Silk screen pro­vides set­ting in na­ture

Waterloo Region Record - - Arts & Life - JOHN SEWELL John Sewell is an an­tiques and fine art ap­praiser. To sub­mit an item to this col­umn, go to the Con­tact John page at www.johnsewellan­ Please mea­sure your piece, say when and how you got it, what you paid and list any iden­ti­fy­ing mark

Q . My hus­band in­her­ited this piece from his fam­ily. His step­fa­ther, a ma­jor gen­eral, brought this screen back from Japan after the war. We do not know if it has any value, but have ad­mired the hand work. The mo­tifs of a fal­con, a pheas­ant, cranes, etc. are beau­ti­fully crafted. There are four sec­tions, each 158 high x 55 cm wide (62 x 21 inches). The ma­te­rial is silk. Gretta, Al­monte, Ont.

A . Idyl­lic fo­liage and flow­ers in­clud­ing irises along with the birds epit­o­mize Ja­panese sym­bolic cul­tural art. The Aes­thetic Move­ment of the later 1800s was spawned by Western cul­ture dis­cov­er­ing and em­brac­ing Ja­panese art forms with themes of na­ture. Fold­ing screens were used to stop drafts, di­vide rooms and pro­vide pri­vacy as well as be­ing a calm­ing, mood-set­ting dec­o­ra­tion. They are judged on their artis­tic merit, age, rar­ity, size and con­di­tion. Your Ja­panese art work dates to only 1930, but they have been used in Japan for about 1,400 years. It is four sec­tions where most are just three and the qual­ity of yours is very high. The tex­tured sub­jects are as­tound­ingly re­al­is­tic in a set­ting of calm and re­flec­tive wa­ter. Its con­di­tion is ex­cel­lent and it can be dusted by gen­tly us­ing a hair dryer set to cold. This beauty will eas­ily com­mand $1,500. Q. This chest, com­plete with lock and key and 131 pieces of sil­ver­ware was a wed­ding gift to my hus­band and I in 1959. It had been given to Jean’s grand­par­ents on the oc­ca­sion of their 25th wed­ding an­niver­sary in 1929. The Com­mu­nity plate sil­ver­ware con­sists of 12, 10piece place set­tings and 11 serv­ing pieces, all in ex­cel­lent con­di­tion. Be­sides its in­trin­sic value, a sug­ges­tion for the worth of this set would be very much ap­pre­ci­ated. Lau­renda, Water­loo

A . You have a won­der­ful set of cut­lery in the Adam pat­tern — one of the most pop­u­lar pat­terns dur­ing the 1920s and for col­lec­tors later in the cen­tury. The serv­ing pieces pic­tured from left are but­ter spreader, sugar shell, sauce la­dle, berry spoon, cake server, tomato server and fancy pierced pie server. Your sub­stan­tial chest with two draw­ers and lift top is in per­fect con­di­tion and worth about $250. The cut­lery is in near-un­used con­di­tion — a must for buy­ers of sil­ver-plated flat­ware. This is a larger than av­er­age set well worth $350. Your gift, as a com­plete and orig­i­nal ex­am­ple is worth about $750.

Q . I would like to know what this paint­ing on board by Ge­orge Wil­lis Pryce might be worth. It was given to me by my mom who ac­quired it while still in the U.K. after the war (Mom as a war bride came to Canada in 1946). It is 13 x 18 cm (5 x 7 inches). The la­bel, with the artist’s name on the back reads ‘Cot­tage, North Hen­ley-in-Ar­den, War­wick­shire, 57, Eg­gin­ton Rd., Hall Green, Birm­ing­ham, Eng­land.’ Pam, Port­land, Ont.

A . Pryce lived from 1866 to 1949 and painted vis­tas of grand val­leys with lakes and rivers as well as scenes with a struc­tural fo­cal point such as in your thatched roof cot­tage or even cas­tles. Lo­ca­tions were of­ten close to his Birm­ing­ham stu­dio base, Wales and other British lo­cales. Pryce de­picted great de­tail in his paint­ings which can be seen in yours in­clud­ing the en­twined trunk of the front tree, the trel­lises, del­phini­ums and potted plants. There is a slight amount of craz­ing on the mid­dle right side of the paint­ing that holds its saleabil­ity back slightly. It is a small, charm­ing paint­ing worth $150.

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