Charles Edwin Ruttan Oil Painting, ca. 1920

Value (2011) | $2,000 Auction$3,000 Auction
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GUEST:
This painting belonged to my parents. When the bank closed here in El Paso in 1929, my father was an officer of the bank, and when the day was over, all he and my mother had left was 50 cents in her purse and he was able to save this painting out of the bank. And my mother said that this painting is by a California artist. It was painted up the valley here of the Organ Mountains, just over the state line in New Mexico on a November afternoon.

APPRAISER:
Well, it's a great example of California impressionist painting by Charles Edward Ruttan. Ruttan was born in Canada in 1884 and moved to LA in 1919. He's primarily known as an illustrator, so there aren't a lot of these scenes on the market. He died at age 55, so he didn't have a very long life. It's an oil on canvas, painted probably circa 1920, and it's got typical wear for a painting of that age. It's got nice, even craquelure. It's got a stretcher mark, which is normal. The frame is newer, you said.

GUEST:
Yes, it's about 20 years old.

APPRAISER:
Okay, so...

GUEST:
Yeah, I had it reframed. I do have the original one at home, but it wasn't very pretty, so I didn't like it.

APPRAISER:
Oh, now that's a good thing. It might add to the value of the painting if you have the original frame.

GUEST:
Oh, okay.

APPRAISER:
I think a good auction estimate would be in that $2,000 to $3,000 range, but it could surprise us. Because there are so few on the market, it could be more like $5,000.

GUEST:
Okay, that's wonderful. Thank you.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Link Auction Galleries
Saint Louis, Missouri
Appraised value (2011)
$2,000 Auction$3,000 Auction
Event
El Paso, TX (June 18, 2011)
Material
Canvas, Oil

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