Peruvian Retablo with Frame, ca. 1750
This painting belonged to my grandparents, and they lived in Valparaíso, Chile, when they were married, where my father was born. And it's been in the family since then. It traveled back to London, and then made its way to Connecticut, and now it's in Tucson.
Terrific. Interestingly, this is the first time I've actually seen one of these alabaster paintings in private hands. It's a very rare form of art which originates in Mexico in the 16th century. And the artwork of that tradition actually works its way also down to South America, mainly in Peru, where the... Where sculptures are carved from alabaster. And that tradition is called huamanga. This is an interesting piece, in that it is called a retablo, or a painting which venerates a saint-- in this particular instance, the Virgin Mary, as, where she appeared in Spain in the 15th century. Her name is la Virgen María de Consolaciûn, and she was venerated in Jerez de la Frontera in Spain. This painting was most likely painted in Peru, and it was most likely painted to give thanks for a safe crossing to the New World. There are two different versions of the Virgin Mary, and the Virgin, Virgen de Cobre, or the Virgin of Copper in Cuba, is one version, as well as this version here, the Virgin of Consolation, where she is in a boat, in a Spanish galleon, as well as depicting the two Spanish galleons in the background. You can actually see traces of the Spanish flag, which remain on the top of the one mast of the ship. Unfortunately, the cartouche area is missing some of the dedicatory text which actually gives the story of how the Virgin of Consolaciûn was venerated. Nonetheless, this is a very rare artwork in its original frame. And, given that, it's a wonderful bonus, and the support being alabaster versus copper or canvas, which was a more traditional support for these paintings, places it in a very, very rare category. What do you think this painting is worth?
I have no idea-- I really...
It's tough to tell.
Because there have been no comparables when I've, when I've looked.
Exactly. Normally paintings of this ilk when they sell at auction, when they're painted on copper or canvas, which date from mid-18th century, sell for about $6,000 or $8,000. However, given the subject matter and the rare medium, I would give this painting a value of $10,000 to $15,000.
Thank you for coming in and sharing it with us.
Well, thank you very much.
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