19th-Century Souvenir Painting, "The Portrait of Henrietta of France"

Value (2015) | $2,000 Auction$4,000 Auction

This painting was purchased from a Russian antique dealer in Chicago many, many years ago. It's been hanging in a back bedroom, and when the Antiques Roadshow was coming to town, we thought maybe it was time to dust it off and have somebody take a look at it.

All right. It's a portrait in the style of the 17th century Flemish painters. We have this wonderful label here that says it's by Pourbus, Frans Pourbus, who was a member of the Flemish Pourbus family in the 16th and 17th century.


We also have the name of the sitter, The Portrait of Henrietta, of France. Henrietta later became the wife of Charles I of England. So that's what we can tell from the front. But the back is where our portrait really gets interesting. From the back of the painting we can tell first that it is not a 17th century frame. It's rather a 19th century frame in the style of the 17tH century. The same is true with the stretcher that the painting itself is on. And then we get even more information. Here we have Francesco Pourbus, and it's in Italian because the painting, as identified on the front is actually in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, yes?


And here we have a seal from one of the supervisors of the studio at the Uffizi, the copyists' studio at the Uffizi, saying that this is in fact an authorized copy of a Pourbus painting. It went on to Rome to be sold and eventually came to the United States. During the years between 1840 and roughly 1940, people were visiting Europe, and when they would come back they would bring back wonderful souvenirs of their trips. We bring back snowglobes now, they brought back wonderful replicas of important paintings, and what's what you have here. The unfortunate news is that an original Pourbus painting could be in excess of $100,000. Some of them are very, very valuable. But this is a lovely 19th century copy. Given the condition of this piece-- little losses that you have-- this piece at auction I would value at between $1,500 and $2,500.

Wow. Thank you.

Yes, much better than a snowglobe.

Much better than a snowglobe. (laughter)

Thanks for coming.

Thank you.

Appraisal Details

Colleene Fesko Works of Art
Boston, MA
Update (2015)
$2,000 Auction$4,000 Auction
Appraised value (2005)
$1,500 Auction$2,500 Auction
Bismarck, ND (July 30, 2005)

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