Garage sale find: Oil pastels on sand paper valued at $900

Q I moved to Florida in the early 1980s. For a lack of something to do and familiar with collector coins, metals and some antiques and collectibles, I started going to garage sales and flea markets. This is about one garage sale find. Two very pretty picture frames caught my attention. The older wood and plaster type – all white with gold tones on the high points. Each had a little damage to the plaster. No problem, I thought. A little plaster of Paris and touch up would take care of that. The family pictures were faded away but the glass and back paper were still intact, so on a shelf in the garage they went.

oil pastel on sand paperSeveral months later, I bought some old prints that I thought would go nicely in the frames. So off the shelf in the garage and onto my work table the frames went. I put an old piece of felt on the table to protect the paint and plaster on the face of the frames. A neighbor, who was with me at the time, picked up one frame to look at the front and found more damage all over the front of each frame and a shower of termite pellets all over the green felt on the table. Sometime in the past, termites ate most of the frame’s wood hidden between the plaster and the backing paper! This I started to remove so as to save the glass from each frame. Surprise! Under each piece of the heavy paper were old newspaper and 25 sheets of sandpaper, plus the white cardboard and the old family photos of faded away people that were stuck to it.

oil pastel on sand paperIn my hurry I did some damage to one of the sandpaper sheets and the old newspaper. The images were chalk drawings on sandpaper. I had never seen or heard of it. The only way I could date it was probably before the newspaper date, the color of the sand paper, etc. The sandpaper drawings fit perfectly behind the before mentioned photos but two were in each frame.

I had three frames and you can see I put three sealed behind glass with newspaper stuck to the back. The one with a little damage is not framed. These were at a garage sale in the St. Petersburg, Fla., area about 1983-84. I still have them and know very little about them. -R.M, Largo, Fla.

A These pieces are probably oil pastels on sand paper and not chalk, which is an example of mixed media art. This is where an artist uses more than one type of substance to create the piece of art. The art style is known as impressionist and these pieces have a Van Gogh or Monet influences about them.

I use to live in St. Pete back in 77-78 and these look more like the style of houses that were found in the Clearwater or Sarasota area. I am assuming that the artwork is from the 1950’s and the artist is unknown. Still at auction I estimate these could bring $100 to $300 a piece. Thank you for your inquiry. 

Alan C. Ransdell antiques Just Answer free appraisalsAlan C. Ransdell, ISA AM, AOA AM, CA is an accredited appraiser of personal property, specializing in antiques, collectibles, decorative and fine arts, and other residential contents. He is also a licensed and certified independent insurance adjuster. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., Ransdell provides businesses, professionals, and the general public in north Florida with professional appraisal services. In addition, Ransdell works at JustAnswer as one of thousands of experts in more than 150 categories (including antiques and collectibles) who provide fast and reliable information to users.

Ask Antique Trader is a free valuation service for subscribers. Appraisals are personal opinions of value and are to be considered for entertainment purposes only. The values are estimated and are not to be used for any other purpose, either legal or personal.

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