Billionaire Scaife's Collection of Sailor's Valentines at Auction

  • October 06, 2014 22:03

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19th century double sailor’s valentine, “Remember Me”. The double shell valentine within original mahogany hinged box.
Rafael Osona
Intricate 19th-century shellwork folk art from the Nantucket summer home of the late billionaire publisher Richard Mellon Scaife comes to auction this week.

Scaife's collection of sailor's valentines and other whimsical Victorian-age maritime souvenirs will be offered at Rafael Osona's traditional Columbus Weekend Auction on Nantucket Island, Mass. on Oct. 11. 

Nearly three dozen examples of vintage and contemporary sailor's valentines are part of the sale. The Victorian pieces, worked from hundreds of small shells and often incorporating endearing phrases, were picked up by sailors in the Caribbean, largely Barbados, as tokens for loved ones at home.

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Heir to the Mellon banking and oil fortune, Pittsburgh native Scaife was owner of Trib Total Media. He was also a controversial conservative, and major philanthropist. Scaife died on July 4 at age 82.

A longtime collector, Scaife left his vast art holdings, a 900-acre Western Pennsylvania estate, and $15 million to the Brandywine Conservancy and Museum of Art in Chadds Ford, PA., according to his will.

Read more at Tribune Review


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