1899 Paul de Longpre Oil
It was passed down from my grandfather, and he acquired it when he was doing a telephone installation at the Vizcaya Mansion in Miami when the telephones first came out. The owner had him install telephones, and in payment, he got this painting.
Vizcaya is quite a large residence, and this is all he got for installing all the phones?
Well, I'm sure that he got other, but that's what the story is, that he got that partial payment. Whether he got something else, don't know.
Where has it been hanging all this time?
In the back of the closet.
It looks like there's a little dust on it. (laughs) It's inscribed with the artist's name, "Paul de Longpre," and it's dated 1899, and it says "Los Angeles." He is relatively well known for his flower paintings, and this is a wonderful portrait of these irises. This painting is actually on canvas that's been laid down on board. It's dirty. It's in its original frame here, which was not an expensive frame, but at one time was... it's metal gilt frame, and so it would appear gold, but it's oxidized. And do you have any idea of the value of this painting?
No, sir. None whatsoever.
Well, I think it's going to clean up beautifully. I would have thought this would be, if you put it up at auction, for $30,000 to $40,000.
So how about that? I think your wife is going to be pleased.
That's an understatement. (both laughing)
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