Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Skinner's Americana Auction: Top Picks

Americana August. It's better than Christmas or getting a hole in one on the 18th hole and winning a free sundae. I've only ever played mini golf, but I'm assu. Really there are two magical times in the antiques world each year; there's Antiques Week in NYC in January, and there's New Hampshire Antiques Week in August. It's no coincidence they're six months apart, the powers that be must know that our self control can't stand more than six months between the two, and our bank accounts can't stand any less than six months to recover! And for Americana August, (which is what I've decided the August events should be called, since that New Hampshire business becomes quite a mouth full), there are two events that I really and truly look forward to all year- The NHADA Show, and the Skinner's Americana Auction.
        Skinner's catalog actually came out online yesterday but I forgot my laptop at my friend's house yesterday, and then promised myself this morning that I could sit quietly and drink wine and peruse the catalog tonight if I worked super hard in the hot sun all day. So I was a good girl, and worked and sweated my ass off, and now here I am, a wee bit tipsy and knee deep in antiques nirvana. I don't want you to miss out of the fun, though, so I'll be blogging as I read the catalog, and picking out my very very favorite pieces to share with you. Don't be surprised if this get's sillier the more you read, I'm just a half a glass of wine in right now, but this post is going to take me several hours to write, so buckle up for drunken irreverence by the end.

Lot 3: And early 18th century pine box in an early dry blue paint surface with elaborate geometric incised decoration. I mean, there really aren't words enough for how dear and precious this gem of early American folk art is. I truly love how over the top the incised decoration is, the maker got a bit carried away, which is ever so wonderful.

Lot 14- A flame stitched embroidered pocketbook marked 'Jeremiah Pearson x 1766'.
You see flame stitch "pocket books"(wallets) fairly frequently at good antique shows, but this is a terrifically fine example. The colors are so bold, and the condition is excellent. The fact that we have a name of the original owner, and that genealogical evidence indicates he was a 26 year old man living in Newburyport when this was made for him, probably by his wife, all the better. 
Lot 60: A red painted fire bucket dated 1806.
I just bought my very first fire bucket this past spring. I should probably have two, or ten. Ugh, they're so pretty and weird and wonderful. One of those things that is now wholly and entirely obsolete. One of those things that only needed to be utilitarian but because of the wonder of American spirit was always spectacularly decorated. Basically the best kind of thing ever. I might need this.

Lot 105: Engraved 18th century brass dog collar which reads,
My dogs are fancy. I know that's braggy but it's the only luxury I have through family connection. They're brothers, pure bred border collies who's father is something like #2 in the country in sheep dog trials at the moment. Their pedigrees, which we have stuffed in a drawer, are far more impressive and extensive than my own. Luckily, they're both humble lads, and never put on airs, but now I'm thinking they need engraved brass collars. 

Lot 225- A 19th century fireboard
To start it's green. I'm such a sucker for early green paint, especially a rich kelly shade like this. The dainty scrolled feet have an empire feel to them. It looks like an elongated shutter, which is magnificent, and I've never seen anything quite like it. My current fire screen has dolphins on it, maybe it's time for an upgrade. 
Lot 276 - A set of eight fanback Windsors by James Chapman Tuttle of Salem, Massachusetts c.1795.
Great design never dies. My god, these look so modern I could easily believe they came out of the 2016 Ethan Allen catalog. But no, they're 225 years old, which is absolutely mind boggling. Can you imagine being so damn good at your job you could make something so sturdy and sexy it would last and stay relevant for more than two centuries. Fist bump, Mr. Tuttle, you were one skilled dude. 
Lot 114: A pair of early 19th century hanging lights.
Oh jesus, someone come hold me hand while I have the vapors. Best fetch the smelling salts or a martini while you're at it. I LOVE THESE. I have wanted a hanging light like this for ages, but in aqua? and a pair?!?!
And I can hear you thinking "Hmmmm, they look like glass saggy boobs" but that's even better!
Ok, I'm buying these too, don't you dare outbid me, I'll hunt you down and shank you.

Lot 185- Early 19th century green glazed redware jar.
Everything about this piece is a study in sophisticated simplicity. The deep emerald color makes my toes curl with joy, that  softly ovoid body with sharply contracting shoulder, and the almost matte sheen. yummy.

Lot 301- Satan's food chopper.
Sorry, I told you things were gonna get silly by the end.

Lot 336- Early 19th century hide covered trunk
Yet another amazingly modern looking two hundred year old antique. I LOVE this. That mottled coloring is to die for, It even has a key?! I could die.

Lot 515- Early 19th century paint decorated pine chest.
Obviously the best and most fabulous thing I've ever seen in my favorite colors.
Here is a short list of things I WOULD do for the privilege of owning this treasure
1. Cut off my hands
2. Cut off your hands
3. Forgo hand the unnecessary limb removal and bribe the auctioneer
4. When that fails, rappel into the showroom the night before the auction, steal the box, and secret off to an island paradise to live alone to sip martinis with said box, my only real one true love.

So this is apparently going to be a two part auction coverage post because I'm tipsy and want to go upstairs and watch Stranger Things on netflix.
I'll do the second half of the catalog tomorrow morning!! 

1 comment:

  1. Love this post. I love the hanging lights. Don't worry...I won't bid. I would not want to get shanked!!!! lol