George G. Kilburne Watercolor

Value (2004) | $7,000 Auction$9,000 Auction

My great-grandmother, her part of the family came down in the 1870s from New York City and this came with them. And so it went from them to my grandmother to my mother. And when she downsized to a very small house, I took this for my house because I have loved this ever since I was a child.

It's a wonderful painting and it's a really very, very high-style, English Victorian painting by the artist George Kilburne. We can see the signature on the lower left. It's in great condition, so all of those ancestors kept it in a nice, dark place, because there's very little fading. In the 19th century, England was expanding throughout the world, and one of the things they did was to bring back part of those adventures to London, to their homes. And that's why in the 19th century you see all these wonderful hothouses filled with these exotic flowers brought back from India and all parts of the globe, flowers that could never possibly survive an English winter, spring or summer, but inside they managed to do all right.

Right, they're beautiful.

It's a very, very beautiful example of Kilburne's work, and Kilburne was a very important British Victorian watercolorist.

I didn't know that. Okay, see, I looked and couldn't find... I just didn't look hard enough.

He was born in 1839, he died in 1924, and a lot of the watercolors that he did were costume pieces of the 17th century. So the combination of the great condition of the piece, the beauty of the painting-- the great flowers, the attractive woman-- and the fact that it is a real-time Victorian piece I think make it a more valuable Kilburne piece, and I would value it between $7,000 and $9,000.

Wow. My mother's going to want it back. (chuckles)

Appraisal Details

Colleene Fesko Works of Art
Boston, MA
Appraised value (2004)
$7,000 Auction$9,000 Auction
Memphis, TN (July 31, 2004)

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