1920 Grace Ravlin Oil Painting

Value (2017) | $15,000 Auction$20,000 Auction
Watch  

GUEST:
It was a painting done by my great-great-aunt when she was visiting Tunisia. In her 30s, she decided to become a painter, or she went to art school in Chicago and then traveled abroad to Europe and North Africa.

APPRAISER:
So this painting has been in your family for a while, then?

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
Okay. And, let's talk about your great-great-aunt.

GUEST:
Yeah.

APPRAISER:
And here is a picture of her right here. Her name was Grace Ravlin, and she is actually a very well-known artist. She was born in the 1870s, and she studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and later with William Merritt Chase. And then she left for Europe, which a lot of female artists were doing right around 1906.

GUEST:
Yeah.

APPRAISER:
And she left specifically for France, but she was traveling all over Europe, and from 1906 through about 1921 she was painting there, but she was also traveling a lot. What's interesting about her, specifically, compared with a lot of the other female artists who were going to Europe, a lot of them went there to study a little bit, and then came back. But your great-great-aunt, she was an intrepid person. She was traveling all over. She was going to places like Tangiers, Morocco, Egypt, by herself, as well, which, we can imagine, at that time, was not exactly the most common thing to do.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
Right around the time of the war, she went to Europe to be a nurse. She was traveling back and forth, but in 1918, she did go-- she was working for the American Red Cross, and then she went over to Tunisia again around 1919.

GUEST:
Yeah.

APPRAISER:
Now, this painting, lower left, is dated 1920. It probably was made in Gabès in Tunisia, which is a town on the coast. This is an oil painting on canvas, and it appears to have been laid down on board, which was a typical thing that was done. She was an accomplished artist, with training from a lot of important artists, as well, so it shows this atmospheric quality to it. This wonderful composition, this bringing down to color forms, this progressiveness in her painting, it wasn't just representational, it was progressive. She was winning a lot of awards, so she was a known quantity. She had gone to Europe, but she would also go to the Southwest. Now, today, she's very well-celebrated in the United States for her Southwest paintings. But these paintings of Tunisia and Orientalist paintings are also in high demand, specifically because Orientalism is in high demand. And Orientalism is the paintings of Arab scenes, Bedouin scenes, things that were exotic, and she described herself as an ethnographic painter.

GUEST:
Yeah.

APPRAISER:
If I was going to put this painting at auction, a conservative auction estimate would $15,000 to $20,000.

GUEST:
Oh, cool. That's wonderful news.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Shapiro Auctions
New York, NY
Appraised value (2017)
$15,000 Auction$20,000 Auction
Event
St Louis, MO (July 08, 2017)
Period
1920s
Material
Oil

Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.

Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."

Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.

Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.

Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.

Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.

Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.