Maurice Brazil Prendergast Color Monotype, ca. 1895
Appraised Value: $60,000 - $90,000
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (1:57)
Prints & Posters
Director, Works of Art on Paper
Swann Auction Galleries
GUEST: It's a painting that's been in my family since I was born, and it's been on the wall, and I've seen it every day of my life.
APPRAISER: And where is your family from originally?
GUEST: New Jersey.
APPRAISER: And your mom-- is she a collector?
GUEST: No. She liked it.
APPRAISER: Just an art enthusiast?
GUEST: That's right.
APPRAISER: It's a very interesting piece. It is a monotype. It's by Maurice Prendergast. You can see his initials down here: "M. B. P." The middle initial-- "B"-- is for "Brazil." Maurice Brazil Prendergast. A monotype is a unique print. It's made by an artist putting colors on a copper plate, and then printed through an Italio press. Usually only one is made-- therefore, "monotype." Prendergast studied in Boston early on in the 1860s and 1870s, 1880s. In the early 1890s, he studied in Paris. And it's in Paris where he apparently learned the art of monotype printmaking. He came back to Boston in the mid-1890s and started to make watercolors and monotypes. And what you have here is a scene in Boston-- a storefront-- at night. It could even be the gallery where he was successfully showing these monotypes, and where they were gaining popularity. Date-wise, I would put it at about 1895. We took it out of the frame. It's on a very thin paper, and you saw that it was glued down to the mat, which is sort of detrimental condition-wise. It takes a little bit of the value away from this. It's something that can be conserved. If you do take it for conservation, I would say, take it to a good paper conservator, because it's a delicate procedure. Otherwise, it's in very good condition. The colors are near pristine. Whoever has been storing this hasn't had it in bright light, which is very good. It's kept the colors strong and fresh. Conservatively, at auction, taking into the condition flaws that it does have, I would estimate it at $60,000 to $90,000.
GUEST: $60,000 to $90,000?
APPRAISER: $60,000 to $90,000.
APPRAISER: It's a wonderful print.
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