1877 Jules Tavernier Painting
Appraised Value: $5,000 - $8,000
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (2:40)
Paintings & Drawings
APPRAISER: Well, I thought we struck the mother lode today when you brought in possibly one of the world's best-known images, "The Blue Boy" by Gainsborough. But there's more to this work than meets the eye.
GUEST: That's right. Two years ago, we'd gone to an antique street market in Niles, which is near Fremont here. And my husband collects frames, and he went by this booth that this man had just boxes full of frames. And he had gone through them and found this one and, um... showed it to me, and I thought, "Well, you know, it doesn't even have an old glass in it."
GUEST: And so we walked away, and then he decided, "Well, I'm going to go back and get that frame." And so... that's what we bought for $40 at the time.
APPRAISER: Forty dollars. I'm glad you went back.
GUEST: Yeah, well, I'm glad he did, too, and didn't listen to me.
APPRAISER: Let's peel him away and see what we have underneath. Must have been a surprise when you saw this.
GUEST: Yeah, several days later, when he went to clean it up a little bit, he took it apart, and that's what he found underneath.
APPRAISER: Right. And we can see this is by the artist Jules Tavernier, the French artist who ended up working in America and is well known for working in San Francisco. Had you come across his work before?
GUEST: No, not at all.
APPRAISER: Well, it's a charming little piece by him. He came to the United States in 1874, I think it was, and had been an illustrator prior to that in Paris. And he worked his way from coast to coast, from the East Coast to the West Coast, doing illustrations for "Harper's Weekly." Loved San Francisco, as many people do, and settled down here and, in fact, opened up a studio on Montgomery Street, which became a very popular meeting place for many of the luminaries of that time, including Oscar Wilde.
GUEST: Oh, really?
APPRAISER: He also opened up a studio in Monterey. He was the first artist to open up a studio there, but a bit of a cycle developed. Let's put it this way: he was no stranger to the bottle, and started running up debts and got chased out of Monterey. He was back in San Francisco, and he would have been in this area around about the time this painting was painted. And we can see that it's signed there and dated 1877. So really an exquisite little painting.
GUEST: We've always wondered where that scene is.
APPRAISER: We think it may be Carmel.
APPRAISER: Um, he had quite a colorful life and was referred to as a bohemian of bohemians when he was living here and finally ended up having to leave and going to Hawaii after upsetting more people with his drinking and debts and latterly became famous there for his paintings of volcanoes. Tragically, died there when he was only 45 years old, thanks to the booze. Charming little piece. A real corker of a painting. I think comfortably at auction, this would make $5,000 to $8,000.
GUEST: Good. That's great! That's a good investment.
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