C. van den Eycken & A. J. Simms Paintings
Well, I inherited them from my mother, who recently passed away. And she started collecting antiques and folk art in the mid-'60s, when it wasn't very popular. And she's always loved her animals, so she kind of combined the love of animals and antiques with these kind of paintings.
Animals have been painted forever. In the 19th century, though, they took on two different styles of meaning. The first piece, on the right, the "Fancy Rabbits," as the artist, A.J. Simms, calls them, is really a very sort of straightforward, animal-as-animal portrait. And an interior scene with a lovely dish, and just really sort of captures the feel of the animals. The other piece, the wonderful cat portrait by Charles Van Den Eycken is the style of 19th-century animal painting that's about the animal, but also mischievous behaviors that sometimes humans have, as well. And Van Den Eycken is a master of that style and medium. He was best known for his animal paintings, his cat paintings, and this is a really elaborate one with the mother cat and the kittens and the jewelry box and the still life. The painting just has everything, and it's almost as if you could just reach in there and pick up one of those sweet little kitties. Do you know what she paid for them at all?
Well, my mother purchased the "Fancy Rabbits" in 1967 for $85.
And she paid, in 1962, $250 for the cats. And that was a lot of money back then, so she must've really loved it.
Wow. She did a wonderful job. The Simms I would value at probably between $2,000 and $4,000.
But the really quintessential kitty painting and animal painting, the 19th-century view, is the Van Den Eycken. And I would be putting that at between $15,000 and $25,000.
Really?! Oh, yes. Oh! (laughs) It's wonderful!
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