Charles Turzak Woodcut Print, ca. 1925

Value (2010) | $2,000 Auction$3,000 Auction
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GUEST:
It was purchased from a Goodwill store under another painting. I don't remember how it got away from the original picture, but it was underneath and...

APPRAISER:
So this was behind a painting that somebody bought at a Goodwill store. And then at some point you took that painting out of the frame and discovered this behind it.

GUEST:
15 years ago.

APPRAISER:
It's a woodcut by the Chicago artist Charles Turzak. And you can see down here, signed in pencil. And it's titled right here, The North Entrance. And it's a view of Chicago and these four skyscrapers, which are classic examples of 1920s Chicago architecture. And Charles Turzak was born in Illinois and had studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. And by the 1920s, he was busy making views of Chicago, none quite as memorable as this one. This is a wonderful aerial look up Michigan Avenue. And it's quite a thing to find beneath another picture at a Goodwill store for...

GUEST:
Really?

APPRAISER:
...what must have been, what, a few dollars perhaps?

GUEST:
Oh, abs... yeah. I can't even remember, but I'm sure it wasn't very much.

APPRAISER:
Now, you've got a couple things going on here. The print is actually on paper, but at some point in time, somebody glued this down to... it looks like a board with newspaper on the back. So that's a little detrimental to its condition. You can see there's some glue damage up along the top here. And what's also apparent is some light staining. The original color of the paper is more this lighter strip here, and this yellowing has occurred over time as a result of sunlight hitting the paper. That affects its value. That being said, all of that can be reversed by taking it to a reputable paper conservator.

GUEST:
Really?

APPRAISER:
In this condition, as is, at auction, you're looking at about $2,000 to $3,000.

GUEST:
Really?

APPRAISER:
Now, after being cleaned and removed from the cardboard that it's on-- that would cost you about $200 to $300 to have that done-- we would estimate this at auction for $3,000 to $5,000. For collectors out there who go for views of Chicago, this is about as good as it gets.

GUEST:
Thank you so much.

APPRAISER:
You're welcome.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Swann Auction Galleries
New York, NY
Appraised value (2010)
$2,000 Auction$3,000 Auction
Event
Billings, MT (June 26, 2010)
Period
20th Century
Form
Woodcut
Material
Paper

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