1646 School of Jan Brueghel the Younger Oil Painting

Value (2009) | $30,000 Auction$50,000 Auction

GUEST:
My mom had it hanging in our living room when I was young. I really always liked the painting, and so she gave it to me several years ago. I've done a little bit of research online about the painting, and it seems to be of the period of a Renaissance landscape. I, you know, was never able to determine the artist. There doesn't appear to be a signature on it.

APPRAISER:
What you have is an Old Master painting. Not necessarily a Renaissance painting, but something we call Old Master, a painting that's done before 1800. This painting was probably done around 1600s, a little after the Italian Renaissance.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
I know you thought it might be a Renaissance painting, but it's a little later than that.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
Now, with Old Master paintings, there are a lot of unknowns. But let's go through those things we do know about it. The subject matter is Orpheus. And Orpheus is a famous figure in Greek mythology who was known for his music and his poetry. He was so good that he was known to charm the animals out of the forest.

GUEST:
Ah.

APPRAISER:
And you see Orpheus here playing at his lyre, surrounded by these dogs and cats. And then what it does is it gives the artist the opportunity to really go off on a tangent, really show some exotic animals. And so we see over here this pair of leopards, you know, which you wouldn't find in Europe. And then you also see swans and ducks and geese, horses. And finally over here you even see what they'd have thought were camels. They didn't see many camels in those days, but that's their impression of a camel.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
You mentioned that she had it refurbished.

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
And one of the things about this is it is on panel. And wood tends to crack and curve, and over the years it has done that. You see these cracks. And they were restored, and the painting was flattened out, but the cracks and the restoration have turned color a little bit, and need to be redone. It'll help increase the value. Also it will help preserve the painting from any further damage.

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
Now, one of the things about Old Masters is you aren't always sure who did them. In the 19th century, most people signed these things, and we all know who did them, the history is there. But with Old Masters, the history sometimes gets lost. And sometimes we don't know. And so we say words like "attributed to," or "manner of" or "school of." Well, this painting here, we think it's in the school of Jan Brueghel the Younger, who was known for doing these types of animals.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
Now, a surprise came up. Down in here we found initials of "FVO." And it's dated 1646. And FVO, we aren't sure who it is. We could probably find out and that would add to the value of the painting. With those unknowns in the air, as an auctioneer we'd probably put it in, like I say, school of Jan Brueghel the Younger, and have an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000.

GUEST:
Okay, terrific.

APPRAISER:
If we were able to find out more about that, and find the artist, have time to find some documentary evidence, and who might have really painted it, it could be worth more, maybe about $60,000 to $80,000.

GUEST:
Okay, terrific.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Bonhams, NY
New York, NY
Appraised value (2009)
$30,000 Auction$50,000 Auction
Event
Atlantic City, NJ (June 06, 2009)
Period
17th Century
Form
Painting
Material
Artist's Board, Oil

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