1858 Sanford Robinson Gifford Oil

Value (2013) | $300,000 Insurance
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APPRAISER:
You brought this to Antiques Roadshow why?

GUEST:
Because we've been watching Antiques Roadshow. We were so excited when they were coming to Boise, we thought about what we would bring, and we had quite a few things that we knew something about, but this was something that had been essentially lost, buried, put away in our family for 50-plus years. It was stored down in the basement and then when my husband's parents passed away, he inherited it. We've had it for about 25 years, but just had it stored up above the bookshelf at home, and it wasn't until we watched Antiques Roadshow quite a bit that I got a little suspicious and went, "I wonder if that's something that's pretty neat."

APPRAISER:
I think it's pretty neat. You said that you only could read the date.

GUEST:
Yes, that's all. We've tried to figure out the artist and couldn't do it.

APPRAISER:
Well, when you brought it to the table, I took one look at it and I knew who the artist was.

GUEST:
Really?

APPRAISER:
You said the date was 1868, I do believe, but I think it's 1858.

GUEST:
1858, okay.

APPRAISER:
And the artist is Sanford Robinson Gifford. Now, Gifford is a very, very important Hudson River artist.

GUEST:
Really?

APPRAISER:
He was considered one of the great luminist painters. Now, luminism referred to the landscape painters that saw nature as sublime, and they created this sublime in the light in their paintings. So the painting is an oil on canvas. Now, your painting is very dirty.

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
So you couldn't see the signature, which is right here in the lower left, and the date. Gifford was born in 1823, and he died in 1880. In the mid-1850s, he went to Europe, and this is a view of Italy.

GUEST:
Really?

APPRAISER:
We know that, although the mountains look like they could be the Northeast, it's definitely an Italian scene with the Italian shepherds and the ruins in the landscape.

GUEST:
We wondered about that.

APPRAISER:
Hold on to your seat. The insurance value would be about $300,000.

GUEST:
That's amazing! That's absolutely amazing.

APPRAISER:
We believe that if you had it cleaned, it would certainly enhance your enjoyment of the work. As far as value goes, if you were thinking about selling it, most collectors would rather see it this way…

GUEST:
Interesting.

APPRAISER:
…and use their own conservators. Did you have any expectation of the value when we said, "Do you want to go on TV?"

GUEST:
Absolutely nothing, except it set off some bells when you looked up immediately and went, "Would you like to be on TV?" And I thought, "She knows! She knows what this is!"

APPRAISER:
It's signed with every stroke of the brush.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Betty Krulik Fine Art Limited
New York, NY
Appraised value (2013)
$300,000 Insurance
Event
Boise, ID (June 29, 2013)
Period
19th Century
Material
Oil

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