Dutch paint­ing is ‘charm­ing’

Waterloo Region Record - - Arts & Life - JOHN SEWELL

Q

. This paint­ing has been in the fam­ily for at least 60 years. It is on can­vas that mea­sures 49 by 59 cen­time­tres (19 by 23 inches). The orig­i­nal frame has a plaque with the artist’s name: H.A. Dieven­bach. The scene is of a mother with two daugh­ters — one sit­ting at a ta­ble with blocks and the other watch­ing with a pull-toy be­hind her. There’s also a cof­fee grinder on a cup­board and a weight-driven wall clock. Can you en­lighten us about the age, artist and value? Paul, Ot­tawa

A

. Loosely based on the ear­lier in­te­rior genre scenes by renowned Dutch painter Jo­hannes Ver­meer of two cen­turies ear­lier, Hen­dri­cus An­tho­nius (1872-1946), of the Nether­lands, painted sev­eral scenes of this same fam­ily in var­i­ous poses in the same room by a win­dow — fill­ing a de­mand for “Ver­meer­like” paint­ings.

This paint­ing was done around 1900, but to­day de­mand for them has waned and only the very best artists and paint­ings bring prices over the thou­sand-dol­lar mark. Your paint­ing falls below this mark at $850.

Re­gard­less, it re­mains a charm­ing piece of art.

Q.

I was drawn to buy this beau­ti­ful plate at an an­tique mall for $45. The wavy edge and colour re­mind me of a pie crust. The this­tle flow­ers and leaves are all out­lined with raised gold. The back stamps are “Doul­ton Burslem Eng­land,” a long num­ber and, sadly, a per­son’s name on ad­he­sive tape. It’s 23 cen­time­tres in di­am­e­ter (nine inches). I’d love to know its story. Mary, Mon­treal

A

. The Doul­ton com­pany had fac­to­ries in Lam­beth and Burslem as well as the very best ta­lented artists in both lo­ca­tions. Your cabi­net plate with its tan pal­ette and matte fin­ish was an ex­pen­sive, fash­ion­able line — other com­pet­ing com­pa­nies pro­duced sim­i­lar lines. The de­sign was reg­is­tered in 1888, and the plate was ac­tu­ally made with that de­sign dur­ing the 1890s. The ex­quis­ite artistry is amaz­ing, es­pe­cially with the in­ten­tion­ally faint back­ground flow­ers in blue and pink, which give a three-di­men­sional feel to the bou­quets. Again, sadly, won­der­ful col­lec­tions of these wares have been built in years past with no one con­tin­u­ing the tra­di­tion to­day ex­cept with sin­gle, ex­pen­sive ac­cent pieces. You have a trea­sure that will evoke plea­sur­able div­i­dends for years to come.

Q

. I re­cently ac­quired this piece at a thrift store auc­tion for $75. It is a large fruit bowl, 12.7 cen­time­tres tall (five inches) with a di­am­e­ter of 33.5 cm (13.25 inches).

The bowl has a flo­ral pat­tern of carved glass over­lay over frosted glass — pos­si­bly called cameo art glass. It has no mark­ings that I can find. I would be in­ter­ested to find out when it was made, by whom and what value it may have. It is a very beau­ti­ful bowl. Tr­ish, Kitch­ener

A

. In­deed, you do have a vi­brant piece of cameo glass. The carv­ing was done us­ing a pro­tec­tive sten­cil and hy­droflu­o­ric fumes. It was pop­u­lar­ized by the great French glass ar­ti­san Émile Gallé around 1902.

Flora, like your bowl with anemones, was a favourite sub­ject. You will find that most an­tique cameo glass will have a cameo sig­na­ture.

Yours is pos­si­bly Bo­hemian, from the 1960s, since the qual­ity is very good but not quite as fine as an­tique pieces. It also has a pol­ished pon­til — a sign of a more ex­pen­sive pro­duc­tion — usu­ally only found on ear­lier pieces. There have been many Asian pro­duc­tions in more re­cent times that are sim­ply poor qual­ity. You did well, and the strik­ing colours of your auc­tion wind­fall should dou­ble your money to $150.

John Sewell is an an­tiques and fine art ap­praiser. To sub­mit an item to this col­umn, go to the Con­tact John page at www.johnsewellan­tiques.ca. Please mea­sure your piece, say when and how you got it, what you paid and list any iden­ti­fy­ing marks. A high-res­o­lu­tion jpeg must also be in­cluded. (Only email sub­mis­sions ac­cepted.) Ap­praisal val­ues are es­ti­mates only.

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