Folk Art Portrait of a Girl and Her Cat, ca. 1830
This painting was given to my mother by a woman in Louisville, Kentucky. My grandparents had an antique shop. And on one of the trips to gather items for the shop, she took my mother, who was then five years old. So they were in this house in a third-story attic and my mother sat down in front of a frameless picture and adored it. And the lady was kind enough to offer to give it to her. She was thrilled. But the condition of the gift was she could never, ever sell it. She could only give it away. So, sometime shortly after that my granddad framed it. And when they were buying items for the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Museum in Williamsburg, they approached my grandmother to purchase this painting. And she was ready to do it, being the astute businesswoman that she was. And my mother said, "No, no, no, you can't do that! It has a curse on it."
I love that.
Because she couldn't sell it.
And when was that? What year was that about?
It would have been 1938, about.
Well, this is an exciting folk art painting. It's on a wood panel, unbroken. It's a child. And usually children are part body. This is a three-quarter length child. It has a wonderful lacy bonnet, you know, with the little bows in it. But the best part is this. I know you call this this cat with the scary eyes.
But he is so terrific with those funny little eyes. And then all this hand-painted detail on this little stool. Look how funny her little arm is in comparison to her head.
It's just not in proportion.
Nothing is in proportion. Now, it definitely needs to go to a good conservator. There's something going on here. I can see something going on here. It's under layers and layers of varnish. And it probably should be reframed. It is unsigned. And I've asked a few of my colleagues. There isn't anybody that we can really attribute this painting to. But I think with a little research, you probably could attribute it to some known painter. The date is 1830s, so it's a really nice early painting. I would say in today's market, it's probably in the $30,000 to $40,000 range. However, since this is not a family relative, I'll tell you. She's not the most attractive child.
And you are right.
And if she were a very attractive child with the lace and the bow, she'd probably be worth $60,000.
Gosh. That's wonderful.
Current Appraised Value: $25,000 - $35,000 (Unchanged)
Keene notes that she consulted with a few other folk art dealers about the value of the painting as well. "We all feel it would still bring $25,000 to 35,000 at retail," she said. "That cat is still wonderful!"
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.
Last Tango in Halifax
Enjoy the third season of this award-winning series that celebrates life and love