1880 George Vicat Cole Landscape Oil

Value (2013) | $4,000$6,000

It was given to my girlfriend and I as a housewarming present from her father. He purchased it in December, I guess, from a man who purchased it from the widow of a man who bought it in the late '50s here in Milwaukee, actually.

So it's been in Milwaukee since the late 1950s?


Do you know anything about the artist of this picture?

I know that he has paintings in some other galleries around the world. He has some in a gallery in Sydney, Australia, and a gallery in London.

George Vicat Cole was a prolific English landscape painter in the 19th century. His views of these pastoral English scenes-- haying, in this case-- are extremely popular because they are just typical examples of this lovely, beautiful English lifestyle that has been lost forever. He generally signed, as you see there, in red. He's also dated the picture. You can see it's dated 1880. What's particularly interesting to me and caught my eye when you brought this in because I saw the back of the picture before I saw the front of it, and I'm going to show you here-- is this label, which is the gallery label from the gallery you were speaking of. This is a typical label from a gallery in London called Frost & Reed with the distinctive "F.R." on it and the information about their artist. They've been using the same type of label for decades and decades and decades. And it's usually a pretty good indication that you're going to see a kind of nice English picture when you see that label because they're a very good gallery. They handled a lot of Cole's work. Can I ask how much your girlfriend's father paid for the picture?

About $250.

Okay, I think you made a very good buy because in fact, at auction I think today this picture would probably sell for between $4,000 and $6,000.


Not a bad investment for a few hundred dollars and a very nice housewarming present, I must say.

Appraisal Details

Kathleen Harwood Fine Art
South Hadley, MA
Update (2013)
Appraised value (1998)
Milwaukee, WI (June 20, 1998)

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.