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.

Skinner May Jewelry Auctions Exceed $2.8 Million: Diamonds and Colored Stones Led the Way

MARLBOROUGH, MA – MAY 24, 2021 – Skinner presented a two-session Jewelry auction, drawing highly competitive bidding from enthusiastic participants worldwide and generating high prices across multiple categories. “The jewelry market continues its upward ascent,” says department director Kaitlin Shinnick, “we’re seeing higher prices across all categories and thrilled by the number of lots beating pre-sale estimate.”

Diamonds and Colored Stones

Jewels belonging to Irene Langhorne Gibson (1873-1956), the original “Gibson Girl” and wife of famed American illustrator Charles Dana Gibson garnered significant interest. 

Irene Langhorne was the daughter of railroad industrialist Chiswell Langhorne, and sister to Nancy Viscountess Astor, an American-born British politician and the first woman seated as a Member of Parliament. The Langhorne sisters were known for their beauty and would later inspire some of Gibson’s work. Irene used her influence to take on numerous social causes, often focusing on disadvantaged children and political issues in the early 20th century. 

Marquis-cut, unmounted diamond
Unmounted Diamond weighing 12.20 cts.
Sold for: $400,000

The sale’s top lot was a 12.20 cts diamond passed by descent through the Gibson family. It quickly soared past its presale estimate of $100,000-150,000 to achieve a final price of $400,000. A Kashmir sapphire ring descended in the same family for over a century brought $125,000, a Van Cleef & Arpels Burmese Ruby ring brought $100,000, and a Harry Winston Colombian emerald ring brought $100,000.

Sapphire ring with old European-cut diamonds on either side, set in a gold mount.
Antique Sapphire and Diamond Ring.
Sold for: $125,000
Van Cleef & Arpels cushion-cut Ruby ring with shield-shape diamond on either side. Set in platinum.
Van Cleef & Arpels Ruby and Diamond Ring. Sold for: $100,000
Cushion-cut emerald framed by 10 pear-shape diamonds, set in a gold ring.
Fine Harry Winston Emerald and Diamond Ring. Sold for: $100,000

Other Auction Highlights

Antique Diamond Earrings from the estate of Irene Langhorne Gibson. Sold for: $50,000

Rare Tiffany & Co. Orientalist-style 18kt Gold and Enamel Chatelaine Watch. Sold for: $28,750

Art Deco Platinum, Aquamarine and Diamond Pendant Necklace. Sold for: $23,750

Skinner continues to welcome consignments for the 2021 fall Important Jewelry and Fine Jewelry Collections auctions. For more information, visit us online at www.skinnerinc.com

About Skinner

Skinner attracts top consignments and commands record-breaking prices in the international auction marketplace. With renowned expertise and extraordinary service, Skinner is the place for buyers, sellers and the passionately curious. Skinner appraisers are familiar faces on PBS’s 18-time Emmy Award-nominated ANTIQUES ROADSHOW. Visit us in Boston, Marlborough, New York, Maine, or Miami, or online at https://www.skinnerinc.com

Designers Curate the Gentleman’s Auction

Interior designers Phillip Thomas, Prudence Bailey, Christina Roughan have helped curate a portion of the May 25 – June 3 Gentleman’s Auction. Read on to see what they picked.

Phillip Thomas’ Picks

Five Pottery Planters and Flowerpots (Lot 1038)

There is something so beautiful about even the simplest of pottery. The shapes and the colors of the glazes are always so captivating to me. I could see these pieces arranged on a table with beautiful specimen plants of equal interest.… Read More

May Regional Consignment Days | Maine & Westchester

We invite you to join us online for regional consignment days in Maine and Westchester, New York. Skinner specialists look forward to evaluating items via email, and beginning the conversation about the advantages of selling at auction.

Gather information and images for up to three items of fine & decorative arts, furniture, jewelry, silver, watches & coins and much more. Send an email with the information and images at maine@skinnerinc.com, newyork@skinnerinc.com or at the buttons below.… Read More

Virtual First Tuesday | June 1

Join us for First Tuesday online!

AUCTION EVALUATION DAY | TUESDAY, JUNE 1

See what hidden treasures our experts may be able to reveal

We invite you to join us online for our Virtual First Tuesday on June 1. Submit your items anytime before the 1st and Skinner specialists from all departments will be on hand on Tuesday to evaluate items and respond by email.

Let’s get started: 

Step 1: Gather information and images for up to three items of fine & decorative arts, furniture, jewelry, silver, watches, coins and much more.Read More

The Greatest Show on Earth: The Art of Alexander Calder

Alexander Calder was an artistic jack of all trades. He worked in metal from jewelry to large-scale public sculpture; he painted in oils, watercolor, and gouache; was a theatrical set designer; and he was also a successful lithographer. What makes Calder so compelling in every medium is his wit and energy. His bright palettes and simple shapes visually bounce off of one another like an exuberant dance, and his child-like circus subjects capture all of the wonder and joy of the big top.… Read More

Skinner Auctioneers Partners with Wilton Historical Society for the Gentleman’s Auction

Marlborough, MA – May 12, 2021 – Skinner is delighted to partner with Wilton Historical Society for the Gentleman’s Auction, open for bidding from May 25 – June 3. Interior designers Prudence Bailey, Christina Roughan, and Phillip Thomas have lent their eye to curate a portion of this bespoke auction, fashioned to coincide with Wilton Historical Society’s Objects of Desire annual fundraiser. Proceeds from the first thirty hand-picked lots will benefit education programs.  … Read More

Skinner + AFH

Art. Action. Auction.

In Celebration of 30 Years of Artists For Humanity

Marlborough & Boston, MA – July 22 to August 3rd – Skinner, Auctioneers & Appraisers, has joined with Boston-based Artists For Humanity to raise money and awareness to support underrepresented, young, working artists. In response to the Black Lives Matter movement, this employee-fueled mission supports more diversity in the arts and arts businesses to build a stronger network for black, indigenous, and people of color in the arts industry.… Read More

The Muse of George Platt Lynes

George Platt Lynes was a highly influential photographer who laid the groundwork for a later generation of artists that explored male sexuality such as Robert Mapplethorpe and Herb Ritts. Considered radical at the time, his erotic photographs of the male nude are celebrated and widely exhibited today.

Self-Portrait, 1945. Estimate: $1,500-2,000

A prominent figure within fashion photography in the 1930s, Lynes created stylized photographs for high-profile publications including Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.Read More

Virtual Event: Objects of Desire

Skinner is delighted to be partnering with Wilton Historical Society for the Gentleman’s Auction, open for bidding from May 25 – June 3. Interior designers Prudence Bailey, Christina Roughan and Phillip Thomas have helped curate a portion of the sale, from which proceeds will benefit Wilton Historical Society’s education programs.

Join us on Tuesday, May 25 at 5PM for a virtual talk on the curated auction by Chris Barber, Head of the Gentleman’s Auction, Deputy Director of American Furniture & Decorative Arts, and Antiques Roadshow personality.Read More

In Full Bloom – A Salute to Gardens

As Sir William Gilbert wrote in “The Mikado”, the flowers that bloom in the spring, tra la, bring promise of merry sunshine. The sunshine may be fleeting, but those welcome blossoms are the enduring theme of songs and poems and, of course, paintings.

For hundreds of years, floral still life paintings have flourished everywhere, from palaces to cottages. There are treasured examples ranging from kindergartener’s refrigerator art to multimillion dollar masterworks.… Read More

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