James Fraser Exposition Commemorative Plaque
Appraised Value: $600 - $800
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:13)
GUEST: The signature says James Fraser. I did a little bit of research on him as an artist.
APPRAISER: Uh, I'm not sure if that would be from him, or if it's just a copy. He did the "End of the Trail" which is a really well known sculpture, and there was a Pan Pacific International Exposition, which I guessed was maybe the initials at the bottom. He was an accomplished artist, and I'm perplexed at the unfinished quality of this. James Earle Fraser was probably most recognizable for his visions of the American west. He was incredibly well known in his own time, and he sort of really had a longevity in his career. He was born in 1876 and died in 1953. He's probably best known for his buffalo head nickel. The "End of the Trail" was exhibited in San Francisco in 1915 at the Pan American Exposition; it was the World's Fair. And in its day, saw a great deal of interest. It was really sort of one of the keynote sculptures. The original was an 18-foot plaster sculpture that had been commissioned by the U.S. Treasury for the exposition. And it was immediately sort of an iconic image that people really were drawn to. The title is here. It has the artist's name, James Fraser, and it says PPIE, which does stand for the Panama Pacific International Exposition. And this piece is not by the artist himself, but made as a commemorative piece, based on his artwork, that would have been issued at the World's Fair. The interesting thing is that while the piece wasn't exhibited until 1915, somebody right away went out and saw how popular the imagery was going to be, and made commemorative items that they could then market. The artist himself complained in his lifetime that he wished that he had copyrighted this image, because he saw just an explosion of interest. It appeared on calendars, on tiles, as bookends. If I was going to be pretty modest, I would say at auction, probably somewhere in the $600 to $800 range.
APPRAISER: But a terrific image and thanks so much for bringing it in.
GUEST: Okay, well, thank you.
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