1955 Harold Von Schmidt Illustration

Value (2006) | $6,000 Auction$10,000 Auction

APPRAISER:
Tell me, how long have you owned this painting?

GUEST:
I've owned it approximately 22 hours.

APPRAISER:
Okay. And in that brief time have you done any research on the artist? Do you know anything about him?

GUEST:
Well, actually, my wife did. Went on the Internet and looked up Harold von Schmidt. And come to find out he's a fairly famous painter. She found out that some of his works, as recent as a year ago, went for around $23,000 to $25,000. I have to be honest with you. I could live to be 100 and I'm not going to understand American football. I'm more of a rugby and soccer guy where I come from. But my friends here who are aficionados, tell me that most likely this is the L.A. Rams and probably the Philadelphia Eagles.

APPRAISER:
Yes. And we can see down here signed... Harold von Schmidt, and dated as well-- 1955.

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
And also, as often is the case with illustration pieces, rather indecipherable now...

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
...but there's some writing up here which is most likely telling the printers exactly how he wanted this to be done. And we can see the remnants of the tape where this has been taped on as well. So I guess it makes sense that it's the L.A. Rams because he was originally from the West Coast and studied there with Maynard Dixon.

GUEST:
I'll be darned.

APPRAISER:
Went on to be a Western artist. And von Schmidt was probably best known for his Western paintings. What drew me to it, it's a really wonderful piece of sporting art. And this was a guy who was certainly... He seems to be a very physical kind of guy. Apparently. Artists are often thought of as being slightly effete.

GUEST:
Exactly.

APPRAISER:
But this guy was a lumberjack, he was a cowboy and, in fact, he represented the USA team in the 1920 Olympics and was a rugby player.

GUEST:
Well, I'll be darned.

APPRAISER:
So it's pretty... pretty apparent to me he knew what physical contact was all about.

GUEST:
How interesting.

APPRAISER:
And he probably knew what it was like to be in this position.

GUEST:
Certainly, certainly.

APPRAISER:
The illustration art that he produced is very much in demand these days. You mentioned a figure to me earlier.

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
Which was...?

GUEST:
Uh, the $25,000 figure?

APPRAISER:
Yeah. Did you happen to notice what those were for?

GUEST:
Actually, they were for his Western pieces.

APPRAISER:
That's correct. Because it tends to be the case that the Western pieces are the most sought after. !

GUEST:
Oh.

APPRAISER:
: But this is a wonderful example of a sporting painting, and I think will appeal to many people who are interested in American football--

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
--as much as to the illustration collecting community. But I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings.

GUEST:
Uh-oh.

APPRAISER:
I think you're going to have to scale down your ambitions somewhat.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
I would think, at auction, a piece like this is more likely to be in the $6,000 to $10,000 range.

GUEST:
Oh, my gosh! I'm not disappointed at all.

APPRAISER:
Well, what would have happened to it otherwise? When you got it, what was the situation?

GUEST:
The situation was, a friend of my wife's was moving, because he was retiring, and he wanted to get rid of some stuff out of his home. And I went over to pick up a chair. As I was leaving, he said, "By the way, would you like this? Because if you don't take it, I'm going to cut it up and throw it in the garbage."

APPRAISER:
So there you have it. Could have gone in the garbage. And, instead of that, you've got a $6,000 to $10,000 painting.

GUEST:
I am not disappointed at all.

APPRAISER:
It's a super piece. I hope you'll continue to enjoy it.

GUEST:
I shall. Thank you very much.

APPRAISER:
Thank you.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Freeman's Auctioneers
Philadelphia, PA
Appraised value (2006)
$6,000 Auction$10,000 Auction
Event
Tucson, AZ (June 17, 2006)
Period
20th Century

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