Holty paintings worth holding on to
Published: Saturday, June 15, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 3:30 p.m.
Q: I have two paintings by Carl Holty that I suspect are acrylic, but I am not 100 percent sure. The artist gave them to my husband back in the 1950s. I am thinking of selling them. I do not think they are important enough to approach Sotheby's, but I do not know where else to go. They seem to be on canvas board. I have been afraid to take them out of their frames, but you can see a partial signature in the corner of one. Both show elements of Cubism and Abstract Expressionism. Carl Holty was a minor figure in New York in the mid-20th century, and taught briefly at the University of Florida. He gets a mention in some art history surveys. Please tell me what you think.
— K.M., Internet
A: Carl Holty, 1900-1973, was born in Germany, and was brought to America as a baby. It is said that he was part of the School of Abstract Geometric painters. He produced a wide variety of pictures from nudes to biomorphic forms (objects that imitate the appearance of living things). Some of his paintings and works on paper have sold in the low hundreds, and some of his oil-on-canvas paintings have sold as high as $15,000. I think his works will likely rise in value over the next few years. It might be wise to hold on for now.
However, if you are determined to sell, the following two auction companies have sold Holty's work: David Rago Auctions at www.ragoarts.com, and Swann Galleries in New York at www.swanngalleries.com.
Q: Attached are photos of a Wallace Nutting picture. It is untitled but ink-signed. It measures 2 inches by 2¾. The backing is torn in some places but not completely.
— L.P., Internet
A: Wallace Nutting, 1861-1941, was considered one of the most famous photographers in America during the early 20th century. He produced thousands of photographs depicting rural American interiors and exterior country scenes that were hand-colored by women in an assembly line. They are a category of specific collector interest. The small version you have would sell in the $10 to $20 range.
Q: My mom called this week and asked if I knew how to arrange a sale of my dear brother's beloved guitar that she inherited on his passing in 2011. My brother purchased his Martin model #D-41, item #359358, new from the factory in its original light-blue case. It is in pristine condition. Do you have any advice as to which auction house or company I should refer my sweet 90-year-old mom? My husband and I appreciate that your gift is one you selflessly share with so many. Thank you for all you do, especially your work with Haven Hospice.
— K.B., Internet
A: Thank you for the kind words. All the folks at Haven Hospice are special. One of the big boys on the block who specializes in guitars is the Mandolin Brothers in Staten Island, N.Y. The website is www.mandoweb.com. Let us know how things work out.
John Sikorski is an Ocala antiques dealer. He hosts a call-in radio show, "Sikorski's Attic,'' on WUFT-FM (89.1 FM). It can be heard each Saturday from noon to 1 p.m. Send your questions to Sikorski's Attic, c/o The Gainesville Sun, 2700 SW 13th St., Gainesville, FL 32608-2015; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.