1910 Bertha Schrader Oil Painting

Value (2009) | $20,000 Auction$30,000 Auction

GUEST:
My grandmother was Norwegian, but one of her sisters married the artist, and I believe he was German. But I don't know, really, anything about him.

APPRAISER:
What about the painting itself? Do you know where that is?

GUEST:
It originally was in a very ugly yellow frame. And when I had it reframed, we took off the back, and it said on the back, by the artist, "Dresden." So, I'm assuming that it's Dresden. And that really is about all I know, the fact that the painter was related to me, so...

APPRAISER:
And who was the painter?

GUEST:
B. Schrader, and I think he married my grandmother's sister, so it would be my great-uncle. My father wrote on the back of the painting that information, so that we'd always remember.

APPRAISER:
It does appear to be Dresden. This is probably the Elbe River, which Dresden is on. There's a bridge here. This is the town in the background here. You can probably confirm that if you wanted to look at old photographs of Dresden before the bombing in 1945. It's a beautiful painting. It's a nice summer day, a beautiful garden. And it's done in what we call a sort of pointillist style. This is where the artist used little dabs of color all through the painting. Look down in this area. It's not just one color; you have this shadow here, this purple shadow, but it's broken up into little lavenders, and some purples, ochres, and all these different colors in here. So it brings a liveliness to it, the painting jumps out at you because of all these little breaks of color. The thing about it... I say this nice German view, and you have this family history, but I think you might want to take that back off afterwards and review it.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
So I've looked at this and I've looked at the name down here. There is a B. Schrader who does pointillist works in Dresden. Okay. Except it's not your uncle.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
Or great-uncle. It's a Bertha Schrader. It's a woman artist.

GUEST:
Okay. Wow.

APPRAISER:
Who lived from 1845 to 1920 and practiced in Dresden and did views of the Elbe, and this is very much her style. I think it's a fabulous painting. It's just so alive, just so colorful. I think it could stand a slight cleaning.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
If you look at it there's some surface dirt on there. Have you ever had it valued, when you had it framed, at all?

GUEST:
I haven't had it appraised, but I had an appraiser come to my house to look at another painting that we had that I thought was valuable. And he looked at that and said it's really not worth anything. And he turned around and saw this on my wall and said, "That, however, really should be in a period frame, not in this ugly yellow frame. And it's actually worth more money." But he said without being able to research the artist, he didn't know how much. I paid $500 for the frame, so I'm hoping that the painting is at least worth being in a $500 frame.

APPRAISER:
Well, there are very few records for this artist-- it's not a household name, even in Germany-- about ten records. I would predict an auction estimate of $20,000 to $30,000 for this.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
I have seen others that have come up for auction-- which are not as nice as this-- have made in the $30,000 range. So I can see with an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000, I can see it surpassing that if this were to go to auction.

GUEST:
That's wonderful. I had no idea that it was that valuable.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Bonhams, NY
New York, NY
Appraised value (2009)
$20,000 Auction$30,000 Auction
Event
Madison, WI (July 11, 2009)
Period
20th Century
Form
Painting
Material
Oil

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