1827 "The Guilford Limner" Folk Portraits
Appraised Value: $60,000
IMAGE: 1 of 5
Appraisal Video: (2:49)
Decorative Arts, Folk Art, Furniture, Musical Instruments
Ken Farmer Auctions, LLC
GUEST: They're my ancestor portraits. They were done in Guilford County, North Carolina, in 1827. And these are my great-great- great-grandparents, and that's my great-great- grandmother, and that's her sister.
APPRAISER: And you have all the genealogical information.
GUEST: I do.
APPRAISER: And they lived in Guilford Country, North Carolina, and then I guess eventually they came down this way.
GUEST: They ended up in Benton County, Mississippi.
APPRAISER: There's some artists from up in New England and Pennsylvania that had a certain way of doing things. One of the things I think that they did that was always wonderful, and this guy's doing the same thing, is really nicely articulated faces. The interior is interesting. And they're all sitting in what I refer to as a fancy Baltimore chair. And two of the ladies are posed with flowers in the background.
GUEST: And two of them are holding books.
GUEST: Which I think is unusual.
APPRAISER: Believe it or not, this is an artist whose work has been studied a lot.
APPRAISER: They're still trying to figure out his name.
APPRAISER: They call him the Guilford Limner, which is just a painter. And they have found over 40 of his portraits. And most of them were painted within five miles of Greensboro, North Carolina.
GUEST: That's wonderful.
APPRAISER: The dates are the last year that there's a record of him being in Guilford County.
APPRAISER: One of the characteristics of his portraits are not only the real good detail on the interior, but he also did oversized eyes, with the irises being just a little bit larger than what you normally see. These were all watercolors painted on laid down paper. They're fantastic from an aesthetic point of view. They're beautiful.
GUEST: I think they're charming.
APPRAISER: Normally people out there are not interested in having pictures of other people's dead relatives.
APPRAISER: As a general rule, unless the way they're rendered is, like, out of sight.
APPRAISER: Which these are. Moses Gibson and Elizabeth both are very attractive. And the real jackpot comes that we have their daughters here also. A family of four by somebody who there's only 40 works known by, pretty rare.
APPRAISER: And I'm being conservative when I say that the value of these four for retail purposes, insurance, would be $60,000.
GUEST: Oh, my gosh. Well, I don't know what to say. I'm very pleased, but I'm very surprised.
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