Maurice Brazil Prendergast Color Monotype, ca. 1895
It's a painting that's been in my family since I was born, and it's been on the wall and I've seen it every day of my life.
And where is your family from originally?
And your mom, was she a collector?
No, she likes...
Just an art enthusiast?
It's a very interesting piece, and we had to take it out of the frame. We had a close look at it, you and I, together at the table. It is a monotype, it's by Maurice Prendergast. You can see his initials down here-- M.B.P. The middle initial "B" is for "Brazil"-- Maurice Brazil Prendergast. A monotype is a unique print. It's made by an artist putting colors on a copper plate and then printed through an intaglio press. Usually only one is made, therefore "monotype," "mono" being "one." Prendergast was a Boston artist. He studied in Boston early on in the 1860s and 1870s, 1880s. In the early 1890s, he studied in Paris, and it's in Paris in the early 1890s where he apparently learned the art of printmaking. He came back to Boston in the mid-1890s and started to make watercolors and monotypes of Boston scenes, and what you have here is a scene in Boston, a storefront. It looks like a storefront at night. Datewise, I would put it at about 1895. It's on a very thin paper, and you saw that it was glued down to the mat, which is sort of detrimental, condition-wise. It takes a little bit of the value away from this. It's something that can be conserved. Otherwise, it's in very good condition. I would say the colors are near pristine; they've held up very well. Conservatively, at auction, I would estimate it at $60,000 to $90,000.
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