Skinner Inc.

Auctioneers and Appraisers

Tag Archives: folk painting

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

A Rare Dutch Colonial Portrait Survives from the Early 18th Century

The Portrait of Elizabeth Van Dyck Vosburg is one of the ultimate rarities: a unique and early example of American naïve painting from the early 18th century. This oil-on-canvas work was painted by an artist widely known as The Gansevoort Limner, who some scholars believe was a Dutch-born immigrant named Pieter Vanderlyn. Whatever the case, this artist was prolific in the period from about 1730-45 in the area that would become New York State.

Enough is known about the provenance of this particular painting that it is identified as showing Elizabeth Van Dyck at the time of her marriage to Martin Vosburg in 1725. That date certainly makes it one of the earliest known works by the artist, and one of the earliest attributed American paintings of any kind still in private hands.

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.