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


MARLBOROUGH, Mass. – – Skinner, Inc. one of the nation’s leading auction houses for antiques and fine art, today announced it will host an auction of Country Americana on Sunday, August 9th at 11 a.m. in its Marlborough, Mass. gallery.

The auction features nearly 800 lots including marine paintings and ship dioramas, folk portraiture, country furniture, children’s furniture, basketry, blown glass, hooked rugs, weathervanes, country decorative arts, and much more.

queen-anne-maple-chestIn addition to these offerings, Skinner is honored to feature over 200 lots from the collection of Sally Schell Whittemore. Whittemore was extremely knowledgeable and forthright in her opinions and helped many collectors appreciate the nuances of the market and the material. Her collection includes country antiques including furniture, stoneware, needlework, pantry boxes, baskets, early textiles, and hooked rugs.

Sally Schell Whittemore Collection
A native of the Midwest, Sally enjoyed traveling, especially to New England, where she loved buying and selling early American antiques. In October 2003, she married Michael Whittemore, who shared her passion for antiques. They ran a shop from their home in Washington, Illinois, and attended shows across the country. She had a great talent for decorating with the objects she loved and helped many of her clients decorate their homes. As a result, it is not surprising that her home was tastefully filled with country antiques.

Notes Americana director Stephen Fletcher, “Sally’s collection is characterized by a fine group of country furniture with one thing in common: they all have old surface and feature a variety of colors. My favorites include an apple-green painted cupboard (lot 37, est. $2/3,000) and a red-painted pine step-back cupboard (lot 90, est. $4/6,000). The collection also features numerous tables, cupboards and stands. Sally was particularly fond of the color blue, evidenced by several pieces, including a blue-painted jelly cupboard (lot 118, est. $1,2/1,500), plus a bed, and tables.” Fletcher continues, “Her love of color is also represented by utilitarian objects typically found in a country home, and by virtue of their color, are not only useful but also beautiful.”

Another area of this sublime collection is early textiles, including a collection of homespun, linen and wool fabrics, all dyed with natural colors (lots 119-125), plus 19th century clothing, several samplers, and a variety of hooked rugs. Fletcher adds, “One of Sally’s favorites was a charming chair seat with a black and white cat (lot 107, est. $8/1,200).” Other items from her collection include a variety of Cobalt blue-decorated stoneware, including a Pennsylvania jar decorated with a duck (lot 143, est. $4/600), and a variety of slip-decorated redware, most notably the auction catalog’s cover lot, an outstanding plate featuring the name “Sally” in bold script (lot 94, est. $2,5/3,500).

Other charming smalls include a collection of twenty-eight shoe form pincushions (lot 113, est. $1,5/2,500), and a collection of fifty-six Skookum Indian character dolls (lot 153, est. $4/6,000).

Paintings & Portraiture
The sale features several lots of marine arts including a signed Don Aikens mural depicting Nantasket Beach Steamship Co. Steamships and Lighthouse at Dusk (lot 214, est. $10/15,000). On Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 1929, the entire fleet of the Nantasket Beach Steam Ship Company, wintering at Nantasket Pier, was engulfed in flames and was completely destroyed, with the exception of the steamer Mayflower. In 1948 the Mayflower was pulled ashore on Nantasket Beach, renamed the Showboat, and was used as a nightclub until it burned in 1979. In addition, the sale features an impressive portrait of Ellen, Sally and Charlotte Pratt of Beacon Hill, Boston by descent in the Rollins family in Beacon Hill (lot 706, est. $4/8,000).

Country Furniture
Over 180 lots of country furniture grace the sale including a William & Mary maple oval top gate-leg table, New England, early 18th century (lot 254, est.$2/4,000), a Queen Anne maple tall chest of drawers, attributed to Peter Bartlett, Salisbury, Massachusetts, c. 1800 (lot 433, est. $1,5/2,500), and a Chippendale-style tiger maple and bird’s-eye maple carved desk bookcase, made by Donald A. Dunlap in the late 20th century (lot 733, est. $5/7,000). A nice selection of Windsor arms chairs will also be offered.

The sale will also feature a collection of 18th and 19th century children’s furniture including a small green-painted cradle and a black-painted ladder-back child’s chair (lot 459, est. $150/250), a miniature painted step-back cupboard/apothecary chest (lot 463, est. $4/600),a miniature mustard grain-painted doll cupboard (lot 466, est. $8/1,200), and a federal grain-painted pine salesman’s sample card table (lot 467, est. $8/1,200).

Blown Glass
Glass offerings include a free-blown Marbrie, amber glass pitcher with opalescent white loops (lot 273, est. $3/500), an amethyst blown glass covered sugar bowl (lot 275, est. $800/1,200), and a blown glass compote colorless six rib bowl (lot 276, est. $6/800).

For those with an eye for weathervanes, Skinner is pleased to offer the following lots: a large molded and gilded sheet copper rooster weather vane, attributed to J.W. Fiske, New York, late 19th century (lot 655, est. $3/5,000), a black-painted cast and sheet iron prancing horse weather vane, Rochester Iron Works (lot 659, est. $4/6,000) and a molded copper and cast zinc cow weather vane, attributed to J.W. Fiske, New York, late 19th century (lot 660, est. $8/12,000).

Additional Highlights
Other notable lots include a charming four-piece scratch-built painted wooden train set, with one of the cars bearing the inscription: “PENNSYLVANIA R.R. No. 200/BAGGAGE CAR” (lot 458, est. $4/6,000); a paint-decorated apothecary chest with twenty drawers (lot 454, est. $10/15,000); a painted wood and iron “The Elm’s Hotel” Sign, from a house on Elm Street in Upton, Massachusetts, early 20th century (lot 528, est. $4/600); a wonderful yellow two-tier fifteen-light wrought iron and wood chandelier, c. 1810, (lot 306, est. $4/6,000); and a nice selection of hooked rugs including a wool and cotton hooked rug with urn of flowers motif (lot 437, est. $1/1,500), “OLD FRIENDS” wool hooked rug with Two Cats, early 20th century (lot 438, est. $1/1,500), and a wool and cotton hooked rug with cat motif (lot 441, est. $1,2/1,500). The auction concludes with several lots of furniture, rugs, and country decorative arts.

Previews and Special Event
Previews for the auction will be held Wednesday, August 5th from 12-5 p.m., Thursday, August 6th from 12-8 p.m., Friday, August 7th from 12 -8 p.m., Saturday, August 8th from 12- 5 p.m. and Sunday, August 9th from 8-10 a.m.

On Friday evening, August 7th, Skinner Americana director, Stephen Fletcher will host an Americana Gallery Walk and Reception beginning at 5:30 p.m. in conjunction with the preview. To attend the Americana Gallery Walk, please R.S.V.P. to Skinner’s Marlborough gallery at 508-970-3000.

Catalog Information
Illustrated catalogue #2468 is available by mail for $35 ($42 for foreign requests) from the subscription department at 978-779-6241 x240. It is also available at the gallery for $32. Prices realized will be available at during and after the sales. For more information on the auctions, auction preview times, and the gallery walk, visit Skinner’s website at Skinner’s site also allows users to view all lots in the auctions, leave bids, and order catalogs online.

Skinner-Live! Online Bidding on Skinner’s Website
Skinner’s website now features real-time online bidding via the SkinnerLive! bid applet. Visit and click on the blue Skinner Live Bidding button for full instructions prior to the auction. The blue Skinner Live Bidding button can be found under the Buy/Sell tab on our homepage and on the American Furniture & Decorative Arts department page. Once pre-registered on our website, you can join in the live bidding as soon as the auction begins. All lots in the auction are also available for viewing at The website provides full-color thumbnail images and full lot descriptions. It allows users to leave bids online, and view prices realized in real-time during and after the auction. Visit to sign up for our free eZine of upcoming arts & antiques auctions and events.

About Skinner
Skinner, Inc. is one of the nation’s leading auction houses for antiques and fine art. 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, Couture, Fine Musical Instruments, Asian Works of Art, Fine Wines, Rare Books & Manuscripts, Oriental Rugs & Carpets, American Indian & Ethnographic Art, Fine Judaica, Antique Motor Vehicles, Toys, Dolls & Collectibles, Discovery and Science, Technology & Clocks. Skinner galleries are located in Boston and Marlborough, Mass.

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

Image: Lot 433 Queen Anne Maple Tall Chest of Drawers, attributed to Peter Bartlett, Salisbury, Massachusetts, c. 1800 est, $1,500-2,500