1883 Edward Emerson Simmons Oil Painting
I do know it's an...is it Edward Simmons? It was something that my father bought in the 1950s, and it came to me through my stepmother's estate. When I was going through her possessions, I looked at my father's inventory. He just had his own notes on it, and that's all.
So you remember it hanging in the house someplace?
Not in their house. I never saw it until about the last two years of her life.
Did you find out anything about the artist, Edward Simmons?
I think he was primarily a muralist, from the little bit I saw.
You're right about him being a muralist. His name is Edward Emerson Simmons. His uncle was Ralph Waldo Emerson. He grew up in Boston but spent a lot of time in Europe. He was born in 1852, but from '79 to '91 he was in Europe, and he painted over there and then came back and was associated with "The Ten" artists. It's a group of ten artists that showed together-- people like Childe Hassam and Edmund Tarbell-- but Simmons is perhaps the least known of them because as you said, he was known as a muralist. A lot of his works were on walls, and they aren't traded in the art world. But this is a work that he did in an era in...probably in Brittany in western France, and it's dated 1883. It's one of those scenes he did out in the open. That's what we call plein air painting. You would take a small piece of canvas on board and then paint this right there. So he would try to capture the light, and you can see that coming off the little sand here, the little greens and the light on the side of the church over there. Beautiful light in the sky. He's really trying to capture the essence and the atmosphere of that place. It's a beautiful little painting. Since he's a muralist, there aren't many of them, and a lot of them are in Europe. Looking up his records, he's only had about 50 paintings that have come up over the last 20 years or so, so that makes him very rare. Now, this one's in fairly good shape. Did you have it cleaned at all?
Yes, I inherited it about 2003 and I had it cleaned about a year after that.
This one's very lively. Some of his little seascapes that he's done are just sort of fairly plain, there's just water, but here we have the lively rocks, the sand, the light, and since they're rare as hen's teeth, I would say this is probably, if we were to put it at auction, I'd put an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000 on it.
That's very nice.
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.
Walt Disney | AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
Coming to American Experience September 14 & 15 is the unprecedented look at the complex life and enduring legacy of one of America’s best-known storytellers – Walt Disney
Arthur & George
Martin Clunes (Doc Martin) stars as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in a three-part MASTERPIECE Mystery! adaptation of the novel by Julian Barnes. Airs Sundays, September 6-20