Kyle on Antiques: Pictures, prints and a pastel portrait

Q I have had all these items that I would like to sell. Can you tell me what they are and if they are worth anything? I have had them for a long time, and now I want to sell them, but I don’t want to get taken. I’m 67 years old and could use the money.
– L.H., San Diego, Calif.

12MLKing.jpgA You sent in quite a large number of photos of various prints and paintings, however, most of them appear to be fairly modern (20-30 years) and not of great collector interest. However, I selected a few to review here.
The color bust portrait print of Dr. Martin Luther King was likely produced as a commemorative piece after his death. You might check along the bottom edge to see if there are any markings or a copyright date. This piece would have some value in the black Americana market, but since it was likely widely produced, I believe the value would be fairly modest, perhaps $15-$25.

12Rockwell.jpgYour other two items feature copies of Norman Rockwell artwork. The print showing the older gentleman seated under an umbrella was probably produced in the 1960s or 1970s and may have been part of a set. If it is clean, unfaded and undamaged I’d guess it might be valued in the $15-$30 range. The wall clock showing the young boy and girl seated together is also typical of mass-produced items featuring Rockwell artwork and also probably dates to the 1970s. My guess is that it might have a value in the $20-$40 range if in good working order.

17OctPortrait.jpgQ This sweet pastel portrait was found behind another picture in a frame I bought at a flea market. I cannot discern the artist’s name. Can you help me find out anything about it?
–D.L., Waynesville, N.C.

A This charming bust portrait in pastels of a young girl is very fine quality and certainly appears to be the work of a well-trained artist of the early 20th century. The date with the signature appears to be “1907” or “1909.” Unfortunately, I can’t make out the signature of the artist either. Without knowing that, it’s difficult to determine an overall value. Is it the work of a “listed” artist of some note or just a talented unknown artist? I can’t read the name clearly but it may be something like “Stark,” a name for a number of German artists of the 19th and 20th century. However, I couldn’t find any information that tied any of them in with pastel portraits. Hopefully further research will help you pin down more background on this piece. At this point I can only say as a charming and lovely portrait I would guess it might retail in the art market in the $300-$400 range.

8LadyPortrait.jpgQ I bought a framed picture at a garage sale. I didn’t care for the picture, and removed it from the frame. Underneath the picture I found this gorgeous picture of a woman. I only paid a dollar for it but would love to know more about it. I know it’s a long shot, but do you have any idea about where this lovely lady came from?
– J.A., New Castle, Colo.

A From the design of your picture frame and the style of the portrait of the lady I would say they date from around 1900. Such prints of beautiful ladies were widely popular then and often they were featured as advertising pieces for various companies, especially distilleries and breweries. However, if there is no specific advertising printed on the front or back of this picture we have to just value it as a pretty picture. Even at that, if it is clean and undamaged I suspect it and the frame might sell in the $100-$200 range at least.

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