1919 Rockwell “The Little Model” Oil Painting

Value (2011) | $500,000 Insurance

Well, this painting's been in our family for over 90 years. It was given to my great- grandmother by Norman Rockwell. My great-grandmother was his aunt.

And what do you know about the painting?

Well, it's a 1919 Collier's cover, from March of 1919, and that's about all I know. We just love it.

What's interesting about Rockwell is that he always knew that he wanted to be an artist and he really showed a lot of talent early on. By age 14, he was enrolled in art classes. He was born in 1894, and in 1910, he actually quit high school so he could go to art school full-time, and he became the art director of Boys' Life when he was just 18 years old. Interesting. So we tend to associate Rockwell with Saturday Evening Post covers. Collier's Magazine was actually their biggest rival in the 1920s through the '40s, but he only did four covers for them, all in 1919. And this picture was called The Little Model. This is an oil on canvas. And here we see this young woman. She has the tattered stockings and the broom, and she's imitating this image of this much fancier lady in this fashion poster on the wall. And here's her faithful dog, who probably can't wait for her to quit posing. It's always great to have a dog in a Rockwell painting. Rockwell was a master of sort of telling these stories, and he really was so adept at tapping into the nostalgia for a more innocent time. It is such a charming work. Around the time of the late '90s, his work started to consistently bring about six figures. So I would think in today's market, you would want to have a replacement value on this of about $500,000.

I better get more insurance. (laughs)

So are you surprised to hear that?

Yeah, very surprised.

Thank you so much for bringing it in.

You're welcome. Wow, I didn't realize...

Appraisal Details

Nan Chisholm Fine Art, Ltd.
New York, NY
Appraised value (2011)
$500,000 Insurance
Eugene, OR (June 04, 2011)

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.