Eldred’s big Nov. 15-17 sale showcases the Skinner Collection

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EAST DENNIS, Mass. — Eldred’s traditional fall sales are always important events packed with quality merchandise, but this year’s has even more appeal: the addition of the Bob and Nancy Skinner collection. Founders of the legendary Skinner auction house of Boston — now known as Bonhams Skinner — their Americana collection appears at auction for the first time. Catalogs are now available for bidding at LiveAuctioneers (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3).

The reasoning behind the Skinner family’s selection of Eldred’s is simply personal: the families, part of the group dubbed the “Big Four” of New England postwar auction houses, have been friends for generations. As noted by CEO Joshua Eldred, himself a third-generation owner, “We are incredibly proud to be handling this collection on behalf of the Skinner family. Because of our personal and professional relationship, selling these items is such an honor, but beyond that, it’s a truly fantastic group of Americana, as you would expect Bob and Nancy to have.”

A classic example of the New England seascapes favored by artist Martin Johnson Heade (1819-1904) tops the first session. Scituate Beach, Moonlight is from the 1870-1875 period and is signed by the artist, who was not well known in his time but has since become highly regarded by art historians. The 10 by 12in oil on artist board depicting a Massachusetts coastal town carries an estimate of $100,000-$150,000, reflecting strong market interest in Heade’s works.

Also dominating the first sale is a child’s wardrobe built to resemble Kew Palace in west London. Signed Edmund Joy 1709, it is the only other known example from this otherwise obscure builder and artist, the second being a very similar wardrobe in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London that is signed and dated Edmund Joy 1712. The wardrobe is estimated at $70,000-$100,000.

The Day Two session is strong with 19th- and early 20th-century art, lead by Three Partridges on a Pitch Pine. Created by outdoorsman, conservationist and painter Aiden Lassell Ripley (1896-1969), the work reflects the artist’s focus on realism and his technique of painting and drawing en plein-air to capture the authenticity of his subjects in their natural environments. Three Partridges is estimated at $20,000-$30,000.

Known for excellent sales often sourced from prominent New England collections, Bob and Nancy Skinner collected what they loved. The 154 lots presented on the third day by Eldred’s reflect their passion for early American miniatures, created by forgotten craftsmen to capture the American experience on a small scale, often for children. The sale includes 34 lots of miniatures, led by a miniature firkin attributed to prominent toymaker and cooper Cotton Hersey (1792-1891). The firkin, or fluid receptacle, is described as a Hingham, owing to the Massachusetts town’s reputation as “Bucket Town,” with more than 400 coopers residing there.
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Martin Johnson Heade, ‘Scituate Beach, Moonlight,’ estimated at $100,000-$150,000 at Eldred’s.
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English Child’s wardrobe dating to 1709, estimated at $70,000-$100,000 at Eldred’s.
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Aiden Lassell Ripley, ‘Three Partridges on a Pitch Pine,’ estimated at $20,000-$30,000 at Eldred’s.
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Gold ring belonging to Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, late 18th-early 19th century, estimated at 10,000-$15,000 at Eldred’s.
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Stoneware double-handed molasses jug, estimated at $3,000-$5,000 at Eldred’s.
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Hingham miniature firkin, estimated at $2,500-$3,500 at Eldred’s.
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Ming Imperial dragon carpet set saleroom ablaze at Skinner

Ming Imperial dragon carpet, $324,500. Image courtesy of Skinner
Ming Imperial dragon carpet, $324,500. Image courtesy of Skinner
Ming Imperial dragon carpet, $324,500. Image courtesy of Skinner

MARLBOROUGH, Mass. – Skinner Auctioneers presented its initial sale from the the Jim Dixon collection, commanding widespread interest beyond the centerpiece Ming Imperial dragon carpet. The May 4 auction represented the first of several planned sales from the lifetime accruals of Jim Dixon, a passionate antiquarian and outsized figure in the world of fine woven textiles who passed away in 2020. Sales for both the live May 4 auction and a late April-early May online auction together reached $1,375,805.

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Centuries of American art featured at Skinner, May 25

Charles Courtney Curran, ‘Picnic Supper on the Sand Dunes,’ est. $50,000-$70,000. Image courtesy of Skinner
Charles Courtney Curran, ‘Picnic Supper on the Sand Dunes,’ est. $50,000-$70,000. Image courtesy of Skinner
Charles Courtney Curran, ‘Picnic Supper on the Sand Dunes,’ est. $50,000-$70,000. Image courtesy of Skinner

MARLBOROUGH, Mass. – Skinner Auctioneers will conduct a live auction of American Art on Wednesday, May 25, starting at 10 am Eastern time at Skinner’s Marlborough gallery. Ranging across centuries from the early Hudson River School to early American Modernism, the sale features masterworks by some of this country’s greatest painters and sculptors. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

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‘Luxe Living: The Bostonians’ drew worldwide bidding at Skinner

 

Left, pair of carved giltwood mirrors from the April 14 auction, $68,750; Right, Towle 365-piece sterling flatware set in the Georgian pattern, offered in the April 12 sale, $13,750
Left, pair of carved giltwood mirrors from the April 14 auction, $68,750; Right, Towle 365-piece sterling flatware set in the Georgian pattern, offered in the April 12 sale, $13,750

MARLBOROUGH, Mass. – Skinner Auctioneers presented two European auctions in April that drew competitive bidding from enthusiastic participants worldwide and generated high prices across multiple categories. On Thursday, April 14, Skinner offered a single-owner live auction titled Luxe Living: The Bostonians, showcasing a curated collection of furniture and decorative arts from the home of a prominent Boston couple. The online European Decor & Design Auction, which ran from April 12 – April 22, proved yet again that the market for silver, particularly pieces of sterling silver holloware from well-known makers such as Tiffany and Gorham, remains strong.

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Skinner rolls out red carpet for Jim Dixon textiles collection, May 4

Ming dynasty Imperial dragon carpet, est. $200,000-$300,000
Ming dynasty Imperial dragon carpet, est. $200,000-$300,000
Ming dynasty Imperial dragon carpet, est. $200,000-$300,000

MARLBOROUGH, Mass. – Skinner Auctioneers will offer the lifetime accruals of a passionate antiquarian and outsized figure in the world of fine woven textiles: The Jim Dixon collection. Dixon, a master garden designer who passed away in 2020, was considered to have one of the most important collections of carpets and rugs in the United States. His significant and expertly assembled holdings will be auctioned by Skinner across five sales, beginning with an online auction April 25 – May 5 and a live auction on Wednesday, May 4 in Boston. Absentee and Internet live bidding for the May 4 sale will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

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Skinner names Phillip Thomas its first designer in residence

Skinner Auctioneers has named Phillip Thomas its first designer in residence. Image courtesy of Phillip Thomas Inc., and Skinner Auctioneers
Skinner Auctioneers has named Phillip Thomas its first designer in residence. Image courtesy of Phillip Thomas Inc., and Skinner Auctioneers

MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — Skinner Auctioneers announces the appointment of interior designer Phillip Thomas as the auction house’s inaugural designer in residence, strengthening Skinner’s long-held relationship with Thomas. Having collaborated with him on a number of design events and sales since 2018, Thomas’ appointment demonstrates Skinner’s innovative approach to auctions as an avenue for interior design.

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Song Dynasty ceramics among Asian artworks offered by Skinner, March 23

Jun bowl, possibly Northern Song dynasty, est. $200,000-$300,000. Image courtesy of Skinner
Jun bowl, possibly Northern Song dynasty, est. $200,000-$300,000. Image courtesy of Skinner
Jun bowl, possibly Northern Song dynasty, est. $200,000-$300,000. Image courtesy of Skinner

MARLBOROUGH, Mass. – Skinner Auctioneers will host a live Asian Works of Art sale at its Marlborough galleries on Wednesday, March 23 starting at 10 am Eastern time. Coinciding with Asia Week in New York, the auction will offer jade pieces, Song period ceramics, a broad range of famille rose, paintings and Buddhist sculptures. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

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Tiffany Studios table lamps lead lighting selection at Skinner, Jan. 31

Tiffany Studios Lilypad table lamp, est. $60,000-$80,000. Image courtesy of Skinner
Tiffany Studios Lilypad table lamp, est. $60,000-$80,000. Image courtesy of Skinner
Tiffany Studios Lilypad table lamp, est. $60,000-$80,000. Image courtesy of Skinner

MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — Skinner Auctioneers is hosting an online auction of Lighting & Design, running from January 19-31. The auction will feature a strong lighting selection as well as collections of French studio pottery and glassware. The fresh-to-market material comes from private collections that emerged at the perfect time, building a robust selection for Skinner’s auction. View the fully illustrated catalog on LiveAuctioneers.

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Skinner offers Saint-Gaudens bronze of Standing Lincoln, Jan. 28

Augustus Saint-Gaudens, ‘Abraham Lincoln: The Man (Standing Lincoln),’ est. $700,000-$900,000. Image courtesy of Skinner
Augustus Saint-Gaudens, ‘Abraham Lincoln: The Man (Standing Lincoln),’ est. $700,000-$900,000. Courtesy of Skinner

MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — Skinner Auctioneers is hosting an auction on January 28 of American Works of Art, featuring a highly valuable Abraham Lincoln sculpture by Augustus Saint-Gaudens (American, 1848-1907), considered the most prominent and celebrated sculptor of his time. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

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Tom Brady-signed rookie ticket set to score, Dec. 15 at Skinner

Tom Brady’s 2000 Contenders Championship Rookie Ticket, autographed by Brady, est. $300,000-$500,000
Tom Brady’s 2000 Contenders Championship Rookie Ticket, autographed by Brady, est. $300,000-$500,000
Tom Brady’s 2000 Contenders Championship Rookie Ticket, autographed by Brady, est. $300,000-$500,000

MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — Skinner Auctioneers will host an online auction of Sports Memorabilia, from December 7-15. The highlights of the sale include numerous sports cards from the longtime collection of a passionate Boston sports fan, who celebrates the elite players in baseball, football, basketball and hockey. View the fully illustrated catalog on LiveAuctioneers.

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