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Tag Archives: European decorative arts

Aubusson Tapestries: Weaving a Story at Skinner’s October European Furniture & Decorative Arts Auction

Aubusson Tapestry of The Fisherman’s Surprise (Lot 663, Estimate $3,000-4,000)

There was a time when courtly life unfolded ceremoniously in rooms adorned with vibrant, grand and lavish tapestries, displayed as large woven murals often depicting scenes conjured from dramatic paintings, particularly mythological and battle scenes. Such tapestries served both as a function to help insulate a room, but most importantly, provided a very powerful political statement of the noble classes.… Read More

A Formidable Eye for Design: Objects from the Collection of Carol Ferranti

Carol Ferranti

Skinner is proud to offer a diverse group of silver and decorative objects in our April 7 European Furniture & Decorative Arts auction from the collection of Carol Ferranti, a passionate collector, and our long-time friend and colleague. From her early days as an artist and colorist for fabric companies supplying designs for women’s wear, her keen eye and talents followed her throughout her life and touched everything she did.… Read More

Music and Marquetry: A Late Victorian Steinway Piano Designed by Cottier & Co.

Late Victorian Steinway Marquetry Model B Piano, c. 1890 (Lot 512, Estimate $10,000-$20,000)

On July 15th, Skinner will offer an elegant late 19th century Steinway Marquetry Model B piano as Lot 512 in their European Furniture & Decorative Arts auction. The history of the origins of Steinway & Sons is now legendary. The kitchen of Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg’s home in Seesen, Harz, Germany, served as laboratory and workshop for the first handcrafted piano under his name, which debuted in 1836.… Read More

A Glimpse of History in Game of Thrones

Tyrion Lannister

In preparation for Season 6 of the HBO hit fantasy drama Game of Thrones, I recently began re-watching some earlier seasons (Who can remember everything otherwise?). Low and behold, I noticed something I never had previously in the first episode of Season 5, “The Wars to Come”. Being the art history nerd that I am, it was not another subtle plot point I missed the first go around, but a gold cup.

Tyrion Lannister, having just arrived in Pentos, is shown drinking from a small gold cup with a distinct handle and repoussé scenes of bulls.… Read More

School of Rock, Lesson Number One: Malachite, Marble, and Stone Are Making it Big in the Design World

Pair of Louis XVI-style Gilt-bronze and Marble Gueridons (Lot 378, Estimate $1,000-$1,500)

Skinner’s April 8th European Furniture & Decorative Arts Auction Offers Hard Rock Highlights to Take Home

Hold on to your legwarmers! Time to get out the rugby shirts, oversized sweaters, and gold jewelry – in case you haven’t  noticed, the fashion designs of the last few years are all trending toward the color-centric hairspray-induced 1980s, and these tokens of pop culture are influencing the interior design world as well.… Read More

Troy Dawson Chappell: A Passion for Collecting

Tin Glazed Earthenware Queen Anne Charger, England, c. 1702-14 (Lot 206, Estimate $15,000-$20,000)

Troy D. Chappell was introduced to American and British decorative arts through the collections at Colonial Williamsburg more than fifty years ago. His attraction to English pottery, in particular, began in earnest about 1969. His goal was to assemble and contrast pieces to demonstrate most of the manufacturing materials and forming techniques, manners of shapes and colored decorations, and progression of styles that dominated the English pottery trade for the period of roughly 1630 to 1800.… Read More

Dining Elegance: A Magnificent Surtout de Table Service Offered on July 18th

Regency Ormolu Nine-light Figural Centerpiece, London, early 19th century (Lot 359, Estimate $8,000-$12,000)

At the turn of the 19th century, the art of table decoration transformed as dining patterns changed. The once popular dining à la française in which all of the courses were laid out for the guests at the start of the meal began fading out of popularity as a new fashion of eating was ushered in: dining à la russe. Similar to modern restaurant service, food was prepared in the kitchen and brought out to the guests in courses, leaving room on the table for decoration.… Read More

The Pugilists: Marble Statues After Antonio Canova Square Off

With looks of fierce determination on their faces, two boxers take a firm stance and raise their arms in defense, ready to fight. However, they will never lunge towards each other. Despite their rippling muscles and expressions of strength, these two men are in fact seven- foot-tall statues.

After Antonio Canova (Italian, 1757-1822), Pair of Carrara Marble Figures of the Pugilists Creugas and Damoxenos (Lot 246, Estimate $70,000-$90,000)

This pair of larger-than-life Carrara marble figures of boxers, known as pugilists, will be available in the European Furniture and Decorative Arts Auction at the Skinner Boston Gallery on July 19, 2014.… Read More