This painting belonged to my grandparents. Dad (who’s 88) says they had it as long as he remembers. My parents also have another oval one. The frames are the originals. I couldn’t find any signatures. Helping them downsize their home, I told them I’d see if I could get a value for them. I appreciate any help you can give me.
What you have sent a photo of is actually a reverse painting. This means that is was painted on the back side to reflect on the front, protected by the glass. Reverse paintings were very popular during the late 1800s through the early 1900s.
Yours is a pretty common scene that was done in many different sizes and styles of frames. It’s called Castle on the Danube. Oval frames are usually done with a convex type glass (half round or bubble glass as some call it.) Lots of these were done and not signed, so it’s not uncommon to not have a signature.
What you want when looking to evaluate these types of paintings is, first, its condition, making sure there is minimal paint flaking away. Then the scene is important; the more scarce subjects and American historical sites would be of more interest as well. Finally, detailing matters. I have seen some with mother of pearl and other fine details added.
The value on one such as yours would be in the $200 range for a replacement value, but I think the market value would be a lot less and tough to find a collector for these days. This style doesn’t easily fit into this generation, so it makes the antiquity value different than the real sellability value.
Donna Welch has spent more than 20 years in the antiques and collectibles field and owns From Out Of The Woods Antique Center in Goffstown (fromoutofthewoodsantiques.com). She is an antiques appraiser and instructor. To find out about your antique or collectible, send a clear photo of the object and information about it to Donna Welch, From Out Of The Woods Antique Center, 465 Mast Road, Goffstown, N.H., 03045. Or email her at email@example.com. Or drop by the shop (call first, 624-8668).