Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information
Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information


Wright Widely Recognized as Prominent Doll Expert and Discerning Collector

BOSTON, Mass. – – Skinner, one of the nation’s leading auction houses for antiques and fine art, today announced that it has been chosen as the sole auction house to handle the sale of the Estate of Richard Wright, one of the world’s leading experts in the field of fine dolls, and a prominent and colorful appraiser on the PBS series, The Antiques Roadshow. The estate of Richard Wright promises to be a major highlight of Skinner’s fall auction season as Wright’s vision will be on display in two exciting and diverse sales. Heading up the auction will be Stuart Whitehurst, Skinner specialist in European furniture and decorative arts and one of the company’s most celebrated generalist appraisers.

The Wright estate will be offered in two auctions in October 2009. Session I will be held on October 10, 2009 in Skinner’s new gallery in Marlborough, Massachusetts. It will feature Mr. Wright’s collection of dolls and doll accessories — one of the most prominent doll collections to be seen in the auction world for many years. For this session, Skinner’s has teamed with Andy and Becky Ourant of Adamstown, Pennsylvania. The Ourants, well-known figures in the field of dolls and doll collectibles, as well as close personal and professional friends of Mr. Wright, will bring their extensive knowledge and love of the material to the sale of this estate.

Highlights from Session I include the finest examples spanning three centuries of doll making beginning with rare 18th century English wooden dolls in incredible, all original condition. Mr. Wright collected an impressive group of finely carved early 18th century Grodnertal wooden dolls, many featured in articles by famous doll historian John Noble. Also offered will be important examples of fine mid-19th century German and French papier mache, China, parian, and bisque dolls highlighted by many rare examples of male dolls. An outstanding selection of early 20th century art reform character dolls include elusive models from Kammer & Reinhadt, Simon & Halbig, Heubach and others. American cloth dolls include unique folk art examples, Izannah Walker children and Martha Chase dolls including a rare Alice and Wonderland set. Along with this bountiful selection doll rarities are many fine examples of early toys, candy containers, miniature period furniture, a fine early English baby house, rare dollhouse dolls and miniatures. Doll accessories round out the sale including fine early original doll clothing, shoes and accessories that were displayed with Mr. Wright’s collection.

Along with his passion for, and vast knowledge of dolls, Richard Wright was a keen and discerning collector of both fine and decorative arts. Session II of the Richard Wright collection will be sold on October 24, 2009 in Skinner’s Boston gallery, and will feature this portion of the collection. Wright’s exuberance as a collector extended to a wide variety of European pottery and porcelain, including an extensive collection of Martin Brothers pottery, Doulton Lambeth stoneware, and Zsolnay ceramics. Highlights of the collection include three important Tiffany leaded glass table lamps, including a large and extremely rare Peony pattern variant, a Dragonfly shade, and a Jonquil pattern lamp. Art Nouveau furniture was also a passion of Wright’s, who assembled an impressive group of Galle and Majorelle carved and inlaid pieces, one piece having been previously in the collection of John Lennon. Wright’s eclectic nature and special “eye” is further manifested in a wide variety of objects, including a watercolor by Arthur Rackham illustrating a scene from Milton’s Comus, and a large bronze version of Bruno Zach’s The Riding Crop.

“Skinner is so pleased to present the estate of Richard Wright,” notes Stuart Whitehurst, “and I am honored to have the opportunity to work with both Andy and Becky Ourant to bring such a fine collection to auction. We look forward to a very successful fall season at Skinner.”

About Skinner
Skinner, Inc. is one of the nation’s leading auction houses for antiques and fine art and the only major auction house headquartered in New England. With expertise in over 20 specialty collecting areas, Skinner draws the interest of buyers from all over the world and its auctions regularly achieve world record prices. Skinner provides a broad range of auction and appraisal services, and it is widely regarded as one of the most trusted names in the auction business. Skinner’s appraisal experts regularly appear on the PBS-TV series, Antiques Roadshow, and its specialty departments include American Furniture & Decorative Arts, American & European Paintings & Prints, European Furniture & Decorative Arts, 20th Century Design, Fine Ceramics, Fine Jewelry, Textiles & Couture, Fine Musical Instruments, Asian Works of Art, Fine Wines, Rare Books & Manuscripts, Science, Technology, & Clocks, Oriental Rugs & Carpets, American Indian & Ethnographic Art, Fine Judaica, Antique Motor Vehicles, Toys, Dolls & Collectibles, and Discovery. Skinner galleries are located in Boston and Marlborough, Mass.

For more information on upcoming auctions and events, visit Skinner’s website