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Doris, Antiques Appraiser
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 9525
Experience:  Antiques store owner 10+yrs.Best of City Two Years. Collector 56+yrs.USPAP compliant. Member AOA.Founded part of antiques, silver & art collection at local museum.
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I have a 36" x 24" original Kerswill oil painting titled

Customer Question

I have a 36" x 24" original Roy Kerswill oil painting titled Winter Day-Oak Creek. it was given to me and I need an appraised value as it is now part of an estate.
Can you give me an idea of the value?
Thank you
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Antiques
Expert:  Doris replied 11 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is Doris.
I have been an antiques collector, dealer and appraiser for over 56 years.
I will be pleased to help you.

You may have already seen this, but just in case you have not, I will include it here.

Roy Kerswill
January 17, 1925 - June 21, 2002

"Born in Devon, England, Roy was the eldest of four children. From an early age, his main interest was drawing and painting, which was recognized at an early age when he won a scholarship to the Bristol College of Art at age 11.

Roy served three years in the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm and saw much of the world. To further his travel interests, Roy was one of a four-man party from the U.K. that traveled to Canada in 1948 to carry out a three year adventure of North America. In order to finance such travel, the four had to obtain casual employment along the way. Two of the foursome secured such financially rewarding employment that they made the decision to leave the party. Roy and Monty Alford, the latter a surveyor, continued their original objectives, reaching the Yukon and Alaska.

It was during the second year, while surveying in the Yukon, that they made plans for the third and final year of their travels. This was a journey through the United States. Their diagonal crossing of the U.S., from northwest to southeast, was made by water because it was by canoe that North America was first explored, mostly by those in the employ of the Hudson's Bay Company and the Northwest Company in search of furs for the markets in England and Europe. They purchased an 18 foot canvas covered, cedar canoe, and on the 16th of March, 1950, put in on the upper reaches of the Columbia River where Roy served as bowman. They traveled the Columbia River across the U.S. border, down to Pasco, Washington, where they turned up the roaring Snake River towards Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Navigation of the Snake River was by far the most difficult part of their journey. It was a two month long fight against a wild river with rapid after rapid to negotiate.

Historically speaking, it is most likely the only time the river had been navigated by a powered canoe against its fast and turbulent current. They pulled their canoe out of the water of the Snake at Idaho Falls and portaged across the Continental Divide using a 1930 Chevrolet to Casper, Wyoming, where they launched on to the North Platte River. It was in the course of that portage that they passed, or ran alongside such rivers as the Hoback and Clearwater. The river today would not be recognizable as the same one Roy and Monty navigated. They had to portage five hydropower dams compared with the 15 in existence today. They continued on to the Middle Loup, Loup, South Platte, Platte, Missouri, and finally on to the giant Mississippi, finishing up at Baton Rouge with a final destination in New Orleans.

Their journey was not only documented in many newspapers along the way, but Monty also submitted articles that were published back home in England. As a result of the publicity, they found themselves being greeted and welcomed into many towns and homes along the way. Their journey took exactly eight months, terminating on November 16, 1950. It was during this journey that Roy became acutely aware of the experiences of the Pioneers, moving him deeply and subsequently becoming the subject of many of his paintings. The book he authored and illustrated, A Pictorial Story of the Oregon-California Trail was published in 1996, and was made possible by Harry Cornell, Chairman and CEO of Leggett & Platt, and his wife, Ann. The book is the result of research done over a span of six years, after traveling the entire Oregon-California Trail with his wife, Betty.

Roy worked in both oil and watercolor mediums. Some of his first professional work was as a freelance commercial artist, and then as an advanced space concept artist for the Martin Marietta Corporation in Denver. He was best known for his paintings of the Tetons and Historical scenes depicting the settling of the West to include Native American Indians, Mountain Men and/or Pioneers. He also painted the many areas he resided in: Colorado, Arizona, California, New York, Montana, and Europe. He loved to write poetry, and tried his hand at sculpting with his one bronze titled Early Warning System.

Roy participated in many art shows throughout his career, and was one of a handful of artists to be invited each year to the Wyoming Governor's Invitational Art Show, held at the Cheyenne Frontier Days - Old West Museum since its inception in 1981.

He said of himself: "I paint with the same need as I eat. I paint because it is an adventure into something strange and beautiful. I paint because it is pleasurable like smelling the rain, touching a child, loving a woman, singing to the wind or listening to the hushed roar of the wind in the forest. As I strive to reach and understand this thing, I become attuned or imbued with something very beautiful, and it is this exciting sensation which drives me on. I suppose I'm addicted to painting, to this inner urge to create and communicate."

When assessing an artist's work, appraisers must look at completed sales of works by the same artist. Art gallery sales prices are private.
We must then go to auction sales prices which are public. When using comparable work by the same artist, medium, subject matter and size are factors to be considered.
Appraisers most often use price per square inch of previously sold comparable works by the same artist as a measure of value.

Using this widely accepted method of assessment, I was able to determine an estimated auction value of $1200-1500 for your Kerswill oil painting assuming good condition and depending on sale location.

As for retail value, I have seen art sell for 4 to 5 times auction values depending on the tastes of the art gallery owner as well as location of the gallery.

In general, a private seller to a dealer or at auction can expect 30-60% of estimated retail value.

Insurance replacement values are usually about 10% more than retail values.

If you wish to sell, these are my suggestions -

The internet has your widest pool of buyers. To sell close to estimated retail try the following -

Try ads on sites such as

Some like where you can set up your store for free and the selling fees are small - 20 cents to list an item plus 3.5% of the final price.

Or list with no fees whatsoever:

In general, a private seller to a dealer or at auction can expect 30-60% of estimated retail value.

Insurance replacement values are usually about 10% more than retail values.

I hope I have helped you.

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Kind regards.


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