Posted by boston.com August 21, 2013 10:00 AM
The following was submitted by Grace Friary Public Relations:
After forty years in the auction business, Stephen Fletcher has accumulated a few stories. From the japanned high chest that was taken out of a dark, uninhabited family home in an old New England manufacturing town to the rare French Canadian commode supporting a television set on Martha’s Vineyard, he has made a career of finding extraordinary treasures in unexpected places. In this talk, Stephen will highlight some of his most surprising and rewarding discoveries and the impacts they had, not only the lives of the consignors, but on the decorative arts community at large.
As Director of Skinner Inc.’s Americana department, Stephen Fletcher is widely regarded as one of the nation’s foremost experts on early American furniture, American decorative arts and American folk art. His expertise in American formal and country furniture and his work over the past thirty years as chief auctioneer for Skinner have earned him a deserved reputation as a highly versatile art and antique generalist. Under his skillful eye, the department has grown considerably, making Skinner one of the most formidable auction houses in the world for fine American furniture and decorative arts.
As Chief Auctioneer for Skinner, Stephen can be seen regularly at the auction podium and he carries a full schedule of institutional and estate appraisals. He is often sought out as a source of knowledge on early American life, and lends his expertise to the media, museums, historical societies, and non-profit institutions. He is also a popular appraiser on the PBS television series Antiques Roadshow.
Built in 1805 by Salem architect and master carver, Samuel McIntire, Hamilton Hall became a National Historic Landmark in 1973. Located on Chestnut Street in the historic McIntire District, the Hall was constructed during Salem’s golden age when the seaside city was the premier international port for sailing ships involved in America’s global trade network. For more than two hundred years, Hamilton Hall has been the site of social and political events that have influenced New England history. During the 18th and 19th centuries vendues, the predecessor of auctions, took place in the Hall’s ballroom making Stephen Fletcher’s November 3 presentation particularly appropriate.
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