Folk Art Watercolor of Ship & Companion Portraits
Appraised Value: $25,000 - $35,000
IMAGE: 1 of 4
Appraisal Video: (2:42)
GUEST: The two people are my grandfather's grandparents. This is Mary Hall Lewis. That is her husband, Richard Lewis. The ship picture is of a ship that Mary's father was a master of, William Hall. I don't know anything much about the ship, but I do know that my grandfather's grandparents lived in New York City and then moved across the river to Hackensack, New Jersey. I've had them since about 1960. I was still in college, and they needed to be restored so a professional restorer did it for me and allowed me to pay for them at five dollars a month for a long time.
APPRAISER: She's a really wonderful looking young lady and he's a handsome gentleman.
APPRAISER: Well, I think you probably noticed you gave all of us at the folk art table palpitations of the heart when you came in with these.
GUEST: (laughing) Well, everybody did seem interested.
APPRAISER: And that's because this piece is watercolor on paper done by a really talented American anonymous folk artist. It's so full of detail-- this great unfurling American flag and also the way the sails are shaded. Usually they're just kind of white, but these are beautifully shaded. This was a really good painter who did this.
APPRAISER: There are some condition problems with the watercolor. There's a little tear here which, I understand, you had stabilized. And there's some water marks here. But this is one of those items that the condition doesn't affect the retail price very much.
APPRAISER: Now, the man and woman are American folk art paintings.
APPRAISER: They're on board... And the black stock gives you the period, after 1825. They'd probably be $5,000 for the pair
APPRAISER: in a retail setting. This is the prize of the three.
GUEST: Right, right.
APPRAISER: And in a retail setting, I think a conservative price would be $20,000 to $25,000. At auction, it's hard to say what it would go for because it really is an amazing object.
GUEST: Oh, my Lord.
APPRAISER: So, overall, retail, the three-- which I think you should definitely keep together-- would be in the $30,000 range, and possibly auction, they may go for $35,000.
GUEST: I am floored. I just had no idea, absolutely no idea.
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