Tag Archives: american antiques

Collecting Patriotic Americana

Guest post by Marilyn Gould. The Gould Collection is featured in the October 28, 2012 American Furniture & Decorative Arts Auction.

Shortly after moving to Wilton in 1976, Mike and I began to seek out local antiques shows. At one of the first, a Wendy show in Stamford, we met Margaret and Paul Weld. Our first purchase was an apple dryer to which Paul had wired three scythes. This remarkable couple introduced us to the concept of seeing how functional objects made for use on the farm, the barn and the kitchen could now become graphic decorative objects for modern homes.… Read More

Antique Weathervanes, Part I: Horses, Roosters, and Cars… Oh My!

Collectors of American antiques love weathervanes. In fact, people love them so much that during the 60s and 70s antique weathervanes started disappearing from roofs across America. Thieves were stealing the valuable vanes in the middle of the night. I heard stories of weathervanes being stolen away by helicopter – they swooped down and lifted weathervanes off of barn roofs.

Three Tales of Tragedy: American Antique Furniture Lost to Refinishing

A few months ago, I wrote a blog post titled “Welcome to Grunge School: Where you Learn to Leave Original Surface Alone.” Those of us who have been immersed in the antiques world our whole lives all know horror stories of wonderful relics that were lost to naïve or over-exuberant refinishing or repainting. Here is a story that was left as a comment on my blog post. It makes me cringe to read it.

Listen to a Vermont Furniture Lecture by Philip Zea

On August 13, in association with a highly regarded collection of Vermont Decorative Arts being offered at auction at Skinner the following day, we were lucky enough to welcome Philip Zea, who presented the lecture, “Cabinet Furniture in All its Variety: Vermont Craftsmanship, 1780-1850,” to about 70 attendees. Mr. Zea is President of Historic Deerfield, a noted scholar in the field of American Furniture and Decorative Arts, and an authority on the history of Vermont cabinetmaking. His well-received, informative, and often amusing talk can be heard here.

Reflections on Antique Mirrors

I’ve always been attracted to antique mirrors, and have been collecting them for quite a while. One time, my mother came to an auction preview I’d put together as director of the American Furniture & Decorative Arts department at Skinner. She was in her nineties at this point, and not a stranger to blunt questions. She took one look at an antique mirror on the wall, and asked, “Why would anyone want that?” It was a Queen Anne mirror with totally untouched surface. The glass was reflective, but so foggy and misty from age that it wouldn’t really be useful as a mirror. Still, it was worth thousands of dollars.

Antique Weathervanes, Part II: Folk Art or Not?

When you see a nice rooster or running horse weathervane with great original surface, you might comment, “What fabulous folk art!” In reality, most antique weathervanes that collectors buy and sell were actually manufactured in large quantities and marketed to the general public. These weathervanes do not fit the traditional definition of folk art, or objects made by a person who wasn’t academically trained working in an isolated area.

Welcome to Grunge School: Where you Learn to Leave Original Surface Alone

When you look for a new acquisition for your collection, do you seek out dusty and dirty objects with original surface or interesting patina? If you do, you’re not alone. The phrase “Grunge School,” describes this learned or acquired taste. There’s a sense of discovery and wonder when you come across a piece of antique furniture, a mirror, a painting, or almost anything that has been forgotten for a long time. Original condition and original surface mean an elevated value for most American antiques.

Memories of the Wayside Inn

My grandmother was a New Englander but moved to New Jersey later in her life. One time she brought several of her friends on a trip up to New England. She loved American antiques and old houses, and she told her friends, “You have to see the Wayside Inn.” She really talked it up and they were all very excited to visit.

Sell This at Auction! 3 Strong Performers in the American Art and Antiques Appraisal Market

The American antiques market has recently seen a strong comeback from previous seasons. While collecting trends come and go, some objects always find favor with bidders and consistently hold their value. It’s good to know what’s hot at auction right now; it’s better to know what remains popular year after year. That’s your best bet for selling auction-ready property and netting the highest price possible, no matter what the collecting climate.

Collecting Make-Dos: The Search for Creatively Repaired Antiques

The New York Times recently ran an article profiling Andrew Baseman, an interior designer in Manhattan who collects make-dos, or antique objects that have been creatively repaired rather than discarded.

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