Thomas Hill Yosemite Oil Painting, ca. 1890
Appraised Value: $6,000 - $8,000 (2012)
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (1:21)
Paintings & Drawings
Bonhams & Butterfields
GUEST: It's an oil painting that my husband bought at a yard sale in the '70s. And he's told me he paid less than five dollars for it. And he liked it because it was a picture of the outdoors. That was one of those things you buy at a yard sale. And we just hope it might be worth something now.
APPRAISER: This is a painting by an artist named Thomas Hill. And he's very well known for pictures of Yosemite, the National Park, and that's where this is.
GUEST: Oh, all right.
APPRAISER: This is a view of what they call Vernal Falls. And it's from the bottom here, down on these rocks at the base of the mist trail. So you walk all the way up and around.
GUEST: Oh, wow.
APPRAISER: It's a valuable thing. I think at auction right now, this is probably worth about $6,000 to $8,000.
GUEST: Holy smokes, wow.
APPRAISER: That's the good news. The bad news is that Thomas Hill had a stroke, and the later paintings after that stroke are looser and not as tightly executed and are not as desirable in the marketplace. If it were a painting before the stroke, it'd be worth about $15,000 to $25,000. Same size.
GUEST: Can you tell that that's after the stroke?
APPRAISER: Absolutely, absolutely.
GUEST: Oh, you can, all right.
APPRAISER: You can tell it's after the stroke. It does not have the same character as the pre-stroke pictures. Nonetheless, five dollars to $6,000 to $8,000, pretty darn good.
GUEST: Excellent, thank you.
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