Americana auction offers opportunities for rare acquisitions

MARLBOROUGH, Mass. – The Skinner, Inc. Americana auction tradition continues with sales Aug. 12-13 and an online auction ending Aug. 14. The two-day and online Americana sales comprise nearly 1,500 lots of fine American folk art, furniture, ceramics, and maritime antiques.

Day 1 of the Americana auction

Small geometric paint-decorated blanket chest, 22 1/2 x 32 x 17 in., possibly New York or Pennsylvania, early 19th century. Applied moldings and short turned tapering legs, decorated in yellow, green, red, and black, the designs incorporating quarter-round, heart, and pinwheel elements. Courtesy of Skinner, Inc.

Small geometric paint-decorated blanket chest, 22 1/2 x 32 x 17 in., possibly New York or Pennsylvania, early 19th century. Applied moldings and short turned tapering legs. Courtesy of Skinner, Inc.

Day 1 kicks off the auction with two collections: the Collection of Gail and Don Piatt and the Arthur & Sybil Kern Collection of American Folk Art. The Piatt collection features a features an array of fine country antiques with emphasis on early New Hampshire painted furniture, samplers, lighting, and decorative arts and painted miniature smalls.

The Kern collection is encyclopedic in its representation of New England folk art. Featuring numerous works by Jane A. Davis, James Sanford Ellsworth, Ruth Whittier and Dr. Samuel A. Shute, Rufus Hathaway, and Erastus Salisbury Field, to name just a few, the collection offers the connoisseur an opportunity to acquire seldom-seen works. The Kerns were researchers as well as discriminating collectors. Their scholarship expanded the knowledge and awareness of itinerant folk portraitists and helped to give them their rightful importance in American art history.

Day 2 of the Americana auction

Day 2 includes more than 400 varied lots featuring painted furniture and early small decorative items from the Collection of Robert Cooney, hooked rugs and painted boxes from the Collection of Ronnie Newman, and a colorful array of mocha and dipped wares from the Collection of Jonathan Rickard. In addition, the sale offers several rare weathervanes, colorful game boards, folk portraiture, unusual quilts, a rare Oregon Women’s suffrage banner, an Indian maiden tobacconist figure, and maritime items.

Set of five paint-decorated dining chairs, 32 3/4 x 16 3/4 in., Pennsylvania, c. 1825-35. Shaped crests above turned spindles and vasiform splats, allover light brown paint with polychrome fruits, flowers, striping and bordering. Courtesy of Skinner, Inc.

Set of five paint-decorated dining chairs, 32 3/4 x 16 3/4 in., Pennsylvania, c. 1825-35. Shaped crests above turned spindles and vasiform splats, allover light brown paint with polychrome fruits, flowers, striping and bordering. Courtesy of Skinner, Inc.

The concurrent online Americana auction includes more than 650 additional lots of desirable items in every category. Bidding for the online lots opened Aug. 6 and begins closing at noon Aug. 14.

On August 11, Skinner will host a lecture by Suzanne and Michael Payne, long-time friends of Arthur and Sybil Kern discussing highlights from the Kern Collection and the adventures they shared finding and researching American folk art. The lecture begins at 5:30 p.m.

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