American Furniture, one of Skinner’s most celebrated collecting areas, features the finest in early American formal and country furniture from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.
Fine American furniture is perhaps Skinner’s best known and most celebrated collecting category. Along with American folk art, it is the market upon which the company was founded and where our passions still run strong. Skinner holds several important auction records for fine American furniture, including the sale of a 19th century Japanned High Chest, which sold for $1.9 million at Skinner in 2004, the record for a piece of American furniture sold at auction in New England. Stephen Fletcher, head of Skinner’s American Furniture & Decorative Arts department is one of the world’s most respected authorities on both formal and country American furniture.
At its roots, American furniture visibly resembles its English, French, and Dutch predecessors. European styles traveled across the ocean with the speed of a merchant ship and were quickly adapted to suit the local materials, tastes, and craft skills of each major region of the American colonies and, eventually, states. High style chairs and case furniture emerged from urban centers like Boston, Philadelphia, and New York, and design elements were translated and tweaked to fit the needs and aesthetic of rural areas like New Hampshire, the Connecticut River Valley, and Southeastern Pennsylvania. Innovations in style and construction distinguished American pieces from their European counterparts, exhibiting the skill and creativity of American craftsmen throughout the young nation.
Today, American furniture from both urban and rural shops comes to auction regularly with something for every level of collector. Whether your interest is in the finest Boston Neoclassical case furniture or a straightforward Windsor bowback chair, you will find objects to fit your home and your collection at a Skinner auction.
No matter your taste or interests, our specialists can help you source authentic originals that perfectly match your budget. If you’re a collector looking to consign property for auction, you’ll find no better partner than Skinner, repeatedly named as one of the most respected names in fine American furniture and one of the most trusted and reputable auction houses in the country.