1906 Louis Akin Chromolithograph

Value (2008) | $4,500 Retail

Originally, it belonged to my grandfather, and it used to hang in the produce shop that he used to work in. And I don't quite know how he ended up with it, but it ended up in his house, and when he passed away, it went to my aunt. And when my aunt died, it went to my dad, and then when my dad died, it came to me. And my wife didn't like it, so I couldn't hang it up, so I ended up giving it to my daughter, because both of us really liked this painting.

Right, well, it's not a painting.

A lithograph, I mean.

Yeah, it's a lithograph. So you have no idea what anybody ever paid for it.

No. It could have been for nothing.

Well, this is called a chromolithograph. It's a form of American art that was very popular in the 1880s, into the 1890s and on into the 20th century. If we look right here, here we see the name, Louis Akin. It's dated 1906. It's a set chromolithograph based on a painting. Now, chromolithography was a mechanical way of doing color prints. Prior to chromolithography, prints would be made in black and white and then colored by hand with watercolors. To be able to do it mechanically was a great advantage. Now, because of the mechanical element of chromolithography, these had very little respect for a long time by curators and collectors. But in recent years, even the last 10 or 15 years, chromolithography has really come into its own in American art. And another thing is that chromolithography, as opposed to hand-colored prints, is really solid. It's very strong. It can take a lot of light. You'll notice this also has the original brass plaque that says that this is the El Tovar at the Grand Canyon on the Santa Fe Railroad. It was also an advertising medium. The Santa Fe Railroad would have disseminated these and wanted to get people to come out. "Let's go there!" It's an absolutely beautiful print, and it's even got the road going up to the hotel, a very inviting concept. And then, you know, what do you see from the hotel? The beautiful Grand Canyon. And it's in an original frame that it was issued with. Any ideas on the value or...?

Not a clue.

Well, you'll be happy to know that retail shops around the United States are selling this for about $4,500.

Wow. (laughing) Well, that's, that's great.

Appraisal Details

The Philadelphia Print Shop
Philadelphia, PA
Appraised value (2008)
$4,500 Retail
Dallas, TX (June 28, 2008)

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