Cornelis van Leemputten Oil Painting, ca. 1885
Appraised Value: $8,500 (2007)
IMAGE: 1 of 3
Appraisal Video: (1:57)
GUEST: I inherited it from my mother, who's still living. And in the late '50s, we lived in Hawaii, where I grew up, and she went to a sale at the warehouse of Honolulu Academy of Arts. And back in the back, this painting was there unframed, and it had a big splash of white paint across the front, and they wanted seven dollars for it. And I remember thinking, "Gee, Mom, Dad's a pastor, we don't have much money, and you're going to buy a ruined painting for seven dollars," but she did.
APPRAISER: Did you have any idea who the artist was?
APPRAISER: Did you try to read the signature? There's a signature right down here.
GUEST: I looked at it and it didn't make any sense to me, so...
APPRAISER: Well, in fact, this signature is that of an artist who's very well known, particularly in the Netherlands. His name is Cornelis van Leemputten.
GUEST: No wonder it didn't make any sense to me.
APPRAISER: He specialized in pictures just like this-- of sheep-- both indoors and out. Cornelis van Leemputten was self-taught. He was born in the 1840s, but by the 1860s, he was selling his paintings professionally. Now, you mentioned your mother cleaned it.
APPRAISER: Now, I must say she did a pretty good job. When someone who doesn't know about painting restoration cleans things, very often they wreck the painting. That isn't true here. I'm amazed to see the surface is pretty much intact. There are a few losses along here-- very few. And I think I see something there. It has been laid down on a board. To be fully restored, it should be lifted from that board and these areas touched-in. A job like that, I would say, would cost $2,000 to $2,500 and it would enhance the value. His paintings still sell; they have a ready market, particularly in the Netherlands. And a painting like this, if sold on the international market, would make about $8,500.
GUEST: Great. I'm just really amazed.
APPRAISER: Fully restored, I think it would be more like $10,000, possibly $12,000 at auction.
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