George William Sotter Painting
Appraised Value: $15,000 - $20,000
IMAGE: 1 of 3
Appraisal Video: (2:33)
Paintings & Drawings
GUEST: Many years ago, I would guess about 1940, my parents used to go to New Hope, outside of Philadelphia, and they saw this painting at a place called Phillips Mill Gallery. And at that time, the artist was showing scenes around Philadelphia. After my parents passed on, the work was passed on to me, and we've enjoyed it ever since.
APPRAISER: I presume you know who this artist is.
GUEST: George Sotter.
APPRAISER: That's right-- George William Sotter.
GUEST: Yes, I've seen the work of Sotter and other New Hope painters who have become international, I guess.
APPRAISER: Well, there's an extremely strong market for them now. They're often referred to as either "the Pennsylvania Impressionists" or "the New Hope School" or "the Bucks County Impressionists." And Sotter was one of the leading artists there, although he was born in Pittsburgh.
GUEST: Oh, was he?
APPRAISER: And this one is particularly nice, I think, because it's the kind of Sotter that Sotter buyers really seek. (chuckles) Crucially, it's a nocturne, so it's a night scene. It's got the snow, which collectors of Pennsylvania Impressionist paintings tend to like. But he's one significant artist out of that group who particularly did these nocturnal scenes. So often with Impressionism, you associate with broad daylight and sunshine. The other little quirky thing I've noticed he does in a lot of his paintings: there always seems to be one little light in the building.
GUEST: Oh, you're right, yes.
APPRAISER: And it's interesting because it reminds me rather of a French artist called Henri Le Sidaner, who also did these nocturnes and used the same sort of imagery and there would be a little light glowing in the window. He was also very well regarded as a stained-glass designer. And a lot of his work he did with his wife and can be seen in churches and cathedrals all over the place.
GUEST: Oh, I see.
APPRAISER: Have you given any thought to value on it? Have you thought about how much it might fetch at auction?
GUEST: My parents, I think, paid just several hundred dollars for the painting, and I don't really know now what it's worth.
APPRAISER: Well, given the current strength of the market for the Pennsylvania Impressionists, combined with it's a nocturne, it's got the snow, it's a nice size... I think it would comfortably make $15,000 to $20,000.
GUEST: Is that... oh, is that right?
GUEST: Well, that's very, very nice to hear.
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