Folk Art Portrait of a Child, ca. 1825

Value (2013) | $12,000 Auction$18,000 Auction
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GUEST:
My father was an antiques dealer in Fincastle, Virginia. He restored a home in the town of Fincastle and right when he completed that, he moved this painting in. He had a shop and he'd stored it there and brought it into the house.

APPRAISER:
So he liked it enough to bring it home with him.

GUEST:
Yes, he did. And in terms of remembering purchase and all of that, it may have been a Southern purchase he did buy in the Atlanta area. Specifically, I don't know any more than that.

APPRAISER:
Right, I can understand your feeling and his feeling about the painting. What you've got is a portrait of a child done probably around 1825 to 1830. It's oil on canvas. This was done by a folk painter who probably didn't have a whole lot of training in academic art. The face is very beautifully done. So there was skill in that. He may have been a portrait miniature painter really focusing on the face. But the body is somewhat crude and a little bit out of proportion for the child. I do think it's a girl because little boys had boy-type accessories. So the boy would more likely have a pony or a whip or a bow and arrow. This is just the sweetest child. A real child in real circumstances in a rural area near a bunny hutch. The bunnies are about to eat an apple and she's cradling this rabbit in her arms. And this is what is so great about folk art, because even though it's not perfect-perfect academically, the softness, the gentleness, the affection of the child for the bunny rabbit projects to us and we have that feeling about it, as well. So you add all these things together and I think we're talking about a value that's somewhere in the range of $12,000 to $18,000 at auction.

GUEST:
Wow, that's exciting.

APPRAISER:
It's nice.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Sotheby's
New York, New York
Appraised value (2013)
$12,000 Auction$18,000 Auction
Event
Richmond, VA (August 17, 2013)
Period
19th Century
Form
Portrait
Material
Oil

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