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Nora, Expert in Fine and Decorative Arts: Renaissance through Contemporary
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 12501
Experience:  Liberal Arts BA College Degree, Post-Graduate Christie's Education in London, 10 Yrs Art World Experience in NYC, President & Founder own Corporation. Member AOA & ISA USPAP Compliant through 2019
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We have a painting dated May 1897 of a lady with a book in

Customer Question

we have a painting dated May 1897 of a lady with a book in her hand, sitting in a chair, her dress is white with a blue apron and the sleeve of right arm is blue as well, but the dress is white. The initials are M Y W and it appears to be an original. My mom passed and we are trying to find the value, I do have a picture to send.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Antiques
Expert:  Tim in Antiques replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is***** is a pleasure to assist you with this question. Please send a close up of the signature.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have attached a close up of the signature, thank you so much for your help with this!
Expert:  Tim in Antiques replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. This looks like a portrait of Louisa May Alcott. Painted after her passing.

Born: November 29, 1832, Germantown, Philadelphia, PA

Died: March 6, 1888, Boston, MA.

The signature is in the form of a monogram. Most likely a woman artist of the period. The challenge is to discover the artist. Most 19th century women writers and artists went unrecognized.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have replied, I need an answer, please
Expert:  Tim in Antiques replied 1 year ago.

Please read my reply. I am checking my directory of artists signature for a possible match.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
what is the value of painting?
Expert:  Tim in Antiques replied 1 year ago.

The value of a work of art depends on who the artist is rather than the person painted.

So the challenge is to identify the artist. I will opt out

Expert:  Nora replied 1 year ago.


In general, artwork signed with a monogram is usually not identified and the value is then based on the quality of the work as well as age, subject matter, medium, size and condition. This rather well executed, and the subject is a pensive woman seated in profile with book in hand, which is desirable on the market. It is a watercolor and they sell for less than an oil painting and more than a pencil drawing. The frame is 'period original' which helps the sale-ability of the painting though does not add substantial sale value. It appears medium in size. On today's market, a fair and logical sale price for this is $150 - $300. You can, however, ask any price you please on an item you own, the key factor is finding a buyer at your asking price.

Please take a moment to leave a rating by clicking the stars. If you require further assistance, no worries, the question thread does not close even after leaving a rating.


Expert:  Nora replied 1 year ago.


Just checking in to see if you viewed your answer and if you are seeking further assistance?

Please let me know.