Henri Alphonse Barnoin Painting, ca.1920

Value (2006) | $12,000 Auction$18,000 Auction

GUEST:
I had gone to an estate sale and saw the frame and really purchased it just for the frame, not really looking at the artwork in it.

APPRAISER:
And how much did you pay for the frame?

GUEST:
I gave $25 for it.

APPRAISER:
$25.

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
And have you done any further research?

GUEST:
Very little. I have... went on the Internet and searched a little bit, and found that the painter studied under the masters. My understanding, he died in 1935. But I know he won a couple of awards, and that's about the extent of what I know about it.

APPRAISER:
Well, it's signed down here. And this is Henri Alphonse Barnoin, who's a French painter. And he was born in Paris and died relatively young. He was in his early 50s when he passed away. Both born and died in Paris. But he's most associated with Brittany, and this is a Breton scene that we see here. And unlike that other artist who we often associate with Brittany, Paul Gauguin, he took a much more conventional career path. He studied in Paris at the Beaux-Arts with Emile Dameron, who probably introduced him to Impressionism. But in this painting, we can still see the roots of the realist tradition that was very prevalent in France. And by that I mean, it's showing ordinary working folk doing what they do. Fisher wives in the quay, awaiting the men coming back from the fleet. And you're absolutely right, he won many, many awards, and his work hangs in many museums. And I think it's a really wonderful painting. What appealed to me when I saw it first is the composition and also the dramatic use of light. So we see the light breaking through in the background here. And then you see all these verticals comparing with all the diagonals. And again down here. So we're being led directly into the painting. And the light also plays on the headgear of these Breton fisher folk. And also it's interesting in the composition the way these looping nets are picked up in the ripples in the water. So it's really a very sophisticated composition that we have here. Now, you told me you paid $25 for the frame, which it has to be said is not in the best of shape. But even at that, it must be worth $25.

GUEST:
Oh, yeah.

APPRAISER:
And of course, that leaves you with a painting which at auction, I believe, could easily be worth $12,000 to $18,000. So that's not a bad return on your $25.

GUEST:
No. That's a real good return.

APPRAISER:
Yeah. So given that, you'd probably want to invest in a new frame, I would think.

GUEST:
Oh, yeah.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Freeman's Auctioneers
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Appraised value (2006)
$12,000 Auction$18,000 Auction
Event
Mobile, AL (July 08, 2006)
Period
20th Century
Form
Painting
Material
Paint

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