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    Folk Art Portrait, ca. 1845

    Appraised Value:

    $30,000 - $40,000 (1997)

    Updated Value:

    $20,000 - $30,000 (2011)

    Appraised on: June 14, 1997

    Appraised in: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Appraised by: Carl Crossman

    Category: Folk Art

    Episode Info: Pittsburgh (#1627)

    Originally Aired: July 23, 2012

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 2 Next 

    More Like This:

    Form: Portrait, Painting
    Period / Style: 19th Century
    Value Range: $30,000 - $40,000 (1997)
    Updated Value: $20,000 - $30,000 (2011)

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    Appraisal Video: (2:40)


    Appraised By:

    Carl Crossman
    Asian Arts, Paintings & Drawings

    Appraisal Transcript:
    APPRAISER: Well, you've really made my day today.

    GUEST: Oh, thanks.

    APPRAISER: Real surprise.

    GUEST: Good.

    APPRAISER: I wasn't expecting this when you came in. At first, I thought it was a poster and I didn't think it was original painting. Now, I want you to tell me about the subject, where she's from, and the history of it.

    GUEST: Well, we know her name's Barbara according to the family genealogy. We're not quite sure which Barbara she is. She can either be the one that was born in 1752 or there was one born, like, 1830s. We do know that she came from a wealthy family out on Staten Island. The family had a ferry. Her uncles and grandfathers had connections with George Washington. We have lots of the family history like that.

    APPRAISER: But you have no idea who might have painted it or...

    GUEST: No, no.

    APPRAISER: Well, I've had a lot of non-academic or folk paintings like this. It looks like a number of paintings that I've seen before, but I can't tell you exactly who might have done it. Now, what I want to tell you is this is the dream painting that everybody looks for in Americana. It's a little girl in a landscape. We've got a beautiful fence here, a beautiful rendition of her head, a non-academic painter-- this means somebody that's not exactly trained as an official academic artist with great background and training. But he's got all the wonderful decorative elements. There's the background. There's the lace, the flowers, the strawberries here, and he's even repeated the strawberries down here. So, it's really remarkable. Now, what you're seeing up here is the discoloration that shows that the varnish has changed color. It's never probably been cleaned. It's never had the varnish removed. And on the back, if you look at it, as you know, it has its original stretchers and canvas. Do you have any idea what this painting's worth?

    GUEST: We had it appraised years ago for insurance purposes, but he wasn't able to tell us anything. He just gave us a...

    APPRAISER: Well, in the market today, possibly at auction, I would think the picture would bring between $30,000 and $40,000.

    GUEST: Really? That wasn't even close to what he insured it for for insurance purposes. But it is... as I said, it's what everybody wants in a great American primitive painting.

    GUEST: Well, thank you.

    APPRAISER: Thank you for bringing it in.

    GUEST: Oh, you're welcome.

    APPRAISER: So you are surprised?

    GUEST: Yes, I am. It's great, thank you.

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