19th-Century Dutch Folk Art Painting
It came to the family when my great-grandmother left Holland to emigrate to this country. The family story goes that it was a gift, we presume from the painter, or the artist, to her before they came to America. Later, this was at the home of my great-grandmother's, which my great-aunt then lived, and we'd go to visit her and she would be wanting to give things away, and my sister saw this and it was dusty and dirty and very black, and she's, like, "Let's take this." And my mother said, "Oh, it's too dirty, no." So we ended up bringing it home, and my father bought some cleaner and lightly touched the painting. I remember he just...
So he did a little cleaning. Thankfully, he had a very light touch, because it still has a wonderful old surface. Oftentimes when people clean pictures at home, they can do irreparable damage, so congratulations to him. Now one might ask, would this picture benefit from a professional cleaning? In my opinion, no. Leave it alone. We were attracted to it, I think, precisely because it has that sort of magic untouched look. This to me is a terrific Dutch folk art scene. I love the pallet, the meticulous detail that they put into painting all the bricks and mortar and all the architectural details. This is a portrait of a whole block in a town. The picture is so alive with activity. It has a lot of vitality. We see the two fishing boats, and it looks like they're about to offload whatever they found, and there are people lined up next to the fishing boats. There are people sitting in the doorsteps, wearing what appear to be Dutch caps on their heads. The picture is painted on mattress ticking.
And then the mattress ticking has been tacked on to what appear to be a series of pine boards. It's a little difficult to date the painting, but I would guess it was painted sometime probably a little bit after the mid-19th century. The way that it's painted on mattress ticking, that was only in favor for a relatively short amount of time. Some people might say, "What about the craquelure here, does that bother you?" It doesn't bother me at all. It's a tough call. I mean, I tend to be conservative, but I think at auction, easily, it's a $4,000 to $6,000 painting, and perhaps more.
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.
Summer Night Concerts
Relax with four amazing concerts from the Vienna Philharmonic and special guests.