Louis Aston Knight Oil Painting, ca. 1910
Appraised Value: $45,000 - $50,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:43)
Paintings & Drawings
Vice President Director of Fine Arts
APPRAISER: This painting looks like it's gone through a couple of hurricanes. Is that what happened here, these damages?
GUEST: Well, no, actually what happened was the neighborhood kids broke in and punched a broom handle through it several times.
APPRAISER: Any particular reason?
GUEST: Just meanness.
APPRAISER: Did you chase them down?
GUEST: No, I found out later who did it. But, you know, the damage was done, so...
APPRAISER: The first thing you see about this are these gashes here. I know to a lot of people that seems like a really bad thing. And it's not all that bad, because you haven't lost that much. When you put this back together, you have all the pieces there. It can be gently teased together and overpainted. This will come back together. You have all the pieces here. Even here you have what's left inside. I can show you. You can put that back up right here.
APPRAISER: So the damage looks significant, but it's not that bad. Another thing about it, though, is the fact that it's awfully dirty.
GUEST: Yeah. I don't think it's ever been cleaned.
APPRAISER: You'll see that up here in the sky. You see this yellowed varnish and the dirt, and probably tobacco smoke. You see it mostly with the moon right here. That's supposed to be white. Now, where'd you get it?
GUEST: My wife's grandfather. He was an art collector, and it's been passed down. And then when she passed away she left it to me and the kids.
APPRAISER: It's a very typical type of painting you would find in a late-19th-century, early-20th-century collection. This is by an artist by the name of Louis Aston Knight. He was born in 1873 to a painter by the name of Daniel Ridgway Knight. And he spent most of his life in Europe. He was an American expatriate painter. So that's why he signs "Paris" down there.
GUEST: Do you have any kind of idea of maybe when he would have painted this?
APPRAISER: I know he was out of the country, I believe, during World War I. So it could be the first decade or so of the 20th century. This is north of Paris, towards Normandy, in that area. He specialized in painting these mills and cottages. He's a master of painting water.
APPRAISER: In fact, so much so that he was known to put on waders like a fly fisherman and actually get into the water with his easel.
GUEST: Oh, my.
APPRAISER: And actually this painting is so large, you feel like you could almost walk into this one, too.
GUEST: That's true, that's true.
APPRAISER: Now, I was joking with my colleagues that this might be one of the largest ones in captivity. It's a very, very large painting for him. It's over six feet tall.
GUEST: I know it takes a big wall.
APPRAISER: If I were to insure this, I'd probably insure it for about $45,000 to $50,000 these days.
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