1907 Robert Henri Oil Painting

Value (2010) | $250,000 Insurance$300,000 Insurance
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GUEST:
My father gave me this painting that I remember it so well when I was a little child in Yorkshire, England. And this lady is my grandmother. She lived in a wonderful house called "The Gleddings" in Halifax, Yorkshire. And the painting was painted by Robert Henri.

APPRAISER:
Yes.

GUEST:
And he was a friend of the family. She considered herself a Bostonian. She was born outside Boston in West Dedham, Massachusetts. Never worked. I don't think she ever boiled a pot of water for tea. Look at that hand.

APPRAISER:
Yeah, a lovely hand. Well, it's a wonderful portrait. It's unusual to find something of this kind at this time. I don't know whether you know much about Robert Henri, but he studied with Thomas Anshutz at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts, with William Merritt Chase, and he founded the Ashcan Society in 1908, when this painting was painted. And he goes off to Holland for the summer, and then in August, we have records that he was then commissioned to do a portrait and went to England to paint a portrait.

GUEST:
Ah, and this is it.

APPRAISER:
And this is it. This painting combines a number of styles. It speaks to me of William Merritt Chase in the way it's done. The ruddy complexion was probably quite surprising at this time. It's sort of like Francis Bacon in the face here. I mean, this is really bright. And the dry brushstroke is very Ashcan in the way he is rendering this portrait, yet he paints her in a very elegant Chase way. So to me, it's a combination of the Ashcan style and the William Merritt Chase portraiture style. And I love down here, you have the three-stone ruby ring on her, and this jewelry is a decorative element.

GUEST:
The mayoral jewels of Halifax. She borrowed them for the painting.

APPRAISER:
And I like down here this wonderful fan. Being painted in August, she probably needed the feather fan.

GUEST:
Yeah.

APPRAISER:
Have you had this appraised?

GUEST:
My dad gave it to me in the late '60s when he moved back to England.

APPRAISER:
Right.

GUEST:
And I sent a photograph of this back to Boston, to the repository of Henri's works.

APPRAISER:
Yeah.

GUEST:
And they said it was not worth much more than Grandpa paid for it, and Grandpa paid $4,500. And the reason it's not worth much more is because it's a family portrait, and museums wouldn't want it and no one else would want it. But I can tell you, we treasure it. For us, it's a treasure.

APPRAISER:
Well, I think there'd be many people who'd want it. I believe you should probably insure this somewhere in the area of $250,000 to $300,000.

GUEST:
Oh, no! Oh, my God.

APPRAISER:
Because it's early, it's at the time of the founding of the Ashcan school, and you've been a very good caretaker of it.

GUEST:
Well, I'm floored. Are you sure about that?

APPRAISER:
I am sure about that. It's wonderful.

GUEST:
I'm kind of flabbergasted here.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Montgomery Gallery
San Francisco, CA
Appraised value (2010)
$250,000 Insurance$300,000 Insurance
Event
San Diego, CA (June 12, 2010)
Period
20th Century
Form
Portrait
Material
Oil

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