Arron Rimpley poses with a Jacobs seven-cylinder radial engine made in 1944. The fine example of industrial art, with its aluminum engine and steel cylinders, is a wonder of aviation technology and history. The work dates back to Rimpley’s previous gallery, The Whitley Collection. Image courtesy of Lion and Unicorn.

Lion and Unicorn’s Arron Rimpley: collecting is in his DNA

Arron Rimpley poses with a Jacobs seven-cylinder radial engine made in 1944. The fine example of industrial art, with its aluminum engine and steel cylinders, is a wonder of aviation technology and history. The work dates back to Rimpley’s previous gallery, The Whitley Collection. Image courtesy of Lion and Unicorn.

Arron Rimpley poses with a Jacobs seven-cylinder radial engine made in 1944. The fine example of industrial art, with its aluminum engine and steel cylinders, is a wonder of aviation technology and history. The work dates back to Rimpley’s previous gallery, The Whitley Collection. Image courtesy of Lion and Unicorn.

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.

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An 1885 Reed & Barton curly hair horse napkin ring sold for $3,750 plus the buyer’s premium in July 2020. Image courtesy of Dan Morphy Auctions and LiveAuctioneers.

Silver napkin rings add high style to dinner tables

An 1885 Reed & Barton curly hair horse napkin ring sold for $3,750 plus the buyer’s premium in July 2020. Image courtesy of Dan Morphy Auctions and LiveAuctioneers.

An 1885 Reed & Barton curly hair horse napkin ring sold for $3,750 plus the buyer’s premium in July 2020. Image courtesy of Dan Morphy Auctions and LiveAuctioneers.

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.

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This Gaudy Dutch Butterfly pattern coffee pot sold for $11,000 plus the buyer’s premium in March 2022. Image courtesy of Conestoga Auction Company Division of Hess Auction Group and LiveAuctioneers.

Gaudy Dutch pottery: bold and favored for 200 years

This Gaudy Dutch Butterfly pattern coffee pot sold for $11,000 plus the buyer’s premium in March 2022. Image courtesy of Conestoga Auction Company Division of Hess Auction Group and LiveAuctioneers.

This Gaudy Dutch Butterfly pattern coffee pot sold for $11,000 plus the buyer’s premium in March 2022. Image courtesy of Conestoga Auction Company Division of Hess Auction Group and LiveAuctioneers.

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.

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Dante Marioni’s Yellow and Blue Trio from 1996 brought $8,500 plus the buyer’s premium in September 2019. Image courtesy of Rago Arts and Auction Center and LiveAuctioneers.

Dante Marioni: the future of studio art glass

Dante Marioni’s Yellow and Blue Trio from 1996 brought $8,500 plus the buyer’s premium in September 2019. Image courtesy of Rago Arts and Auction Center and LiveAuctioneers.

Dante Marioni’s Yellow and Blue Trio from 1996 brought $8,500 plus the buyer’s premium in September 2019. Image courtesy of Rago Arts and Auction Center and LiveAuctioneers.

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-).

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A 1950s View-Master reel metal store sign from Portland, Oregon, the birthplace of the stereoscopic toy, achieved $575 plus the buyer’s premium in May 2018. Image courtesy of Luther Auctions and LiveAuctioneers.

Taking another look at the classic, collectible View-Master toy

A 1950s View-Master reel metal store sign from Portland, Oregon, the birthplace of the stereoscopic toy, achieved $575 plus the buyer’s premium in May 2018. Image courtesy of Luther Auctions and LiveAuctioneers.

A 1950s View-Master reel metal store sign from Portland, Oregon, the birthplace of the stereoscopic toy, achieved $575 plus the buyer’s premium in May 2018. Image courtesy of Luther Auctions and LiveAuctioneers.

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.

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This table lamp, designed for the Blacker House, attained $410,000 plus the buyer’s premium in October 2015. Image courtesy of Rago Arts and Auction Center and LiveAuctioneers.

East meets West in Greene & Greene’s ‘crafty’ designs

This table lamp, designed for the Blacker House, attained $410,000 plus the buyer’s premium in October 2015. Image courtesy of Rago Arts and Auction Center and LiveAuctioneers.

This table lamp, designed for the Blacker House, achieved $410,000 plus the buyer’s premium in October 2015. Image courtesy of Rago Arts and Auction Center and LiveAuctioneers.

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.

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This Late Classic Period Moki pattern serape earned $16,000 plus the buyer’s premium in September 2021. Image courtesy of Hindman and LiveAuctioneers.

Navajo serapes: centuries of Native tradition

This Late Classic Period Moki pattern serape earned $16,000 plus the buyer’s premium in September 2021. Image courtesy of Hindman and LiveAuctioneers.

This Late Classic Period Moki pattern serape earned $16,000 plus the buyer’s premium in September 2021. Image courtesy of Hindman and LiveAuctioneers.

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.

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Gray’s Auctioneers founders Serena Harragin and Deba Gray fully expected the pandemic to hurt their business, but the opposite happened – their audience grew. Their auction house reaches between six to eight million people worldwide. Image courtesy of Gray’s Auctioneers.

Meet Deba Gray and Serena Harragin of Gray’s Auctioneers

Gray’s Auctioneers founders Serena Harragin and Deba Gray fully expected the pandemic to hurt their business, but the opposite happened – their audience grew. Their auction house reaches between six to eight million people worldwide. Image courtesy of Gray’s Auctioneers.

Gray’s Auctioneers founders Serena Harragin (left) and Deba Gray fully expected the pandemic to hurt their business, but instead, their audience grew. Their Cleveland, Ohio, auction house reaches between six to eight million people worldwide. Image courtesy of Gray’s Auctioneers.

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.

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This historic Bunker Hill-engraved powder horn attained $170,000 plus the buyer’s premium in October 2019. Image courtesy of Dan Morphy Auctions and LiveAuctioneers.

Powder horns: artful witnesses to early American history

This historic Bunker Hill-engraved powder horn attained $170,000 plus the buyer’s premium in October 2019. Image courtesy of Dan Morphy Auctions and LiveAuctioneers.


This historic Bunker Hill-engraved powder horn achieved $170,000 plus the buyer’s premium in October 2019. Image courtesy of Dan Morphy Auctions and LiveAuctioneers.

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.

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A mid-18th-century Belgian silver chocolate pot by Jacobus van de Vyvere brought $5,204 plus the buyer’s premium in March 2017. Image courtesy of Dreweatts Donnington Priory and LiveAuctioneers.

Chocolate pots hit the sweet spot with collectors

A mid-18th-century Belgian silver chocolate pot by Jacobus van de Vyvere brought $5,204 plus the buyer’s premium in March 2017. Image courtesy of Dreweatts Donnington Priory and LiveAuctioneers.

A mid-18th-century Belgian silver chocolate pot by Jacobus van de Vyvere brought $5,204 plus the buyer’s premium in March 2017. Image courtesy of Dreweatts Donnington Priory and LiveAuctioneers.

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.

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