Skinner’s auction of the Richard Wright Collection is a barnburner

Richard Wright

Richard Wright

Richard Wright died on March 1, 2009 at age 62. He was best known as the expert doll appraiser for the Antiques Roadshow. He was also the owner of Wright Antiques & Dolls, in Birchrunville, Pennsylvania. I used to see him regularly when we both exhibited at the Atlantique City show. Skinner Inc. was the lucky auction house to sell his collection. They divided it into two parts, with the dolls being sold first on October 10, 2009 and the rest of his eclectic collection on October 24, 2009, with spectacular results. I’ll only cover the second session, which was so diverse and so exciting that I’ll divide my coverage into three parts.

Skinner’s knows how to market a sale. They let the public know that everything was there to sell by putting estimates that were so low, that everyone thought they were in the game. There is nothing better for a stellar auction than high quality, fresh-to-the-market items at low or no reserves. Stuart Whitehurst was the supervisor in charge. He and his staff did a great job and the results show it.

Bruno Zach, 'The Riding Crop', Skinner's lot #85

Bruno Zach, 'The Riding Crop', Skinner's lot #85

A large Bruno Zach bronze entitled “The Riding Crop”, 33½” tall, was estimated for $12-15,000. It sold for $94,800, including buyer’s premium.

Gallé side table, Skinner lot #306

Gallé side table, Skinner lot #306

Richard had a few pieces of Art Nouveau furniture in his collection and the auction results for them were fantastic. A Gallé two-drawer side table with mother-of-pearl butterfly inlays was estimated at $6-8,000. It brought an astounding $136,275, including buyer’s premium. A Gallé marquetry hall tree for coats and umbrellas, was estimated for $3-4,000 and sold for $31,995, including the buyer’s premium.

The results for Tiffany glass and lamps, Martin Brothers ceramics and Zsolnay pottery were equally tremendous. Tomorrow I’ll cover the Tiffany and the next day the Martin Brothers and Zsolnay.

Please send me your suggestions or questions about art glass, lamps, Louis Icart, shows, auctions, etc. If it’s interesting, I’ll answer your question in a future blog entry.

Call or write and let me know what you would like to buy, sell, or trade. or 516-922-2090. And please visit my website.

7 thoughts on “Skinner’s auction of the Richard Wright Collection is a barnburner

  1. Very sad to read your article on Richard Wright this morning. I was a resident of Birchrunville for 18 years and had been in the shop and personally met Richard. In fact he was interested in a classic piece of real estate that I was marketing through my company Chester Springs Realty. He had an elegant stance about him and his dress was either unusual or country.
    I am sending you a separate email about some original Stephanie Blythe artwork that we need a source to purchase.

    Gene Richards
    Stone Harbor, NJ

  2. Sorry, but I’m not familiar with Stephanie Blythe. Try to find if her work is valuable and then contact auction houses to see if they’re willing sell her work.

  3. So sad to read this—I knew Richard when he was only 17 and in his parents antique shop—he was always a gentleman and so kind. I was in his Birchrunville Shop at least once a month….always had such a wonderful collection of antiques and DOLLS.

  4. sorry to hear about Richard’s untimely passing.

    I am trying to find someone who is qualified to give me an appraisal for my german and french doll collection. one is a man the remaining two are female. one is displayed in a custom made wood and glass case that stands about 4 ft high and is lighted. the doll takes up the entire space. the other is an Alsatian doll in typical Alsatian costume. I am in need of appraisal for insurance purposes.

    I live in Warwick, NY 10990.

  5. Was a catalogue published of Mr. Wright’s items in the sale? If so, is there a way to get a copy?

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