Mid-20th Century Ralph Cahoon Oil Painting

Value (2008) | $30,000 Auction$50,000 Auction

It was my father's. And he died and he had six of these paintings. And my stepmother gave one to each of his children.

He had had them for how long? Do you know or…

For as long as I remember. Probably late '50s, early '60s.

Do you know anything about who the artist is or anything...

I know his name is Cahoon.


And other than that, I don't really know too much about it.

Okay well, Ralph Cahoon was a Cape Cod artist and known for these whimsical, nautical, 19th-century-inspired motifs, primarily with mermaids and sailors. Some of them had hot air balloons. He was born in 1910. He died in 1982. This is a mid-20th century work. This is a oil on masonite. He lived on the Cape, in Cotuit, I think, most of the time. And after his death, his prices and recognition started to gain quite nicely. Now, this is basically the original frame. I'm sure Ralph put it in this frame. It's a Victorian frame, very typical of his work. Nice, bright picture here. We have a lot of the bells and whistles. We have 13 mermaids; we have a sailing ship with sailors; and then we have an American flag. And we're either in the... it looks like the Antarctic, but it could have been in the North Pole. This is a nice, cool picture. I was very excited when I saw it. I lived on the Cape for a number of years and knew a lot of friends of his and heard a lot of stories about him over the years. Sounded like a wonderful guy.

Sense of humor.

Oh, yeah. Wonderful, folky, whimsical painting. And I think a good auction estimate would be $30,000 to $50,000.

Great. Good price.

Appraisal Details

Appraised value (2008)
$30,000 Auction$50,000 Auction
Hartford, CT (August 23, 2008)
Masonite , Oil

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