Connoisseurs Collections from Across the United States Reach a Wide Bidder Base - $4.6m Week for Skinner

  • MARLBOROUGH, Massachusetts
  • /
  • November 25, 2019

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Partner Steve Fletcher with a Fine and Rare Chippendale Carved Mahogany Reverse Serpentine Bureau, coastal Massachusetts, c. 1760-80. Sold for $291,000

BOSTON, MA – November 25, 2019 – Auctions, in quick succession, of American Furniture & Decorative Arts, Historic Arms & Militaria, American Indian & Ethnographic, and Fine Wines & Rare Spirits Art resulted in a $4.6M week for Skinner with over 3,900 registered bidders vying for material across many collecting categories. Skinner is recognized as a source for fresh to market estate material. Skinner delivered extraordinary pieces that had been carefully acquired for decades by discerning collectors. 

A multi-session sale of American Furniture & Decorative Arts featured property carefully collected by William McKeever of Ohio, Pamela and Brian Ehrlich from Connecticut, Tom and Carolyn Porter of Ohio, Massachusetts’ own Pamela Boynton, and August (Gus) Knapp also from Ohio. The Paint-decorated Thread Box, selling for $28,290, was offered in May 1980 as part of the Garbisch Collection, and is one of only a few known examples attributed to Centre County, Pennsylvania. The Two-sided “Canal Hotel” Tavern Sign, of impeccable provenance, had passed through the hands of legendary figures in the folk art trade. Other pieces had the mystique of re-discovery: The chest of drawers lot 186 sold for $291,000. The Fine and Rare Chippendale Mahogany Reverse Serpentine Bureau was studied and discussed at length in the 1930s by several scholars and early pillars of the antique community and then disappeared into a family collection soon after. Scholars were shocked that a piece of American furniture of this importance could remain hidden for nearly 90 years.

Two-sided Painted “Canal Hotel” Tavern Sign, Port Jervis, New York, c. 1826. Sold for $171,000

The results of the Historic Arms & Militaria auction proved this market to be robust. A Pair of Dublin Castle Pistols and a Horseman’s Saber collected by Dr. Clifford D. Harvey at the turn of the 20th century far surpassed the pre-auction estimate of $20,000-30,000 to sell for $116,850. Of historical interest, Daniel Barns’s Siege of Boston Powder Horn sold for $24,600 A rare fragment from an 18th Century statue of King George III fetched $207,000. 

Art and collectibles of the Americas continue to draw interest with collections from Philadelphia, New York, Vermont, and New Mexico featured in the American Indian & Ethnographic Art auction. A naturalistic Eskimo Wood Mask, Inupiaq, Alaska, early/mid-19th century, collected by the Episcopal missionary, physician, and educator, Dr. John Beach Briggs at the turn of the 20th century sold for $18,450 and a Northwest Coast Chilkat Blanket sold for $17,220. 

Wine and Spirits auctions at Skinner are as much a chance to socialize with fellow collectors as it is an opportunity to test your bidding brinksmanship. Enjoying wine and hors d’oeuvres, collectors competed for top First Growth Bordeaux, Screaming Eagle, a unique selection of California wine from the pinnacle years of the early 1990s, exciting Rhone and Piedmont vintages and rare cellar discoveries. Spirits showcased a beautiful assortment of Cognacs, including multiple Louis XIII from the early 20th century and coveted whiskies from top distilleries in Scotland and Kentucky as well as an impressive selection from Japan. Highlights from the Fine Wines & Rare Spirits included 12 bottles of Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1982 selling for $35,670, and Old Rip Van Winkle 25 Years Old 1989 selling for $13,530.

Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1982, 12 bottles (owc), Pauillac, 1er Cru Classe. Sold for $35,670

Skinner attracts top consignments and commands record-breaking prices in the international auction marketplace. With renowned expertise and extraordinary service, Skinner is the place for buyers, sellers and the passionately curious. Skinner appraisers are familiar faces on PBS’s 17-time Emmy Award-nominated ANTIQUES ROADSHOW. Visit us in Boston, Marlborough, New York, Miami, or online at

Skinner, Inc.
274 Cedar Hill Street
Marlborough, Massachusetts
About Skinner, Inc.

Skinner auctions draw international interest from buyers and consignors alike, with material regularly achieving record prices. The company’s auction and appraisal services focus on fine art, jewelry, furniture, and decorative arts from around the globe, as well as wine, fine musical instruments, rare books, clocks, Judaica, and more. Monthly Skinner Discovery auctions feature a breadth of estate material. Widely regarded as one of the most trusted names in the business, Skinner appraisers have appeared on the PBS-TV series, Antiques Roadshow, since the show’s inception. Skinner has galleries in Boston and Marlborough, Massachusetts, as well as in Coral Gables, Florida, with an international audience of bidders participating in person, by phone, and online through the SkinnerLive! online bidding platform. For more information and to read our blog, visit the website at, find us on Facebook at, or follow us on Twitter @Skinnerinc.

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