Ellen Pyle "Saturday Evening Post" Illustration
Appraised Value: $25,000 - $35,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:43)
Paintings & Drawings
Vice President Director of Fine Arts
GUEST: Around 1938 or '39, my uncle came to my parents' home, and he saw that there was a very large stone fireplace with nothing hanging on it. He looked at it, he said, "I have just the painting for that fireplace." So, a few months later, this arrived in the mail. And this was a "Post" magazine cover from about 1937, I believe, by Ellen Pyler. And the editor of "Post" magazine was a good friend of my Uncle Lou's, and my Uncle Lou had mentioned how much he liked the magazine cover. So he said, "I think I can get the original for you if you would like to have it." But, evidently, this didn't fit in with Aunt Pauline's decor, so he was looking for a place to put it and when he saw the mantel over the fireplace he said, "This is it." So that's how they came by it.
APPRAISER: It looks like it's Pyler, but it's actually Ellen Pyle.
GUEST: Pyle. Oh, all right.
APPRAISER: And that's an important name in the history of illustration. A man by the name of Howard Pyle ran an art studio in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. He ran a school for illustration arts. And he taught many of the great illustrators-- N.C. Wyeth and others-- and he was teaching a woman by the name of Ellen Thompson, from Philadelphia. Well, Ellen Thompson was in this class in the late 1800s, and she met up with Walter Pyle, Howard Pyle's brother. Well, they got involved. The problem was Walter was married and had a child, so she got banished to Philadelphia, and her parents took her out of the school. But they eventually got married in 1904, and then he worked near Wilmington and had a leather business. But, suddenly, he died in 1918, leaving her with four young children. And so she went back to her old art school training and became an illustrator. Well, she did that for the next 20 years almost. She lived until 1936. At the same time, you had people like Norman Rockwell doing "Post" covers as well. Now, these are the materials a commercial artist would use. That's oil on a commercial artist's board. A board that would be used for production. And she has a very colorful palette. You see this rainbow here? And also these very bright cheeks of the children. I think they're enhanced because it makes it read better on a magazine cover. The thing about illustration art right now, it's very, very hot, the market is. It's very strong right now. And what also helps is the fact this is a "Saturday Evening Post" cover. It's one of the most sought-after magazines. Other magazines are nice to have, but the "Post" is what people collect. Ellen Pyle, she did... she did about 40 "Post" covers, but only one or two have come on the market. I would put a value on it probably about $25,000 to $35,000.
GUEST: Really? Oh, gosh. I had no idea. That's wonderful.
APPRAISER: Thanks for bringing it in.
GUEST: Well, thank you very much.
This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2013 WGBH Educational Foundation.
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.