D. Howard Hitchcock & Bertha Lum Paintings

Value (2006) | $23,000 Auction$45,000

GUEST:
My husband's Auntie Annie, she passed away and she left us a whole house full of stuff. And she liked to collect things and these are just two of the things that we sort of pulled out from that.

APPRAISER:
Well, they're very different but have a very interesting line that draws them together. The first picture is by Bertha Lum. And Bertha Lum was born in Iowa, in the late 19th century. For her honeymoon, she went to Japan, and the influence of Japanese art was very, very important to her. One of the things that I find so interesting, being a Northeasterner, is that so much of the influence in the Northeast is from Western Europe. Here, the influence is so much from Asia, and we can certainly see this in both pieces. The Bertha Lum is a wonderful example of her work. She's best known for her prints but this is an original painting. We see the signature and the copyright, on the lower right-hand side. And it's really an exciting example of her work. This is, uh, mixed media wash watercolor and I think oil or tempera. It's, it's a very complicated and interesting piece. Given that, at auction, I would estimate it between three and five thousand dollars.

GUEST:
Oh, my gosh.

APPRAISER:
Yes.

GUEST:
That sounds really good.

APPRAISER:
A little bit of the best for last, however,

GUEST:
Oh, okay.

APPRAISER:
is your other painting, which is by arguably the most important early 20th century Hawaiian artist. D. Howard Hitchcock was born in Hilo in the late 18th century. Roughly 1861. His family originally came as as missionaries in 1832, so a very, very long line of Hawaiians.

GUEST:
Yeah, I didn't know that.

APPRAISER:
Uh, he studied with Jules Tavernier, who was one of the early Hawaiian artist and also went to Paris. And his combination of Hawaiian style, Hawaiian subject matter and European training is... is very interesting. The market for Hawaiian pieces is tremendously strong right now. And I would estimate it between $20,000 and $40,000.

GUEST:
For what?

APPRAISER:
Absolutely.

GUEST:
Twenty and forty... Could you say that again?

APPRAISER:
Twenty to forty thousand dollars at auction.

GUEST:
Okay, I'm stunned.

APPRAISER:
Well, it's a wonderful painting.

GUEST:
I need to catch my breath. Excuse me. That's, that's incredible.

APPRAISER:
They're both wonderful. They're both great paintings.

GUEST:
Thank you very much.

APPRAISER:
Oh, thank you for coming.

GUEST (laughing): Can I sit down?

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Colleene Fesko Works of Art
Boston, Massachusetts
Appraised value (2006)
$23,000 Auction$45,000
Event
Honolulu, HI (August 26, 2006)
Period
20th Century
Form
Painting
Material
Mixed Media

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