1897 Emil Carlsen Still Life & Harer Frame
It was purchased by my grandfather, who was a simple man, but someone must have instructed him on what to buy. He wouldn't have known anything, or much, about art. When time came to divide the contents of his house, no one wanted this.
So I said, "All right, I'll take it."
What a sport! (laughing) What a sport. (both laughing) Well, the painting is by Emil Carlsen. It's signed and dated 1897. The frame I think dates a bit later than that, maybe the '20s or '30s. It's an interesting painting because Carlsen was born in Denmark, but is best known for his still life paintings that he painted in the United States. And he was very much influenced by the Dutch 17th century artists. And what he incorporated into these paintings was the idea of the animals, the pot, and, in that combination, instilling the idea that someone had just walked away from the kitchen and was coming back. So he was very well known for his still life paintings. Oil paintings, unlike watercolors or drawings, aren't affected by the light. So it won't fade.
But you don't want to keep it somewhere very hot or very cold, not unlike real estate, with location, location, location. The art world has its own hierarchy of subject matter, subject matter, subject matter. Paintings by Carlsen have sold for $30,000, $40,000, $50,000, $100,000. There's even a painting that sold for $300,000. These were still lives of flowers, bright paintings, silver, very delicate, evocative pieces. We have a saying in the business that dead game and sinking ships, not so good. That said, it's beautifully executed. He's one of the most important still life painters in America painting during the late 19th, early 20th century. It's in a signed Harer frame, H-A-R-E-R. And it's a carved wood frame that is highly desirable. So that adds to the value of the piece also. And while we're not looking at the Beverly Hills of Emil Carlsen, we're looking at a fine example of his work that I would estimate at auction between $6,000 and $8,000. And could perhaps do better.
Well, that's great. That's a surprise. All for dead ducks. (chuckles)
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