiving a small diameter, 34mm I think, white or ivory dial Seiko with simple stick hands and indices for my 8th-grade graduation. I loved it, but years passed and like many things it found its way to the back of a drawer (my dad found it back there—he wore it for decades, and my mother still wears it today, with an olive green leather Hirsch strap).… Read More

Specialist’s Picks: 5 Oriental Rugs & Carpets Highlights

Lawrence Kearney, Director of Fine Oriental Rugs & Carpets

Hello everyone, and welcome to our Virtual Gallery Walk for the current Skinner Fine Oriental Rugs & Carpets auction. I wanted to share with you some of my thoughts on the auction as a whole, and some highlights in particular.

As you browse the sale, you’ll see a number of wonderful Caucasian rugs, Turkish pillow covers, Shahsavan flatwoven covers and kilims, some remarkable early Chinese rugs, and a selection of beautiful, good condition antique carpets, many of which come from private collections and are offered here without reserve.… Read More

The Polynesian Art of Tongan War Clubs

Tongan war clubs are weapons usually known by the term ‘akau, which means stave. Tongan clubs are one of the few instantly classic and easily identifiable artifacts from Polynesia. They were widely collected from the period of James Cook’s voyages in the 1770s onwards, and reflect the militaristic collecting interests of sailors and traders, as well as a vigorous demand for non-western weapons in the European curiosities markets.‘Akau, along with spears, were the principal weapons of war in Tonga up until the middle of the 19th century, despite the introduction of firearms from western sailors and traders from the late 18th century onwards.… Read More

Early States & Trial Proofs: A Window into the Mind of the Artist

Every artist works differently and is inspired by different things, but print-making gives us the unique opportunity to view the creative process at work. When an artist makes a print, they create the matrix from which prints can be pulled. This might be a copper plate that has been etched or a lithographic stone that the artist has drawn on with crayon, but the process has an inherent flaw. The finished artwork is an impression from that matrix rather than the matrix itself, so the artist needs to pull an impression in order to know how their art actually looks.… Read More

Conditional Rarity & the Set Registry Effect

Unlike most pieces of decorative arts offered at auction houses across the country, the number of coins produced by series, year, and mint is well documented by the governing bodies that created them. This allows for fairly consistent estimations of rarity. With the introduction of third-party grading in the 1970s and 80s came a standardized system in which a coin’s condition is assigned a numerical value. This led to an accurate estimation of a coin’s worth based on what examples at the assigned grade had previously sold for.Read More

Virtual First Tuesday | May 5

Join us for First Tuesday online!

Tuesday, May 5 | 1:30PM – 4PM

Find out the value of your objects from your home!

While we cannot invite you to join us in our Marlborough Galleries on May 5, we are here to help. All of our Skinner specialists from all departments will be on hand from 1:30PM 4PM to evaluate items via email. Contact us with your auction evaluation requests at evaluations@skinnerinc.com and we will answer them in as “real time” as we can.Read More

Find the Regency Design of ‘Emma’ at Skinner

The mint green drawing room in the Woodhouse home. Photo: Focus Features

Like almost all of us now staying safe at home, I’ve been catching up on some TV and movies. I’m obsessed with Autumn de Wilde’s 2020 version of Emma with its candy-like colors and stunning scenery—I kept pausing and rewatching scenes just to take it all in. Based on the novel written by Jane Austen in 1815, Emma takes place during the English Regency period, which refers to the period (1811-1820) when George III was unfit to rule and his son, the future George IV, ruled by proxy as The Prince Regent.… Read More

1 2 3 4 5 137