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.
This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2015 WGBH Educational Foundation.
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.