1861 John C. Crawford Portrait of H.P Kinsman
Appraised Value: $5,000 - $10,000
IMAGE: 1 of 3
Appraisal Video: (2:51)
Paintings & Drawings
Owner and President
Harwood Fine Arts, Inc.
GUEST: It's my great-great-great uncle, who was born in 1850 and died in 1880. And this portrait was painted when he was 11 years old in 1861. This is the Kinsman family. They did farming and things like that back in Warren, Ohio. And this painting was in my great-aunt's house until she moved into a retirement community and my father got it for me. He died when he was 30 years old. He actually committed suicide. He was just an unhappy person in general, sad life. And my dad likes to say that it looks like me, which is why I ended up with it.
APPRAISER: Well, there's a definite resemblance, which I just think is quite interesting. John Claude Crawford was born in Warren, Ohio, in 1838, and he studied art and portrait painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art in Philadelphia, which was probably the preeminent place to go in the late 1850s, when he was there. He studied under a couple of very famous artists and, in my opinion, became a truly fine portrait painter. This caught my attention right away because, aside from the fact that I think the sitter is very appealing-- and that although he's extremely sad, there's a very charismatic kind of quality about this face, that he's a beautiful little boy-- the quality of the portrait really struck me. On Roadshow, we often look at folk art portraits, but we seldom look at these more formalized 19th-century portraits, I think largely because there are so many of them out there and they don't tend to have a great value because they're usually undocumented, the identities have been lost, the artists are not well known.
APPRAISER: But, in truth, there were so many of these really good people, well-trained, working in smaller cities, doing the portraits that documented the affluent people of their time. So, that's what you have here. He lived in Warren, studied in Philadelphia. He went back to Warren in 1861, so right when he got back he did this. And he never left Warren, as far as I call tell, and he died when he was only 38. And he was known for doing genre paintings and landscapes and things other than portraits.
APPRAISER: Clearly it's been reframed. Do you see this line of this kind of little white speckles that goes all the way around?
APPRAISER: There was a frame on this originally that was much bigger. Portraits are valued largely according to the appeal of the sitter unless it's a work by a well-known artist. A beautiful little boy, melancholy or not, is very high on the list, especially when he's such high quality. I think if you were to put this is an auction situation, it would probably sell in the range of $5,000 to $7,000.
GUEST: Oh, really?
APPRAISER: It could be as much as $10,000.
GUEST: Wow, okay.
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