Armin Carl Hansen ”Before the Wind“ Oil Painting, ca. 1920
We got it in Massachusetts in the late '70s. My husband spotted it at an antique shop.
Do you recall what you paid for it?
I think it was somewhere around $1,200, but honest to goodness, I don't remember.
You know who the artist is, however.
Yes, I do. It's Armin Carl Hansen.
Right. And he was noted as the Monterey artist. He grew up in San Francisco and his father was a noted artist of Western paintings named Herman Hansen, and he was Armin Carl Hansen's first teacher. Now, he was born in 1886. When he was 20 years old-- that would be 1906-- that was when the great earthquake hit San Francisco. So of course their lives were completely shattered at the time. And the young man, now he's 20 years old, went to Germany to study. He was wildly interested in German Impressionism. And then after doing that for two years, he shipped out on a Norwegian trawler for four years. So he was actually a seaman. When he returned to San Francisco in 1912, he began to paint sailors and fishermen. He also painted Western art. So he was someone who has two main themes. One is the life of the sea and also cowboys. This is probably from late 19-teens or early 1920s. He tends to work in rather large shapes. This is a particularly dramatic one. The people are on the deck, they're being hit by a storm. The waves are washing over the deck and it's a particularly nice example of his work. He often has a very dramatic style where the figures are backlit. So it's an Impressionist brushstroke, but a kind of interesting dark and dramatic palette. These paintings are beloved by Californians. They sell in California very well and there are enthusiastic collectors of them there. He was a founder of the Carmel Art Association. He worked in Monterey, as you said. Even in this market, which is rather constrained, a painting like this should sell at auction for between $50,000 and $75,000.
Oh my. Oh my.
Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.
Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."
Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.
Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.
Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.
Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.
Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.