19th-Century Maryland Folk Art Painting
I was told it was painted shortly after the Civil War ended. It's been in our possession since it was painted. My great-great-grandfather was the miller in the 1870s.
You've done quite a bit of research on it and have taken some photographs and the buildings are still standing.
That's correct. We were up there about four years ago and met the gentleman that lives there now, and he took us through the mill and the house.
Well, it's such a beautiful thing, done by a folk artist, and it shows what it was like to have a gristmill in the 19th century. You can see the stream running back over here. The wheel's on the other side of there. And that's the family manor home and a white picket fence. It has craquelure, and the paint is popping off in a few places. About the only way to stop that is to reline it. They actually take it off the frame and use a backing on it that has, like, a sticky substance in it and they heat it, and this paint will lay back down on there. But you've got to be really careful when you do that because you run the risk of taking out the brush marks and taking away the personality of the painting.
And less is best. You could still get these spots like right here. You could get that touched up. And the good thing about it is that they're not in the biggest part of the painting, where the field of interest is.
It's a very nice naive folk art painting that shows a slice of 19th-century life. The value of things like this becomes very subjective sometimes. It would be most valuable to somebody that collects items from Maryland, because where this is located is 25 miles from Baltimore. As it is right now, I would estimate this to be $6,000 to $8,000.
Really? That's a surprise. Thank you very much. It's good to hear about it.
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