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Doris, Antiques Appraiser
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 9544
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 an oil of a Paris street scene by Whorf together with

Customer Question

I have an oil of a Paris street scene by John Whorf together with a letter from Mr. Whorf to my father, written shortly before his death, wherein he explains why the oil, rather than watercolor was the medium he used. Painted in the 1930's the letter includes the paintings entire provenance (only 2 owners). Any idea of value?
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.

Please tell me the size of your painting, not including the frame. Do not remove from the frame.

Kind regards,

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
approx 24 x 16
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
well.......???? The reason I hate the internet is this sort of thing. I get waltz'd through the roses and 4 to 7 more $35 scams and no information. sorry i asked! -R.
Expert:  Doris replied 11 months ago.


Most of we professionals work out of the USA. I am in the Central Time zone. I am very sorry you have had to wait.

Just give me 20 more minutes.

Thank you for your patience.

Kind regards,


Expert:  Doris replied 11 months ago.

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

John Whorf (1903-1959)

"A native of Boston, John Whorf became a watercolorist known for his depictions of genre subjects and views of harbors and beach scenes. During the Depression years in Boston, he was one of the few artists whose work continued to sell.

He was born in Winthrop, Massachusetts on January 10, 1903, descended from a long line of Cape Cod ship captains, and his father was an artist and graphic designer. He studied painting at the St. Botolph Studio and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts School under Charles Hawthorne and Max Bohm and at the Grande Chaumiere and Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. Then at age 18, Whorf had a paralyzing fall from which he had difficulty recovering.

Whorf was awarded an honorary M.A. degree from Harvard University in 1938 and received a medal in 1938 and a prize in 1939 from the Art Institute of Chicago. He exhibited at the National Academy of Design annuals between 1945-1956 and 1958-1959.

Initially he painted in oil, but changed to watercolor. His first exhibition of fifty-two paintings, when he was age twenty, sold out. He traveled in Europe and the United States. Whorf spent the last years of his life in Provincetown, Massachusetts and was part of its art colony for many years. He died there in 1959."

Michael David Zellman, 300 Years of American Art

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 $14,000-16,000 for your oil painting by John Whorf and its signed letter of verification. Please know I used the most recent sales. There was an earlier one than sold for $30,000 but it was much larger.

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:

I hope I have helped you.

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Kind regards.


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Expert:  Doris replied 11 months ago.


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Kind regards,


Expert:  Doris replied 11 months ago.

Hi there!

I'm just following up with you to see how everything is going. Did my answer help or do you have more questions about your item that would help?

Kind regards,