Skinner

American auction house Skinner was founded in 1962 by Robert W Skinner – an engineer with a passion for antiques. For 45 years it was run by partners Karen Keane and Stephen Fletcher (who was Skinner’s first employee), before the firm was sold to Bonhams in 2022.

In addition to its flagship Boston saleroom, Skinner also operates from Marlborough, Massachusetts; Coral Gables, Florida and New York City.

Skinner holds regular sales across the year in more than 20 collecting areas, including categories such as fine art, American, Indian and ethnographic art, antique dolls, Judaica, textiles & couture and musical instruments.


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Jensen jewellery shines in Boston

18 September 2014

This silver and labradorite floral necklace designed by Georg Jensen c.1915 sold for $17,000 (£10,970) at a recent auction held by Skinner of Boston.

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London-made lathe takes $190,000 in Massachusetts

10 January 2013

A rare Holtzapffel & Company rose engine lathe turned a few heads at Skinner’s recent Science, Technology and Clocks sale to take $190,000 (£124,185) as the top lot of the day.

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The high art of the weathervane

30 August 2012

Weathervanes have always been at the pinnacle of aspirations for collectors of American folk art.

Skinner launch online-only fixed-time auction platform

16 April 2012

LEADING US regional saleroom Skinner are to launch an online-only auction platform.

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Turning lathe at $55,000 in US sale

15 August 2011

THIS Holtzapffel & Deyerlein ornamental turning lathe made in London c.1827 came up for sale at Skinner in Marlborough, Massachusetts in a Science, Technology and Clocks sale.

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The $80,000 Italian Boston tea party

17 January 2011

ESTIMATED at $20,000-30,000, this Vezzi porcelain octagonal teapot and cover attracted great interest among European buyers at the latest sale held by Skinner in Boston.

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Frog service remnant jumps to $46,000

17 August 2009

THE so-called Frog Service made by Wedgwood for Catherine the Great was one of the most prestigious creations by the Staffordshire entrepreneur and one that helped forge his international reputation.

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Evidence that Avarice pays

08 May 2009

THE deadly sin of avarice was the theme of this large 16th century Flemish tapestry, but the warning failed to temper the desire of bidders when it came up at Skinner's most recent sale of European furniture and decorative arts in Boston in the USA on April 11.

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Tiffany and Walters prove key links in the $350,000 chain

23 March 2009

AN impressive example of Renaissance revivalism seen at Boston-based auction house Skinner on March 17 combined blue chip-names in both provenance and maker.

Ex-employee charged with stealing from Skinner

13 January 2009

A former long-term employee of New England auctioneers Skinner has been indicted by a grand jury for allegedly stealing over $724,000 worth of cash and auctioned property.

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The $180,000 Beardsley that hung in a Boston bathroom

24 November 2008

FOUND hanging in a Boston bathroom, the whereabouts of this Aubrey Beardsley (1872-1898) illustration had been a mystery for more than 80 years. Entitled The Climax, and hanging in the lavatory alongside another Beardsley pen-and-ink drawing called A Platonic Lament, the owners had no idea of its significance.

Skinner announce Marlborough move

26 August 2008

East Coast auctioneer Skinner are to move their suburban headquarters from Bolton to Marlborough, Massachusetts.

Bottoms up in Boston

03 September 2007

Following Christie’s decision to hold liquor sales in New York, Boston auctioneer Skinner is to launch a wine department.

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Estimate knocked into an $85,000 official’s hat

29 September 2004

HIGH spot of the Asian works of art section of Skinners’ July 17 sale in Boston was an $85,000 (£49,945) bid on a pair of 16th/17th century, cane-seated hardwood ‘Official’s Hat’ chairs from the collection of Professor James Hightower. In a post-sale announcement, Skinners Asian specialist described them as “quintessential examples... and undoubtedly the finest pair of hat chairs to have come on the market in decades”.

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Boston dinner party

09 September 2004

THE biggest surprise in the July 17 sale held by Skinners of Boston was provided by a pair of Chinese chairs, but the pair of 3 7/8in (10cm) high, Wedgwood & Bentley blue jasper portrait medallions of c.1779 right, depicting William Penn & Benjamin Franklin, also did well.

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American Impressionists in Paris

16 June 2004

TWO of the more successful lots from a May 14 sale of American and European pictures held in Boston by Skinners are seen here.

Review and Preview

29 October 2003

Walking may be an unfashionably slow mode of transport in today’s time-pressured world, but lengthy periods spent on foot in past centuries were made more pleasurable by a vast array of walking aids. This material is now seriously collected and a cluster of cane collections have appeared on the market of late.

Barbies in aspic…

03 September 2002

Setting new standards of perfection in a condition-conscious toy marketplace at Skinner’s of Boston Massachusetts on July 20 was an unopened 1962 Mattel shipping carton containing 12 New Fashion Queen Barbies.

Tiffany and Tiffany style

26 July 2002

USA: THREE pieces of Tiffany art glass and a Tiffany-type lamp from the Handel factory – sold by Doyles of New York on June 5 and by Skinners of Boston on June 22 – are featured here.

For whom the bell rings…

28 May 2002

Fare dodging is a chronic problem on public transport. But in 19th century America it was the passengers who had to keep an eye on the authorities, not the other way around.

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