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

Skinner’s American Antiques Auction to Feature Rare Daguerreotypes, New England Furniture, Decorative Arts

Skinner Inc. today announced its fall auction of American Furniture and Decorative Arts will be held in its Boston gallery on Sunday, October 30, 2011. The sale features the early photography collection of Rod MacKenzie as well as American lighting, fine American furniture – both formal and paint-decorated – folk art, marine paintings, textiles and needlework, early pottery and stoneware, and much more.

The Rod MacKenzie Collection of Early Photography
The sale kicks off with the Rod MacKenzie collection of early photography. Many of the 150 lots of daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and tintypes are housed in rare hard plastic cases. As a collector, MacKenzie has a sophisticated taste for images that speak to the viewer emotionally, historically, and artistically. MacKenzie’s extensive knowledge of American history, particularly of the Civil War, is represented by dozens of extraordinary images of military officers and soldiers.

MacKenzie collects images that tell stories. This collection contains many images that convey a strong sense of narrative: portraits of beautiful, stylishly dressed women; prosperous, optimistic young couples and large family groups; children at school; and men shown at their daily occupations. The group of “occupationals” includes an architect, a blacksmith, a mailman, farmers, musicians, carpenters, and firemen. Also represented are rare daguerreotypes of mid-19th century houses and a parade.

Fine New England Furniture
While the sale features many examples of fine American furniture, one of the more noteworthy offerings is a rare Chippendale mahogany serpentine bureau, made in Boston or Charlestown, MA, c. 1760-70. The bureau is characterized by a dramatic molded overhanging top that conforms to the compact chest below with a serpentine front and rare half-serpentine sides. Skinner had sold the bureau to a collector more than twenty years ago. According the Stephen Fletcher, Department Director, “Lot 265 is an extremely rare piece, with its sophisticated shape and rococo fire-gilt brasses not often seen in the Boston area.” The bureau is estimated between $75,000 and $150,000.

From the same collection, is a Queen Anne walnut carved and upholstered easy chair made in Boston in the last half of the 18th century. This beautifully proportioned chair retains its original surface, and is estimated between $40,000 and $60,000.

Fine American Paintings
18th century American portraiture is very rare and this sale is highlighted by an impressive work from 1786, The portrait of Abigail Rose, of North Branford, Connecticut, at the age of fourteen. Abigail is seen seated in a Queen Anne chair next to a table on which rests a group of books and a Battersea patchbox. Well-preserved, in original condition, and not seen publicly since the 1930s, the portrait has descended through the family of the sitter. The portrait, lot 293, is estimated to sell between $150,000 and $250,000. The portrait is being sold with the floral enameled Battersea patchbox portrayed in the painting, Abigail’s prayer book, an early 20th century handwritten label identifying Abigail in the portrait, which states the portrait was “… painted by a young man from New Haven in payment for board, hung for years in the Rose homestead at North Branford…,” and other family documents.

The sale also is highlighted by a good grouping of marine art, including lot 506, Joseph Lee’s (1827-1880) Portrait of the Schooner California Sailing in Coastal Waters. This work was reportedly given as payment for medical services to Dr. Edward Worth in the early 1900s and hung in his pharmacy at Edgartown, Massachusetts, for eighty years. The piece is estimated to sell for between $15,000 and $25,000.

Decorative Arts
While tobacconist figures were common in their day, to lure buyers from outside into stores, a small number have survived. Lot 489, a carved Indian princess attributed to Samuel Robb of New York, c. 1880, has its old weathered painted surface, and was acquired from the estate of Helena Penrose 50 years ago. The figure is estimated to sell between $30,000 and $50,000.

Sale 2567B also offers thirty mechanical and still cast iron banks from the collection of Norman O. Weil. Norman Weil was a founding member and president of the Mechanical Bank Collectors of America. The wide variety of form reflects the cultural trends, tastes, and politics of the late 19th century.

Previews and Special Events
Previews Wednesday, October 26th, 2011 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Thursday, October 27th 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Friday, October 28th 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Saturday, October 29th 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.; and preceding the auction on Sunday, October 30th, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Skinner Inc. will present a gallery walk and reception during Friday’s preview beginning at 5:30 p.m. R.S.V.P at 617.350.5400 or [email protected].

Catalogues and Bidding
Illustrated catalogue #2567B is available by mail for $35 ($42 for foreign requests) from the subscription department at (508) 970-3240 or at the gallery for $32. Prices realized will be available at during and after the sale. At, users may also view all lots in the auction, leave bids, order catalogs and bid in real-time through SkinnerLive!

About Skinner
Skinner, Inc is one of the world’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. Skinner auctions regularly achieve world record prices. Providing a broad range of auction and appraisal services, Skinner is widely regarded as one of the most trusted names in the auction business. Skinner appraisal experts are frequently featured on the PBS-TV series Antiques Roadshow. 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. For more information on upcoming auctions and events, visit

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