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    1827 "The Guilford Limner" Folk Portraits

    Appraised Value:


    Appraised on: July 24, 2010

    Appraised in: Biloxi, Mississippi

    Appraised by: Ken Farmer

    Category: Folk Art

    Episode Info: Biloxi, Hour 3 (#1515)

    Originally Aired: May 16, 2011

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 5 Next 

    More Like This:

    Form: Portrait
    Material: Paper
    Period / Style: 19th Century
    Value Range: $60,000

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    Appraisal Video: (2:49)


    Appraised By:

    Ken Farmer
    Decorative Arts, Folk Art, Furniture, Musical Instruments
    Ken Farmer Auctions, LLC

    Appraisal Transcript:
    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.

    GUEST: Really?

    APPRAISER: They're still trying to figure out his name.

    GUEST: Okay.

    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.

    GUEST: Really?

    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.

    GUEST: Yes.

    APPRAISER: As a general rule, unless the way they're rendered is, like, out of sight.

    GUEST: Okay.

    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.

    GUEST: Wow.

    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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