Frances Tipton Hunter Illustrations, ca. 1940
Terrific little illustrations. Are you an illustration collector, or... what's your experience with them?
No, about 26 years ago at a rummage sale, charity rummage sale, I found these, and I liked them so well, especially the large one, which reminded me of my father-- he died when I was eight-- and I just cherish that one.
Oh, that's very sweet. What did you pay for the pieces?
The small one was seven, and then I paid... no, the large one was seven and the small one was three.
Now, seven dollars and three dollars.
Well, they're wonderful examples of 20th-century illustration by an artist named Frances Tipton Hunter and we can see her signature in the lower left and lower right on this piece. She was born in 1896 and died in 1957 and studied at the Philadelphia Academy of Art. What's interesting to me about illustrations and the illustration market in general is that while it's specific-- and, to many people, illustrations are just covers-- they're really time capsules of a specific time and place and way of being. And I think your idea of thinking of your father when you saw this piece is really something that comes through with the great illustrators. And I think that one of the reasons that illustration is becoming more and more popular is because of that nostalgia for a time. And I would be dating these based on the details, based on the costume, based on the whole style of the furniture to probably around the '30s or '40s. She was a known illustrator who was represented in all of the major magazines of the time-- Collier's, Saturday Evening Post-- not unlike Jessie Wilcox Smith, who worked very well with children. I think they're lovely, they're in very nice condition, there's not really evidence of fading-- so you must be keeping them somewhere dark-- and I think your ten-dollar purchase, if my math is right, is probably worth about $1,500 to $2,500.
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