1823 Anna Peale Miniature Painting

Value (2011) | $3,000 Auction$5,000 Auction
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GUEST:
Well, it is a painting of my great-great-great-grandmother, Anne Worthington. It's been in our family since the 1800s. My great-aunt was actually married to a man named James Peale. The painting itself is painted by Anna Claypool Peale. She was a niece of Charles Wilson Peale.

GUEST:
Exactly.

APPRAISER:
You seem to know your Peale family history a little bit.

GUEST:
A little bit. And the Daguerreotype is of course of the painting with some history on the back.

APPRAISER:
Right. What's fascinating about this is that I think it's a great example of a miniature painting that's done by an artist from what could be called the finest dynasty of American painters, in terms of the Peale family. The real important Peale was Charles Wilson Peale. And actually Charles Wilson was very interested in painting and artists and had a whole bunch of children, many of whom ended up being artists. And his children's names were Raphael Peale, Rembrandt Peale, Titian Ramsey Peale. So he had all these artists' names that he gave to his children. And his niece is Anna Claypool Peale. The Peales were portrait painters, and this is a spectacular example of what a Peale miniature is about. It's got incredibly fine details in there. And you can see that over here it's signed "Anna Peale, 1823." But I think what you can see here too is that there's an incredible lustrous quality to the skin tones. I mean, the flesh is really very, very nice.

GUEST:
Luminescent.

APPRAISER:
Real luminescence, too. And these miniatures were used as special keepsake images that people would hold on to. And it's actually... it's painted, it's ivory. The support is ivory, and it's oil on ivory.

GUEST:
Oh, it's oil.

APPRAISER:
It's oil on ivory. And the artist would use very, very fine brushes with just one or two little hairs in there and do these incredibly fine brushstrokes, and they actually usually painted them under a type of magnifying glass.

GUEST:
I was going to ask if they did that.

APPRAISER:
And usually they had a type of fancier metal frame, a little silver frame around them, almost like a locket. And I think that at this point it's been reframed, but it's still... it's still very nice. It's one of the unusual things to find a piece like this that's still in the family. The market for miniatures is just beginning to pick up, and something like this, its value is around $5,000 to $7,000.

GUEST:
Oh, is that all? Okay.

APPRAISER:
Yeah, it's not a great deal, it's not a great deal. But something like this is really special, I think, because it's got such great family history.

GUEST:
Yes, definitely.

APPRAISER:
And yeah, I don't see any family resemblance here, though.

GUEST:
No, not too much, I guess.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Christie's
New York, NY
Update (2011)
$3,000 Auction$5,000 Auction
Appraised value (1997)
$5,000 Auction$7,000 Auction
Event
San Francisco, CA (August 09, 1997)
Period
19th Century
Material
Ivory, Oil

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