Sikorski’s Attic: Beautiful Original Painting Needs Cleaning to Be Properly Appreciated | Home and outdoor
Dear John: This painting in the photo had been in my parents’ basement for years. I want to know if it’s valuable.
I’m thinking of selling it, but I don’t know where I would go to sell it. Can you please give me information about this? —VN, Internet
Dear NV: I appreciate good photographs. I can see that the artist’s signature on the bottom left is RA Borstel.
For a time he worked for an organization that paid him and other artists to produce dramatic paintings of sailing ships in white seas for the decorative trade. Later he worked for himself producing paintings of sailboats for ship captains and shipowners.
The painting is signed and dated 1918 just below the signature at the bottom left. This date would be that of the time when he worked on his own account and produced paintings for merchant sailing shipowners.
Skansen.1 is the name of the ship. The information in the lower right corner of the table is likely the company that owned the merchant ship. Some of Borstel’s paintings have sold for between $2,000 and $3,000.
I can see the paint has some condition issues and needs cleaning. It would be a good idea to have the painting properly restored and kept for some time. Chances are that the demand for this artist’s paintings will increase over the next few years.
I suggest you contact Margaret Watts, a well-known local artist who offers oil painting restoration. The phone number is 352-629-4674.
Send a photo after restoring it for comparison.
Dear John: I found your information online. I searched and searched the internet for a baby piano as beautiful as mine and I couldn’t find anything like it!
Do you know its value by any chance? Please see attached photos. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide! —LR, internet
Dear LR: Piano babies were made to help hold in place the beautiful piano shawls that were used to cover and decorate pianos in the Victorian era. Piano babies were produced by all notable porcelain makers in Europe in mass quantities during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Originals made during this time will sell for between $100 and $300, sometimes more if made by notable German manufacturers. Good quality reproductions have been produced in large quantities over the past 30 plus years.
The one you have is not unusual. The photo you sent is clear. I can see that much of the surface is quite dirty. This is a created dirty look that is applied to the baby piano to give it an aged look.
In my opinion, you have a reproduction of no interest to serious collectors. The potential dollar value is taken as taken.
John Sikorski has been a professional in the antique trade for over 30 years. Send your questions to Sikorski’s Attic, PO Box 2513, Ocala, FL 34478 or [email protected]