W.M. Brown "The Old Homestead," ca. 1860
Appraised Value: $30,000 - $50,000 (2012)
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (2:20)
Paintings & Drawings
Colleene Fesko Works of Art
GUEST: Well, it belonged to my uncle. And when he passed away, his son inherited it. And I always admired it, and then my cousin passed away suddenly, and then I was given the painting.
APPRAISER: Oh, wonderful. Well, let me tell you a little bit about William Mason Brown. He was born in Upstate New York in 1828. And stylistically, he's aligned with the Hudson River School and also with a group called the American Pre-Raphaelites. And what they were interested in is the beautifully detailed depiction of nature.
APPRAISER: And we can see that in so many elements of this painting. The trees.
APPRAISER: The cows are beautifully detailed. The water. And even this wonderful little nature still life of flowers so close to his signature is just a wonderful trademark of his work. The other aspect is the Hudson River School aspect. When Brown was painting these paintings, we're looking at the years 1850 to 1869.
APPRAISER: So America was very much into the turmoil of the Civil War. Right. And there are a couple elements of that Hudson River nostalgia that we can see in the painting. Initially, the title, "The Old Homestead." That's kind of nostalgic already.
GUEST: Yes, right.
APPRAISER: The wonderful cottage that is oddly empty. The other aspect is these open windows with curtains coming out and wind moving them. They were very thoughtful about what they were painting, and they also saw the innocence of the country fading away during the war years. It's in terrific original condition, but it would clean up so incredibly.
APPRAISER: And it will brighten up 30%, 40%, 50%. In terms of the value, have you had the painting insured ever?
GUEST: No, I don't, I've never had it appraised.
APPRAISER: Okay, well, it is a lovely painting and a great example of William Mason Brown's work. And for auction, I would estimate it between $30,000 and $50,000.
GUEST: Oh, my goodness.
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