“Stumped” by American Politics – Past and Present

Monika Schiavo, Waverly Rare Books at Quinn’s Auction Galleries American presidential elections have always been newsworthy events, often providing unexpected twists and turns as candidates travel across the country speaking to voters. The 2016 campaign for the top job at the White House was no exception. While modern campaigns now make use of Twitter and Facebook, an item coming up for auction reminds us that the art of political debate goes back to our country’s founding. Most of us know that the phrase “stump speech” comes from the tradition of campaigners sounding off from the top of a sawed-off log. This activity raised their profile – literally – and gave them a chance to connect to a wider audience. The tree stump in the photo(s) is a reminder of a time when someone running for public office delivered speeches from a homely piece of wood instead of a fancy raised platform. This particular item was a gift from the 40th President of the United States and the First Lady, Ronald and Nancy Reagan. Imprinted on top with the double-pointed arrow brand used at their vacation ranch, Rancho del Cielo, it is a wry reminder of one small but significant part of our country’s political history. You can read more about this unusual item and see other rare and remarkable pieces of American history at www.quinnsauction.com.

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Just What is an Ethnographic Art Auction?

You may have noticed that in the past year, Quinn’s Auction Galleries in Falls Church has had a series of Ethnographic Art Auctions. You may be asking yourself, “What exactly are Ethnographic Arts?” These are objects created by indigenous groups such as Native Americans, Africans, Pre-Columbians, and Oceanic Islanders. In short, they are the items many call “tribal art.”

These items include those made for religious and secular use within these cultures such as masks, figural sculptures, architectural elements, textiles, clothing, instruments, jewelry, furniture, and many more. Sometimes the items are decorative or made specifically for sale, and at other times the objects are used by the people themselves.

As with all art, there are varying degrees of craftsmanship, history, and desirability among dealers and collectors that affect auction values. One of the things collectors look for most is a history of appropriate cultural use. These signs may vary from the way an object is painted to how the holes on a mask or the facial features of a statue have worn over time; all can have a huge effect on auction value.

Quinn’s Auction Galleries has notably been selected to sell the Inventory and Collection from the Merton D. Simpson Estate. This Estate boasts an important collection of African, Oceanic, and Native American art in addition to a vast collection of fine art. Part 1 took place on October 1 of this year, there will, however be additional opportunities to see and bid on this important group of objects. Join us for Part 2 on December 3, 2016 and more in Spring 2017.

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Fox 5 DC February 2016

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – The Howard Wolverton Collection of Black Americana featuring artifacts and treasures of Black American history will be auctioned off Thursday in Falls Church. The collection includes items reminiscent of our country’s shameful past of hatred and racism. Jacob Johnson is the conservator and the appraiser of this collection. “The collection originated in East Orange, New Jersey,” he explained. “It originated with Howard Wolverton, who was a history teacher for predominately black students in high school there.” This collection contains more than 2,000 relics ranging from books and photos along with chains and branding irons that might be a little more difficult for people to absorb. “There are items that I have a difficult time dealing with,” said Johnson. “The shackles, the branding iron – I have a difficult time with those things. It is important because that is American history. It is the dark side of American history that many people would not accept and want to forget. But guess what? It’s part of history and we should be proud of our history. We are Americans.” For some, these items can bring out a lot of emotion. “I see people who almost draw tears,” Johnson said. “When you see how somebody was shackled, it brings tears to some people’s eyes. Can you imagine being branded with a branding iron? It’s horrific.” The pieces in this collection date from the late 1700s to the 1960s. “There are those people who don’t believe that these things should even exist any longer and there are those people who will buy them to destroy them,” Johnson told us. “It is very significant that we remember who built the country, how it was built, and it’s our history. It is everybody’s history. It is not just black people. It is American history and we cannot deny it.”

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Upcoming Ethnographic Art Auction: October 24, 2015


We’ve got an exciting Ethnographic Art Auction planned for Saturday, October 24, 2015 at 11:00am in our Falls Church location.

Quinn’s has assembled an amazing cross-section of Ethnographic and Tribal Art including African, Oceanic, Pre-Columbian Pottery & Gold, Textiles, Native American Pottery & Kachina Dolls, and much more.

Preview is available:
Saturday, October 17th: 10:00am – 2:00pm
Monday, October 19th: 10:00am-5:00pm
Tuesday, October 20th: 10:00am-6:00pm
Wednesday, October 21st: 10:00am-6:00pm
Thursday, October 22nd: 10:00am-6:00pm
Friday, October 23rd: 10:00am-4:30pm
Saturday, October 24th: 9:00am-11:00am

See the auction catalog by clicking here.

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iGavel Auction: Fall 2015


September 24, 2015 – October 8, 2015 **This auction is online only


Preview Available Wednesday, Oct.1, 11:00 AM- 6:00 PM
Monday, Oct.5, 11:00 AM- 5:00 PM
Tuesday, Oct.6, 11:00 AM- 5:00 PM
Wednesday, Oct.7, 11:00 AM- 6:00 PM
Thursday, Oct.8, 10:00 AM- 12:00 PM

See the entire catalog by clicking here.

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Changes Coming to Central Virginia Auction House

QCVA_LogoLetters_v2 Quinn & Farmer Auctions Moves to a New Location and Modifies Ownership.

Quinn & Farmer Auctions is relocating from its current location to a larger complex off of I-64 east of Charlottesville and closer to Richmond. The new address will be 8854 Three Notch Road, Troy, VA 22974. In conjunction with this move Ken Farmer will be focusing on appraisals and wealth management as Ken Farmer & Associates. Paul Quinn will assume full ownership and responsibility of the auction business. It will be rebranded as Quinn’s Auction Galleries Central Virginia; this location joins Paul’s existing Quinn’s Auction Galleries in Northern Virginia. “Ken and I are looking forward to working together in the future in a way that makes sense for both of us,” stated Paul.

Ken added, “This new arrangement really allows me to focus on my clients while working more closely with them without needing to worry about the day-to-day operations of an auction business. I am confident we will both be happy with the outcome.”

The current managing director, Skip Usry, will continue in this role and all of the current staff including Ken’s wife, Jane Farmer, will transition to the new location.

Monday, September 14th will be the final weekly Treasure Auction conducted at the current location in Charlottesville. A multi-estate Fine and Decorative Arts Auction will take place as a grand opening at the new location on Saturday, September 26th.

Ken Farmer & Associates is headed by celebrity appraiser Ken Farmer, a twenty-year veteran of PBS’ popular Antiques Roadshow. He will be providing public speaking, appraisals, art brokerage, and professional consultation to clients across the country. More information can be found at www.kenfarmerllc.com

Quinn’s Auction Galleries is the largest antiques and fine art auction house in the Commonwealth of Virginia with a location serving Northern Virginia and the Washington, D.C. Metro area and now in Central Virginia serving Charlottesville and Richmond. More information can be found at www.quinnsauction.com

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Japanese Art Auction in Falls Church: September 2015


Japanese Art Auction: Wednesday, September 9, 2015 at 6pm

*please note, this auction will take place at our Falls Church location. For directions click here.

See the catalog here.

Preview Available:

Saturday, September 5, 2015: 10:00am – 2:00pm
Sunday, September 6, 2015: Appointment Only – 10:00am-2:00pm
Monday, September 7, 2015: Appointment Only – 10:00am-2:00pm
Tuesday, September 8, 2015: 10:00am – 7:00pm
Wednesday, September 9, 2015: 10:00am – 6:00pm
** appointments must be made by Friday, September 4, 2015 by 2:00pm
Phone bidding service provided, with limited Chinese (Mandarin) speaking phone bidding available.

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Waverly Rare Books Catalog Auction in Falls Church: September 2015


Waverly Rare Books Catalog Auction: Thursday, September 10, 2015 at 6pm

*please note, this auction will take place at our Falls Church location. For directions click here.

See the catalog here.
Preview Available:

Monday, August 31st – Friday, September 4th: 10am-5pm (by appointment)
Saturday, September 5th: 10am – 4:00pm
Monday, September 7th: by appointment only
Tuesday, September 8th: 10am – 7pm
Wednesday, September 9th: 10am – 7pm
Thursday, September 10th: 10am – 6pm

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