Skinner decorative arts auction Oct. 6 laden with silver
The silver session features nearly 450 lots, with a broad range of flatware and hollow ware from the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Central and South America. The bidding begins with British silver, and features two assembled Paul Storr covered tureens with unicorn finials (lot 40, estimated between $5,000 and $7,000).
Continental silver follows with highlights that include a large sterling silver compote with pendant grape clusters by Georg Jensen (lot 144, $9,000 to $12,000), as well as several Georg Jensen flatware sets including one in the Cactus pattern (lot 137, $10,000 to $15,000) and another in the Acorn pattern (lot 159, $3,000 to $4,000).
Offerings by American makers are particularly strong. An early 20th century Gorham presentation sterling silver punch bowl service (lot 300, $30,000 to $50,000) offers a fine example of Gorham design and craftsmanship. The punch bowl is lightly hammered and cast with grape and vine decoration. The tray and 12 cup holders bear a similar decorative motif, including grapes, oak leaves and acorns.
Highlights from Tiffany & Co. include four Chrysanthemum pattern sterling silver candlesticks (lot 310, $18,000 to $22,000) and a Persian-style sterling silver coffee service (lot 333, $6,000 to $8,000), both from the early 20th century. Several lots of silver designed by Elsa Perretti are expected to generate interest, including a sterling silver covered tureen and underplate (lot 151, $4,000 to $6,000) and a pair of Bone pattern sterling silver candlesticks (lot 153, $2,000 to $4,000).
The final lot of the session is a patinated .999 silver and bronze figure of an eagle, entitled Freedom, by contemporary American sculptor Steve Retzlaff (lot 442, $8,000 to $12,000). The sculpture stands 30 inches tall and the silver content amounts to nearly 700 troy ounces.
The sale will also feature approximately 50 lots of collectibles associated with theater from the personal collection of Michael Howard. Howard is a renowned actor, director and teacher of the dramatic arts, having taught at the Julliard School, Yale School of Drama, American Conservatory Theatre, and most notably at his own studio. Citing his master teacher, Lee Strasberg, as a major influence not only professionally but also as a collector, Howard has been actively collecting since his career started more than 60 years ago.
Much of the Michael Howard collection relates to Shakespearean characters and the actors who played them. Examples include a painting of Edwin Booth as Iago by Thomas Hicks (lot 509, $4,000 to $6,000) and three Chinese reverse paintings on glass illustrating scenes from The Winter’s Tale, The Tempest and Hamlet (lots 531-533, each $3,000 to $5,000).
Nineteenth century English actors and actresses are represented in paintings, needlework samplers, porcelain and pottery objects, and tinsel prints. The Commedia dell’Arte is represented in several lots including a collection highlight: a large needlework piece portraying an early stage production, complete with the characters Harlequin, Il Dottore and Scaramouche (lot 544, $4,000 to $6,000).
English pieces of note include a William IV amboyna and yew wood writing table (lot 746, $8,000 to $12,000), a Regency mahogany drum table (lot 792, $2,000 to $4,000), and a George III parcel-gilt and caned bergere (lot 829, $4,000 to $6,000).
The variety of Continental furniture is demonstrated by two case pieces. The first, a fine 18th century Dutch walnut armoire (lot 574, $15,000 to $25,000) is marquetry-inlaid throughout. The second, a brass- and alabaster-mounted mahogany veneer secretaire abattant (lot 606, $5,000 to $7,000) features burl- and string-inlaid fronts, a tambour door and other exquisite details. An important circular marble tabletop (lot 811, $6,000 to $8,000) inlaid with micromosaics and bordered by a rouge marble band depicts St. Peter’s Square and ruins in the Roman Forum.
American Victorian furniture is represented by a Renaissance Revival walnut cabinet secretary Wooton desk (lot 852, $6,000 to $8,000), and two Aesthetic Movement ebonized cherry side chairs attributed to Herter Brothers (lot 908, $4,000 to $6,000).
Highlights from the wide variety of Continental porcelain include several well-painted KPM plaques. One depicts the Tyrolean Rebellion of 1809 after the painting Vor Dem Aufstand 1809 in Tirol by Franz Defregger (lot 698, $1,200 to $1,800) and another, a portrait of Christopher Columbus in chains, after Gustave Wappers (lot 877, $600 to $800).
Notable decorative pieces also include an assortment of bronze sculptures highlighted by a Georges Gardet (French, 1863-1939) parcel-gilded casting titled Lioness Discovering a Foo Dog with a Barbedienne foundry mark (lot 550, $3,000 to $5,000).
For details contact Stuart Slavid, director of European furniture and decorative arts at Skinner Inc., 508-970-3278.
View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.
ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE