Ormolu – non-furniture definition

Ormolu

Ormolu, an 18th-century English term, is from the French phrase or moulu, with “or” indicating gold and “moulu” being a form of an old French verb moudre, which means “to grind up.” (This French term for this technique is bronze dore.) This idea of “ground-up gold”refers to the production process of ormolu, where high-quality gold is finely powdered and added to a mercury mixture and applied to a bronze object. Modern usage often [...] Click here to continue reading.


Buffalo Bill Cody

William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody

The year 1883 neatly divides William Cody’s former life as a hunter, scout and guide from his later career as a showman. He was 37 in this year of transition.

The early life of William Frederick Cody (1846 to 1917) was colorful, adventurous and, thanks to Dime novels, exaggerated. He fought for the Union Army in the Civil War at 18. By 21, he earned his lifelong nickname [...] Click here to continue reading.


Marly Horse Sculpture

The Marly Horses

“Marly Horses,” paired sculptures also sometimes known as “horse tamers,” or just “horses restrained by grooms,” have their origins in France, probably by way of ancient Rome. Since the early days of Rome, a pair of sculptures, each of a man with a horse, have been on Quirinal Hill in the city. The spirited horses and the men seeking to control them are a discourse on power that has appealed to [...] Click here to continue reading.


Marion and Donald Woelbing, Franklin Wisconsin – Provenance – Pook 4-2014

Marion and Donald Woelbing, Franklin Wisconsin.

Marion and Donald Woelbing were the solid citizen types that for generations have built American small businesses. They were a true partnership supporting each other in their diverse interests ranging from breeding and showing American Kennel Club grand champion prize winning dogs, to building with their own hands “Thorntree,” their home in suburban Milwaukee, to building an impressive collection of 17th and 18th century American antiques, to collecting [...] Click here to continue reading.


Estate of Peter L. Rosenberg of Vallin Galleries – Skinner 3-18-2014 Prov Note

Estate of Peter L. Rosenberg of Vallin Galleries, Wilton Connecticut

Discerning collectors, dealers, and museum curators of Asian art regularly made pilgrimages to a charming 18th century saltbox home in Wilton, Connecticut: Vallin Galleries. Owned and operated by Peter L. Rosenberg for nearly thirty years until his sudden death in December of 2013, Vallin Galleries was widely regarded as an outstanding source for the best of Asian art and antiques. Skinner is proud to [...] Click here to continue reading.


Collection of Thomas S. Holman – Skinner Prov 4-5-2014

Ex Collection of Thomas S. Holman: Souvenirs of The Grand Tour

In the 18th and early 19th century young Englishmen embarked on lengthy travels to the Continent, known as the Grand Tour. Ostensibly, the voyage was to round out one’s education, which still emphasized a strong knowledge of Classical arts and architecture, languages, history, literature, and philosophy. It also provided months, and sometimes even years, to collect art and artifacts. Later in the [...] Click here to continue reading.


Tibbits, Captain Hall Jackson

Captain Hall J. Tibbits (American, 1797 to 1872)

This article about the life and career of Captain Tibbits by Eric C. Rodenberg appeared on the 4 November 2013 front page of Antique Week’s National Section. Used by permission. http://www.antiqueweek.com.

1800s Sea Captain’s Life Told Through Collection

At 6 foot, 4 inches tall and “powerfully built” Capt. Hall Jackson Tibbits would brook no foolishness.

After his “religious principles” were violated by passengers dancing on [...] Click here to continue reading.


Semans, Mary Duke Biddle Trent – Brunk Provenance Note 8-2013

Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans (1920 to 2012)

An American heiress and philanthropist, Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans was the great-granddaughter of tobacco industrialist and Duke University benefactor Washington Duke. She was born Mary Duke Biddle on February 21, 1920 to Mary Lillian Duke and Anthony J. Drexel Biddle Jr. Her father was the former U.S. Ambassador to Poland and Spain.

Semans was raised in Manhattan, where she attended the Hewitt School in New [...] Click here to continue reading.


Bent Family Collection – Provenance – Skinner July 2013

Bent Family Collection Provenance Note

Designed and furnished in the Mediterranean Revival Style, Quattro Venti is the last great private residence in Annisquam Village, a small fishing hamlet near Gloucester, Massachusetts. Quincy Bent, vice president in charge of production at Bethlehem Steel at the turn of the last century, built the summer retreat around 1912. His forebears purchased quarries in West Gloucester in 1820 and originally used the property, situated on the tip of [...] Click here to continue reading.


Stirrup Cups – Definition

Stirrup Cups

The use and design of stirrup cups can be traced back to ancient Greece, in the use of rhytons for the drinking of libations. Rhytons were invariably modeled as the head of an animal or a mythological creature. They featured two openings – a wide opening at the top (or the neck of the animal) and a small hole at the bottom (or mouth of the animal). The drinker would hold them [...] Click here to continue reading.


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