mcelveen
11 years ago
Seek a conservator recommended by your closest art museum, have the inscription on the reverse examined. The conservator can give you an opinion about the age and authenticity of the inscription, don´t clean or rub that area. There probably will be a fee. Although the painting is lacking some qualities of Prentice´s well known works, the inscription should be investigated. Can you divulge who, or what kind of professional told you it wasn´t Prentice?



mcelveen
ssteal
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11 years ago
Thank you so much bluemlein!

Vietato
11 years ago
quote:
Originally posted by ssteal

I was told it is not a Prentice by a knowledeable gallery owner who liquidated 150 of his works in the 1980´s and continues to sell them at auction.






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ssteal
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11 years ago
I have written to everyone who was recommended by members of the Forum. Not one person has responded to my e-mails. Anyone have any other ideas?
mcelveen
11 years ago
here is a signature to compare to your inscription, I see some similarities, don´t give up, keep trying to contact a conservator near you or in Buffalo.
mcelveen
11 years ago
sorry, I´ll try to send photos.



mcelveen
ssteal
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11 years ago
Mcelveen,



I found an art conservator that worked in the Buffalo area for a time. I wrote to him and sent him photos. Waiting to hear back regarding his fee schedule. Thanks for the info once again.

ssteal
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11 years ago
Thanks for the images. I am no expert on Levi Wells Prentice, but I have

seen quite a few of his paintings over the years. While this is a nice,

early painting, it seems a bit unusual for a Prentice. While Prentice´s

work, like this piece, has a somewhat ´´naïve´´ quality, Prentice´s objects

are usually more solid and sit more comfortably in their space. This

painting, on the other hand, is far more flat than Prentice´s usual work,

and the objects appear drawn rather than painted.

Most artists evolve considerably over their professional life, however, and

it´s often hard to say what early pieces might look like.

Sorry I can´t be of more help.



James E. Hall, Ph.D.
ssteal
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11 years ago
Another contact, another dead end. I contacted Ms. Vara. Maybe something will come of it.



Dear Ms. Teal,

Thank you for contacting me and for sending all the photos. I suggest you contact Renee Vara at Vara Art. You can see their website if you google Renee Vara. They specialize in 20th c art but may guide you to an appropriate person. The number is 212-475-4404 or email info@varaart.com All the best , John

ssteal
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11 years ago
I contact justanswer.com and received the following responses;



Thank you for all the well organized images. They did reach me and your efforts are much appreciated.



This is an amazing work with the back inscription and the notation it suggests it is the work of Levi Wells Prentice (1851 - 1935) but the detail of the leaves, the handling of the basket, the way the paper is painted holding the fruit and the whole composition speak loudly that this is a work by LWP...and a very valuable one at that.



For the last fifteen years the artist´s works have been highly desirable at high end fine art auctions but his still life with fruits of all sorts have been his most appealing and most valuable of his compositions.



This one would have a current market value in the range of 30,000.00-45,000.00 right now at a major auction center (certainly on the East Coast where he was from) but all across the US where his still life work is highly appreciated and paid for in high sums.



The work does have some old restoration or repair done in the classic old style with a wax fill. It was professionally done for its day but today would be stablized, relined and now what is called ´´conserved´´ (a focus on retaining the original integrity of the original and stablizing the work for longevity) as the waxes do harden and deteriorate or bring mold etc. but this one looks quite stable and fine..from the images..you may see it differently on site. If their are issues that I can not see, you may want to show this to a regional conservator who could advise you on how to proceed with such a valuable piece of art. The cost of treatment would be significant 1500.00-2500.00 (USD) but well worth the investment if it were to damage its long term value.



I do know conservators all over the US. If you would like to know of a few museum professionals I would be happy to give you some that are trustworthy to work with you..or look at this, if you tell me the closest large cities to your home.



All my best



Thank you for the follow up. I appreciate it greatly.



My response was based on looking at 224 lots sold in the last 15 years from a subscription site that allows you to zoom in close and compare and contrast hands and styles...and yes I do not agree that his fruit are as you say ´´most of his still lifes are painted on a surface and the fruit is almost outlined and bold´´ His fruit is quite sensitive and subtle..that is why the values and sales are so high for his work. His hand on leaves and the baskets are distinctive..his baskets are not as astute and do stand out for this detail but this is a credible work..and the age of the inscription is early..and working in a museum we see a lot of graphite inscriptions..it maybe not be 1888 but it is very old. (not a later addition to sell a piece)



I have a very detail oriented eye and I don´t know why this would be questioned so highly by this Shannon but I disagree. The composition is similar on Pallette Museum and it would look to be a copy of this if anything...the quality, execution is all not up to the quality of yours...in comparing those two works..you have the master piece and this is a distant relative. (I can not say why there are two out there but the artist was prolific and very regional in his work so he was certainly known and appreciated in his day...he was an art teacher too) As you note, this fits the period of his still life work too.



I would highly encourage you to pursue this authenticity by looking at original works by the artist next to yours. (As well, think about the construction and the details that add clues and a signature of an artist - comparing details such as the canvas (what kind, the size), the stretcher, corner joints, how the paint is applied, thickness, and way it reacts to these old restorations over time, if they have some of the same type of repairs)



You are lucky that there are many museums that hold the artists work so you would just need to call the closest curator to one of your personal options in locations that you list above. Here are the museums that hold Prentice paintings, call and talk to their collections departments or curatorial team (emails are often lost so a call is most useful if you can get through) and make an appointment to meet once you find a collection containing a good amount of his paintings...or still life works. A worthy project for sure.



She pointed me to a number of museums and I spoke to a curator at one who is going to examine the photos and also sent the photos to a curator at another museum. I hope to hear back from them next week.

ssteal
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11 years ago
Vietato:



You are correct. I used a pay an expert service just to see what the response would be, as it was not very expensive to inquire. She was the only ´´expert´´ who responded. I didn´t have a choice of people to ask. I believe when you say you have a question about fine art for instance, it goes to a certain group of people in that field and you receive a response from one person. The good thing was she directed me towards a number of museum specialists. I don´t know how to photo share, but if you would like to see more photos and you are able to post them, them, e-mail me at ssteal@knology.net and I can send you numerous photos.



Regards,



ssteal
Vietato
11 years ago
ssteal, couldn´t you provide us with some larger photos, so we can try to follow the assessments from the justanswer person in particular?



Her wording and style is in accordance with services getting paid for answers, and when I visited the site, I see that it´s the way it works: several experts can answer, and you pay for the answer you like.

And she surely knows how to give you good answers (35-50,000.00 $) [;)]

But she also refers to only one painting from Palettemuseum. I hope that by ´´the distant sibling´´ she means the one from Connecticut. But didn´t she see both?



I think yours and the one from Wales are very close in style and quality, but please put up a larger photo (maybe through a file sharing service) so we can make a fair judgment.



Regards.

Vietato



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ssteal
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11 years ago
Vietato,Thanks for taking the time to look at the photos. As you say, it may not be in the top range. Actually, once a question is answered by the service, the question is closed out. Unless I want to pay to ask the same question to a different expert, what was told to me is all I get. Since I paid only $100 for the painting, any range above that is good by me. I can´t wait to hear back from the museums and let you know what was said. Even if it is worth what the CT. painting is being sold for, I would be happy. My painting is a much better work, in my opinion.Thanks,ssteal
Vietato
11 years ago
I think ´´justanswers´´ works so, that if you do not accept the first answer, the question will be open again for other ´´experts´´. That encourages them to give answers which makes you happy.



I feel confident that even if your painting should be by Prentice, it will not be in the top range quoted. But I only know this artist from photos on auctions that I looked at, so you will hopefully get some objective answers from the museums that you have approached.



Regards,

Vietato



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bluemlein
11 years ago
what was lying on top of it that created those bad cracks along the stretcher lines, i wonder?
TLWilliams
11 years ago
Email kenperenyi@yahoo.com - he is a known forger of Prentice. I suspect that one, or more of these could be his.



Oranges 2 (Connecticut) is a modern crap copy and defo not Prentice. Not even up to Perenyi´s standard.



Oranges 1 - Highly suspicious with a W&N canvas and Welsh framer!! Possible Perenyi.



Yours looks as good as Oranges 1. And I agree, the same hand. Same varnish etc. I´d bet ten bucks Oranges 1 is painted over a British picture. W.C. Roberts were in business at the end of the 19th century - although Prentice had an English wife, I don´t think there´s any evidence to suggest he visited Britain. And if he had visited Britain, why would he go to Swansea to get a painting framed? Why would he even bother painting a still life painting in the UK? If you´re an artist, the reason you travel is to paint the scenery. If you could even get oranges in Swansea in the late 19th century they´d have been expensive and probably rotten! Our still life painters from the same period (Oliver Clare etc) painted Plums/Apples/Strawberries because we can grow those. The other scenario is that someone bought a Prentice from the USA, took it back to Swansea got it framed and then took it back to the USA. Long shot at best.



To me, none of them look like his work. And if I were a forger, Prentice is exactly who I´d target.





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