Skinner, one of the nation’s leading auction houses for antiques and fine art, today announced that it will offer the Richard Wright Collection at auction in October 2009. Richard Wright was one of the world’s best known experts in the field of fine dolls, and a prominent and colorful appraiser on the PBS series, Antiques Roadshow. The Richard Wright Collection 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: Session I on October 10th, 2009 will feature Rare & Important Dolls, and will be held in Skinner’s Marlborough gallery. Session II, to be held in Skinner’s Boston gallery, is scheduled for October 24, 2009 at 11:00, and will feature decorative arts and furniture. Heading up the sale of the Richard Wright Collection will be Stuart Whitehurst, Skinner specialist in European furniture and decorative arts and one of the company’s most celebrated generalist appraisers.
Session I: Rare & Important Dolls
Session I, held in Skinner’s gallery in Marlborough, Massachusetts, will feature Mr. Wright’s collection of rare and important dolls and doll accessories, and it is one of the most prominent doll collections to be seen in the auction world for many years. For this session, Skinner 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 German 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 in Wonderland set. Along with this bountiful selection of doll rarities are many fine examples of early toys, candy containers, miniature period furniture, a fine early Georgian baby house, and rare dollhouse dolls. Doll accessories round out the sale including fine early original doll clothing, shoes and accoutrements that were displayed with Mr. Wright’s collection.
Session II: Decorative Arts & Furniture
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, to be offered in Boston, will feature a wide variety of British and European pottery and porcelain, including an extensive collection of Martin Brothers pottery including large Wally-birds; a collection of Doulton Lambeth stoneware featuring rare works by George Timworth and the Barlow sisters; and unusual Zsolnay ceramic pieces. Highlights of the collection also 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.
“This is a remarkable collection and a testament to Richard Wright’s legacy as a highly respected expert and connoisseur of fine craftsmanship in the fields of dolls and decorative arts,” notes Stuart Whitehurst. “I am honored to have the opportunity to work with both Andy and Becky Ourant in bringing the Richard Wright Collection to auction at Skinner. We look forward to a very successful fall season.”
Andy Ourant noted, “Collections of this quality and magnitude are rarely seen at auction. The Richard Wright Collection at Skinner is not to be missed.”
Auction Inquiries and Catalog Orders
For auction inquiries, please contact 508-970-3130, or send an email to [email protected]. Catalogs for both auction sessions can be pre-ordered by calling 508-970-3240, or by clicking on the Wright Collection on Skinner’s website at www.skinnerinc.com.