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Ask Doris Your Own Question
Doris, Antiques Appraiser
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 9962
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'm trying to determine if this Neal Butcher painting I

This answer was rated:

I'm trying to determine if this Neal Butcher painting I bought is valuable. Honestly, I purchased it for the Frame. But, the picture is growing on me
JA: Don't you just love the idea of finding something valuable in your attic? I do, but I think all I have up there is junk my brothers abandoned before they left home. Always a good idea to check things with the Antiques Appraiser, though. Tell us what else you do know and the Antiques Appraiser will be able to better assist you.
Customer: I only know the frame is old enough to seem original. The signature is on the bottom right hand corner. It's a large painting. Probably five feet wide by three feet tall, the subject is large white flowers with a pitcher in the center and either leaves or feathers on a dark background. I can't tell if it's oil on board
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Antiques Appraiser should know?
Customer: The actual painting is only four feet by two feet, the gold guided frame adds more. There are signs of age. Overall it is in good condition. I don't know what else to tell them. Thanks.

Hello and welcome! My name is Doris.
I have been an antiques and art collector as well as dealer and appraiser for over 56 years.
I will be pleased to help you. Please know I do not send pop-up offers. Although I am USPAP-trained, the assessments given here do not meet USPAP requirements.
Thoughtful responses take time. My responses are not instantaneous.

Photos are almost always required to give an accurate assessment.

If you cannot send photos, I can still work with your descriptions; however, I can give more accurate answers if I have photos.
Can you send photos?

If so, then -

Please send photos of the front and back of your framed piece.

Please send a photo of the signature.

You may need to use the macro function (flower icon) of your camera to get a good clear photo of the signature.

To send photos you may use the "ADD FILES" in the blue box link (next to "SEND") on your reply page or the "paper clip" found in the toolbar you see on your reply page.
Please do not send in ZIP format. The jpg or jpeg format works best.

An explanation of this method can be found here:


Site Help With Photos:


The Help service with photos does not cost extra. This is not the same as the pop-up that asks about phone calls. The pop-up is an extra phone call service related to the appraisal, not photos.

I do not send pop-up offers.

Kind regards,

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I'm attempting to use the add files function now. Thanks so much.

There is no hurry at this end.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Ok I think I got them. The back is a challenge. The picture is large and cramped in a tiny space. I can ask my husband to help me bring it outside if you feel it warrants a closer look.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I paid three dollars for it at a yard sale last spring, I intended to paint over it with chalkboard chalk. But...I decided the picture was interesting and deserved a cleaning. I hope I'm right.

I am not sure this is not a print.

Please take a good magnifying glass close to the dark color in the piece. Tell me if you see tiny white spots or a pattern of spots in the piece?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Ahhh. See, as a painter I feel like the texture doesn't match where I would expect brush strokes. More of what I'd expect in a print, not that prints are never collected. Here are some examples of the texture.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Would it be unreasonable for me to remove the unmarked and water damage kraft paper backing, to see if there are any markings on the board itself?

Some prints can even be done on textured canvases that imitate brush strokes.

Yes, this is a print; however, the frame itself is still worth about $150.

I wish I had better news.

Online auctions like eBay generally bring wholesale selling prices.

If you would like to sell close to estimated retail, some ideas are:

The internet has your largest audience of buyers. Place small ads on these sites or set up your own small store on these sites.

Be sure to specify local pick up only for large items. That way the buyer would be responsible for obtaining his own insurance and transport.

These sites carry antique as well as vintage items.
Accept PayPal only. - small fees-20 cents to list plus 3.5% final price.

These sites are excellent and more upscale but fees are higher. I only recommend them if you have several items to sell.

Or your nearest where you can list items for free. Accept cash only.

Ultimately, to obtain these retail values we assume the piece or set is in good condition and that the final value depends on sale geographic location.

In general, a private seller to a dealer, via consignment or at auction can expect 30-50% of estimated retail value.

Insurance replacement values are usually about 20% more than retail values.

I hope I have helped you.

If I can help you with further questions about this answer, please let me know before you rate me.

All my answers are quoted in USA dollars.

I endeavor to give realistic, honest answers in a timely manner.

Please do not rate me down because of system difficulty.

Please let me know if you have difficulty with the site's rating system.

To complete this transaction, please click the five stars at the top right of your screen and hit the submit button. Or if you see "review expert" or "rate expert", you can click on that.

If you using a mobile phone: scroll to the top of the page then click on Finish Rating, then click on the stars! This allows me to be credited by JA for my Knowledge, Time and Effort.

Rating me does not cost you anything extra.

Bonuses are not required but are always appreciated.

Kind regards.


If you would like to use me on any future questions, requesting me expires in a short time. If you type "For Doris Only" as the first of three words of the question, I should be able to help you.

Doris and other Antiques Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you for your assistance. $150 is still pretty good for a $3 investment. I think I'll clean and hang if in my house. I like it. Thanks so much!

Yes, a very good investment.

Thank you so much for the positive rating! If you have questions in the future, please request me by typing “For Doris only” as the first three words of the question. I should be the one to take your question.
Thank you again.