Tag Archives: boston furniture

Auction Highlights, Part III: A Rare Japanned Chest Shatters World Records

On November 7th, 2004 we sold a previously undiscovered Boston Japanned chest for $1,876,000 in our American Furniture & Decorative Arts auction. Simply put, it’s one of the most extraordinary pieces of furniture and one of the rarest finds we’ve ever encountered in all our years in the business.

The chest not only set a new high for a single lot sold in a Skinner Americana auction, it was also the most expensive piece of furniture ever auctioned in New England, and it established a new record price for a piece of Japanned American furniture, exceeding the old record by over $50,000.

Now, eight years later, the record still stands.

The Flawed Masterpiece: Tale of a Too-short Chair

The chair pictured here, you may realize, used to be about three and a half inches taller than it is now. For some unknown reason its long-ago owner, whether by necessity or choice, lowered it. Maybe it became water damaged or rotten. Maybe one foot cracked and weakened and the easiest way to make the chair’s other legs useful was to just even ‘em all out. Maybe the owner wanted his child to be able to sit in it more easily.