FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Arron Rimpley, founder of Lion and Unicorn, has long been a collector, starting when he gathered rocks as a child in his native Colorado. At age 23, he came to Miami and began working in the antiques business, soon specializing in British decorative arts. He set up at the antiques industry’s top shows around the country and helped museums mount exhibitions before deciding to open the Whitley Collection in 2000, through which he created experiences that allowed collectors to see objects in new ways. That same approach guided him when he launched Lion and Unicorn in January 2018. Rimpley’s goal is to provide top-notch customer service and well-researched information to make buying a breeze and also create an information record that helps preserve the material he auctions.
NEW YORK — Napkin rings were introduced in France around 1800 and soon became a fixture on dining tables across Europe. American companies took them to the next level with silver-plated figural napkin rings that were miniature works of art.
NEW YORK — Bold and colorful, Gaudy Dutch pottery stands out admirably but also marries well with other hand-painted wares and folk art. Made in England by Staffordshire, Derby and Worcester potters for the American market between 1810 to 1820, Gaudy Dutch had a short production run — only 16 patterns have been identified — but its popularity endures. Its heyday was in the 1980s and 1990s, but collectors still seek out patterns and forms, and prices have rebounded in recent years.
NEW YORK — The legacy of Italian art glass, which arose from centuries-old Venetian glassblowing techniques, continues with contemporary glass masters who take ancient traditions and meld them with innovative, modern approaches. Among a new generation of artisans following in the steps of Paolo Venini, Archimede Seguso, Carlo Scarpa and Lino Tagliapietra is Dante Marioni (American, b. 1964-).
NEW YORK — Once emblazoned with the slogan “The World at Your Fingertips,” the View-Master system has been a childhood staple for decades, but it was not originally a toy. Introduced at the New York World’s Fair in 1939, the viewer that looked like a pair of binoculars was actually a stereoscopic projector created to let adults travel, after a fashion, and see world landmarks up close and in exquisite detail without leaving home. The View-Master was the brainchild of Sawyer’s Photo Services in Oregon, a major producer of scenic postcards in the 1920s.
NEW YORK — Architect-designer brothers Charles Sumner Greene (1868–1957) and Henry Mather Greene (1870–1954) didn’t just exemplify the Arts and Crafts aesthetic but redefined it with their Japanese-influenced style that is still appealing a century later.
NEW YORK — The centuries-long weaving tradition practiced by Native American people in the Southwest is as diverse and compelling as the indigenous groups who make these textiles. Navajo serapes, in particular, present a range of geometric designs, from serrated zigzags and diamonds as well as crosses, which are said to represent the mythical Spider Woman.
CLEVELAND – Friends warned Deba Gray and Serena Harragin that starting a business together would end their personal relationship. Fortunately for antiques and art buyers, they didn’t listen, and 28 years later, the couple is still going strong. After separate careers that took them from Key West, where they met, to Chicago and New York, the two settled 16 years ago in Gray’s hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. There, they bought a building and founded their own auction house, Gray’s Auctioneers. Gray had previously worked for Wolfs, Sotheby’s and Leslie Hindman, while Harragin’s background was in commercial advertising and finance. Auction Central News recently spoke with Harragin and Gray to learn more about the art-industry power couple and their booming business.
NEW YORK — Powder horns dominated a relatively short era in American history, but their significance and their beauty has made them highly sought-after artifacts.
NEW YORK — Chocolate has been a delicacy for centuries, enjoyed around the world in a range of treats, from truffles to pudding to cookies and cakes. Its simplest and most enjoyable form is also its earliest: a hot drink. Fine dining demands all manner of specialized serving pieces, so, unsurprisingly, a canny silversmith designed the chocolate pot, a vessel exclusively for melting and serving chocolate.