1913 Thomas Moran Chromolithograph

Value (2014) | $1,200 Auction$1,500 Auction

I found this painting, or a picture, in an alley, thought it was quite interesting. There was a garage sale going on and I thought, well, if they're throwing anything out, I would pick it up. And I did.

When did you get this?

I found it six months ago. I just wiped the glass off today, because I was hiding it from my husband, because he gets upset when I bring home things, and it's more "stuff" or clutter, so I hide it in the garage.

Did you ever try to look it up and find...?

I did. The only thing that I found about the artist is that he was American, and in the 1800s, he would draw murals of the Grand Canyon.

Well, his name is Thomas Moran, and he's British-born, however, considered to be an American painter. He specialized in landscape, he did a lot of work out West, he lived on Long Island in New York along with his artist wife, Mary Nimmo Moran. And they were both very, very accomplished artists, and they made paintings and they made prints. And when I say prints, I mean etchings and lithographs. What we have here is known as a chromo-lithograph, and it's a color lithographic process where there's a separate stone made for every color. And it's a very meticulous, very time-consuming process, and then the colors are printed one on top of the other. That creates another range of colors, rather than what was only on the stone. This print was commissioned by the Santa Fe Railway to promote Western tourism. And as today, their trains run right to the rim of the Grand Canyon. Even though Thomas Moran was a printmaker, he really had little to do with the making of the print. He provided the painting, and then master printmakers did the execution of the print.

Oh, my.

The frame appears to be the original frame. Many of them were made. It's not a particularly rare print, but it's a very good print, and it's at the tail end of that particular lithographic process. Here, you have a couple of condition problems. You've got a little bit of pigment loss right here. You've had an insect inside here. And it's up against the glass, as it shouldn't be. But all in all, in quite good condition, and the colors are very good.


So at auction, I would value the piece at about $1,200 to $1,500.

Wonderful! For an alley find, that's great, yes! I can't wait to tell my husband that I told him so. This is great.

Appraisal Details

Frederick Baker, Inc
Chicago, IL
Appraised value (2014)
$1,200 Auction$1,500 Auction
Chicago, IL (July 26, 2014)

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