Hovsep Pushman Oil Painting

Value (2003) | $8,000 Auction$12,000 Auction

GUEST:
I just picked it up a few months ago at a garage sale. I picked up about three or four paintings, prints that day, and I don't think I paid over $50 for any of them.

APPRAISER:
Really? This is an interesting painting. It's by an artist named Hovsep Pushman. Do you know anything about him?

GUEST:
No. I looked him up a bit on the Internet before I came here when I decided what to bring and found out a little bit about him, but I really know nothing about him.

APPRAISER:
It's signed down here, "Hovsep Pushman." Very odd name, Hovsep, H-O-V-S-E-P and Pushman. But he's an Armenian artist.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
He was born in 1877 and studied in Constantinople. and then went to the United States when he was about 17. And then after that, when he was about 30, went to Paris and learned the craft. Have you seen any other paintings by him?

GUEST:
No, I haven't. I saw one on the Internet and it was an object, it wasn't a portrait.

APPRAISER:
Yeah, that's exactly what's interesting. When I saw this, I was surprised to see the signature "Hovsep Pushman," because he almost nine times out of ten does still lifes. He was interested in Oriental mysticism and you'll see little Asian ceramics and little Buddhas and figures like that. Very simple, low-lit paintings and very, very popular. So when I saw this, I thought, "This is very different," and it's an interesting subject. It's actually an Armenian bride, it's on her wedding day.

GUEST:
Oh, is that what that is?

APPRAISER:
So it's a very personal thing for him, coming from Armenia. She has the typical jewelry there, the beads, and then this lovely veil, which of course, like our tradition, you don't take it off until you're married. He did a great job in painting them, too. There's a lot of impasto and it picks up the light. There's one thing about this though: it's I would have this frame changed. It got a little bit beat up.

GUEST:
Kind of beat up, right.

APPRAISER:
And it's under glass, and glass, some things are good about it, some things are bad. A lot of paintings I've seen throughout the years that have glass, have gotten through unscathed. So the mop handle doesn't go though it, some kid's tennis ball doesn't go winging into it or something like that. But the drawback is sometimes it creates a little bit of a micro environment. The heat gets in there, builds up the heat and you'll see this here. This is what we call a bloom in the varnish, where the varnish has discolored. I would get this re-framed, get the glass off and get it cleaned. A nice re-varnish will do wonders for it. So you paid less than $50?

GUEST:
Yeah, that was tops.

APPRAISER:
It will be nice to know it's probably worth about $8,000 to $12,000.

GUEST:
It is?

APPRAISER:
Yeah.

GUEST:
All right, brilliant.

APPRAISER:
It's a great painting.

GUEST:
I didn't think it'd be worth like that.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Bonhams, NY
New York, NY
Appraised value (2003)
$8,000 Auction$12,000 Auction
Event
San Francisco, CA (August 16, 2003)
Period
20th Century
Form
Portrait
Material
Oil

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