Chinese Reverse Painting on Glass, ca. 1860
Appraised Value: $1,500 - $2,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:44)
GUEST: I bought it from an estate sale in Miami, Florida.
APPRAISER: How long ago?
GUEST: Over a year ago. I bought a number of things that I paid $200 for all the items.
APPRAISER: For all the items, okay. We see these all the time. They've been making them in China for 50 years as copies for the Americans to buy and Europeans to buy. And they're paintings on glass, on the reverse. It's a reverse painting on glass, so all the work was done on the back. And they're generally of a girl or a few figures in an interior scene, very seldom outside. This is typical of what was done. They always are sold with frames. Generally, the frames are quite well done. But, generally, they're not quite like this. Now, these being sold today, coming from China, are $50 apiece.
GUEST: Oh, wow.
APPRAISER: That's all these things are worth.
APPRAISER: But you didn't get one of those. You got a real one.
APPRAISER: This is absolutely genuine. This was made about 1860. The frame is a real Chinese Chippendale frame,
GUEST: Oh, wow.
APPRAISER: with the original finish. It hasn't been retouched. There are a few blemishes, like right here, but that shouldn't matter. You bought two of them, you said?
GUEST: Yes, the companion one is the girl with the flute. Frankly, that's even prettier.
APPRAISER: Yes. I saw the picture of it.
GUEST: Yes, yes.
APPRAISER: Same framing?
GUEST: Same frame, identical. Same condition.
APPRAISER: Okay. When you look at these, you'll notice that there's not that much attention to detail. The face is very white. Probably all made up with powder. Generally they wear very elaborate hair dress and earrings, and you can see the elaborate earrings. She's holding a fan-- that's not unusual-- and seated in an old chair. The details of the new ones are not that different from this. That's why I have to point out to people, when you see one of these, you can only assume it's new. Before you buy it, have a specialist look at it, because the new ones are quite deceiving. This has all the earmarks of an old one. One thing that's interesting is you can see her arms through the dress.
GUEST: Yeah, transparency.
APPRAISER: That's an unusual detail I've never seen on a new one.
APPRAISER: This is sort of diaphanous. It's gauze-like and, all in all, it's a beautiful piece. At auction, I think as a pair, they'd easily be worth $3,000 to $4,000.
APPRAISER: Very unusual to find pairs. Could go for as much as $5,000.
APPRAISER: This by itself is worth $1,500 to $2,000.
GUEST: Wow. That's amazing.
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