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.

No Small Change: New Views Delight Collectors and Boost Results

The September Coins & Currency auction was a collector’s delight, offering many pieces from Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome and strong selections from American history in both silver and gold. Under the direction of Skinner Coins & Currency department Director David Donahue, the online catalog featured a greater number and variety of high-resolution images, drawing the interest of collectors. 

1812 Capped Bust Eagle, MS-63
1812 Capped Bust Eagle, MS-63,
sold for $20,000

The top seller was an 1812 Half Eagle that realized $20,000. A gold piece with a face value of five dollars, the coin was minted in a young country still establishing itself on the world stage. Daily life was disrupted by the War of 1812, and coinage suffered from the war efforts and the ensuing decades. A great majority of early gold coins were either lost, melted, or otherwise destroyed. The 1812 Half Eagle offered here is in Uncirculated condition, suggesting that the coin was purposely preserved as the conflict with Britain erupted. 

1879-CC Morgan Dollar
1879-CC Morgan Dollar,
sold for $13,750

An 1879-CC Morgan Dollar achieved $13,750. With highly reflective fields, earning itself the designation of a Deep Mirror Prooflike, a condition that routinely brings top-dollar results in any sale. It was also graded by ANACS, the first grading service for coins, and resides in one of the first holders by that company. The combined rarity of the date and type of holder ensured a very successful result for this coin.

1856-S Liberty Head Double Eagle
1856-S Liberty Head Double Eagle,
sold for $11,250

A twenty dollar gold piece dated 1856-S led the sale, with a series of other so-called double eagles also included. A denomination created as a result of the California Gold Rush, in its day had the purchasing power of over $600 in today’s currency. Graded MS-62 by the authentication service NGC, the coin garnered $11,250. The 1856-S Double Eagle was graded and encapsulated by NGC in the first few years of the company’s existence and before the discovery of the S.S. Central America wreck when double eagles of such spectacular quality were scarce on the market. Many produced before the ending of the private ownership of gold in 1933 were melted, and the whereabouts of the horde lost with the famous ship were still unknown.

1905 Liberty Head Quarter Eagle, Proof
1905 Liberty Head Quarter Eagle, Proof,
sold for $10,625
1880 Morgan Dollar, Proof
1880 Morgan Dollar, Proof,
sold for $10,000

With a limited mintage of 144 pieces, the 1905 Liberty Head Quarter Eagle in Proof-65 was specially made to order to represent the highest capabilities of the U.S. Mint.  A proof coin is sometimes referred to as a presentation piece. This proof example in gold is scarce as gold proofs were only made for the more ambitious collector. The coin realized $10,625. Similarly, the 1880 Morgan Dollar in Proof-65 was explicitly made for collectors to the best standard the U.S. Mint could produce. Since being struck 141 years ago, the coin has been well-preserved, keeping its intricate level of detail and extraordinary luster. The eye appeal of the coin drew in $10,000, double the original high estimate.

1853-C Liberty Head Half Eagle
1853-C Liberty Head Half Eagle,
sold for $8,750

An 1853-C Half Eagle further drove collector interest, claiming $8,750. The Charlotte Mint, North Carolina, has been obsolete since the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861. Coinage was always somewhat limited, and the quality of the strikes was lackluster compared to contemporary coins minted at Philadelphia, resulting in excellent demand for surviving coins in the current market. Any coin with the “C” mintmark, regardless of its denomination or condition, is guaranteed to perform very well in any sale, and the particular coin offered here is in phenomenal shape for the type with good detail and flashy surfaces.

Consignments welcome for winter and spring auctions. Contact Department Director David Donahue at coins@skinnerinc.com or 508.970.3255.

Korean Gwakbunyang Haengnakdo Folding Screen Sells for $720,500

Popular in Korea, folding screens were created to decorate rooms and a backdrop to enhance the festive mood for special events such as weddings, birthdays, and holidays. Adorned with symbolic images with auspicious meaning, folding screens have long been loved; and more recently become a study subject among art historians, who see them essential in understanding Korean art and culture of the late Joseon period.

In the September 24, 2021 Asian Works of Art auction, a six-panel, Korean folding screen, Gwakbunyang Haengnakdo, sold for $720,500.… Read More

Asian Art Consignment Day | New York

Consign Asian Art & Antiques in New York

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 13 | SKINNER NEW YORK

The Asian Works of Art Department is now inviting consignments for upcoming auctions. Department specialists will be available by appointment to offer verbal evaluations and accept consignments in the Skinner White Plains, NY office on October 13.

REQUEST APPOINTMENT

Contact Us: newyork@skinnerinc.com 212.787.1113

Skinner New York50 Main Street, Suite 1004, White Plains, NY 10606

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First Tuesday | October 5 | Marlborough & Online

Join Us in Marlborough or online for First Tuesday!

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 5 | 1:30-4PM

Skinner experts specializing in fine art, antiques, Asian antiques, clocks, watches, and musical instruments will be on hand to evaluate up to three items per person and accept consignments for upcoming auctions.

Please plan to arrive at your scheduled time. We are scheduling several people per 30-minute time block to reduce wait times.

Can’t make it to Marlborough?Read More

New England Collects Europe: Skinner’s Fall Victoriana Auction 

Marlborough, MA – September 27, 2021 – Skinner presents A Gilded Age: New England Collects Europe, an online auction open for bidding September 27th through October 7th. The sale provides a snapshot of eclectic 19th century tastes in furniture and decorative arts. Headlining the sale is a curated selection from the Townshend Estate of New Haven, Connecticut, featuring Victorian furniture, fine paintings, and European porcelain. In addition, a collection from a New England institution features Russian and Viennese enamels, fine art glass highlighted by Webb and Tiffany, bronze sculpture, and a selection of Asian works of art. … Read More

On View: Modern & Contemporary Art at Auction

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 14 | 5-7PM | SKINNER BOSTON GALLERY

Please join Skinner Modern & Contemporary Art specialist Kate Leland to preview highlights from the November 12, 2021 auction.

Modern & Contemporary artworks on view will include a stunning pastel by Claudio Bravo, a remarkable collage by James Rosenquist, and an iconic landscape by Wolf Kahn. Kate will share the stories and histories of some of her favorite works and will answer participant questions.… Read More

September Coins & Currency Sale will Present an 1812 $5 “Capped Bust” Half-eagle—estimated at $18,000-$20,000

The sale features a diverse selection of American, foreign, and ancient coins as well as coins from rare mints, including Carson City, Charlotte, and New Orleans. 

MARLBOROUGH, MA – Skinner Auctioneers will host an auction of Coins & Currency with online bidding open from September 14-21, 2021. The sale will feature a diverse selection of American, foreign, and ancient coins, with the majority of the sale representing U.S.… Read More

Georg Jensen: Master of Silver

The term “iconic” is much used—and abused—to refer to people or objects that are widely agreed to epitomize a particular style. When it comes to modern silver, iconic is indeed the fitting adjective for the world-renowned Danish designer Georg Jensen.

The most important silversmith of the 20th century, Jensen combined art and an artistry that resonate in the huge body of work bearing his name and distinctive style. His influence continues to this day.… Read More

September 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

Portland, ME Consignment Day | September 23

Meet with Skinner Specialists in Portland, ME

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 23

Skinner is inviting consignments for upcoming 2021-2022 auctions. Meet with Skinner specialists in Portland, ME, on September 23 for a complimentary auction evaluation and consignment of your fine artjewelrywatchesmusical instruments, and coins & currency. Please get in touch with us to request an appointment, and a member of our team will contact you directly for an appointment time.… Read More

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