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Tag Archives: american antiques

A Shaker Time Capsule in a “Make-Do” Box

The Andrewses had a keen eye for all things Shaker, but their effort to preserve Shaker ephemera—printed materials designed for short-term use—seems remarkably prescient. During their sweeps through buildings at Mount Lebanon and Watervliet, New York, during the 1920s they saved literally thousands of labels that almost surely would have been otherwise destroyed. As historian Richard M. Kolbet documented in his article “Publish & Perish: Printed Ephemera and Social History”, the conscious collection of printed ephemera in Britain and the United States began in the 1920s with printer Johnn Johnson at Oxford, and collector Bella Landauer in New York.… Read More

A Tale of Two Portraits: A Previously Undiscovered Folk Art Painting Brings $252,000 at Auction

I’ve been an appraiser on Antiques Roadshow since the very first episode in Concord, Massachusetts  eighteen  years ago. Now, the Emmy® Award nominated show attracts thousands of people to events in cities around the country. I love meeting these people and seeing what keepsakes they treasure. Some of the items have only sentimental value, but occasionally I find items of real aesthetic or historic value. These are the special objects that have inspired many to take another look at things tucked away in attics and basements.… Read More

Delightfully Designed: The Furniture and Life of Nathan Lombard

The Making of an Exhibit

Guest post by Christie Jackson, Senior Curator of Decorative Arts, Old Sturbridge Village

The old proverb of “it takes a village to raise a child,” could easily be changed to: “it takes a Village to put on an exhibit.” On October 19, 2013, the exhibit Delightfully Designed: The Furniture and Life of Nathan Lombard will open at Old Sturbridge Village (OSV).

This has been an ambitious project for us. Many new historical discoveries have come out of a year’s worth of curatorial research, providing new insights into the furniture, family, and business of 19th century cabinetmaker Nathan Lombard.… Read More

Charles Paine Fisher: A True Renaissance Man

Guest blog post contributed by the family of Charles P. Fisher. The Estate of Charles P. Fisher will be offered at auction in Boston on October 27, 2013. 

Charles Paine Fisher, or Charlie, as we always called him, was a true Renaissance Man. He developed a plethora of interests and skills, ranging from music to silversmithy, and had a scholar’s thirst for understanding important objects that had descended in his family.

The Fisher family history is full of New England luminaries.… Read More

Federal Furniture: A Lady's Secretary and Bookcase Attributed to Thomas Seymour

Essay by Robert D. Mussey, Jr., Milton, Massachusetts

The lady’s secretary and bookcase was a cultural badge signifying a Boston lady of refinement and education during the Federal period. Mary Cleveland (Smith) Bryant (1784-1860) was such a lady. She had been well-educated as daughter of Rev. John Smith, a professor of Ancient and Middle Eastern Languages at Dartmouth College, and was widely read. It was probably purchased around the time of, or a few years after, her marriage in late 1807 to John Bryant III (1780-1865).… Read More

Skinner Americana Auction Grosses $1.5 Million

Rare escritoire acquired by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

BOSTON, Mass. – September 3, 2013 – Skinner, Inc. today announced exceptional results for its recent American Furniture and Decorative Arts sale held on Sunday, August 11th. The sale grossed $1,534,312.75, including buyer’s premium, with many lots far exceeding pre-sale estimates.

American Furniture

The auction’s top lot, a very rare walnut and walnut veneer escritoire made circa 1705, smashed its pre-sale estimate high of $50,000, bringing $270,000.… Read More

The Ellsworth Antiques Show at Woodlawn Museum

“Majoring” in Antiques, with a “Minor” in Dogs

I was fortunate to spend three days last week in Ellsworth, ME as Skinner’s representative at the Ellsworth Antiques Show. Over 800 people visited the show, which is held under a large tent on the grounds of the Woodlawn Museum, Gardens & Park, the show’s beneficiary.

Ellsworth is the nation’s longest-running summer antiques show, and the exhibiting dealers bring top-quality antiques, fine art and decorative accessories from as nearby as Ellsworth and Southwest Harbor and from as far as Millwood, VA.… Read More

Looking Back on Four Centuries of Antique Furniture from Massachusetts

As a student of American furniture, I was taught early on about the distinct regional styles that developed during our country’s history. Objects made in Boston, Philadelphia, and New York each spoke from their own individual locales. Having lived in Massachusetts for my entire adult life and raised a family here, the unique material culture of this region appeals to me personally. The grace, femininity, and economy of movement in Massachusetts furniture evoke traditional Yankee thrift as well as the modern notion that less is more.… Read More

Collecting American Pottery: Focus on Mochaware

Mochaware was everyday pottery in early America. The simple, geometric decorations and dynamic colors have remained timeless and popular since first made in England in the early 19th century. The August 11, 2013 American Furniture & Decorative Arts auction features a group of mochaware from private estates as well as other consignors. An early 19th-century barrel-form pitcher (lot 414, $500 to $700) and a silver-mounted mustard pot (lot 420, $300 to $500) are two examples of the variety of forms to be sold.… Read More

Americana Auction Adds Online-only Section to the Traditional August Event

More than 650 lots to be offered live on August 11th; an additional 300 lots to be offered online from August 5th to 13th.

MARLBOROUGH, MassJuly 30, 2013Skinner, Inc. will host an auction of American Furniture and Decorative Arts on August 11th at its Marlborough gallery. Skinner’s “August Americana” sale continues to be a highlight of the summer auction calendar, and this year Skinner is pleased to introduce a 9-day, online-only component to this annual event.… Read More

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