Painting bought for $5 at yard sale could be worth hundreds
Published: Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, September 12, 2013 at 9:14 a.m.
Q: Last weekend I went to an estate sale in Ocala, and noticed an oil painting on the wall marked $10. It was framed, and had been purchased in an art gallery in Princeton, N.J. It is a still life of flowers in a vase. The artist's name is Hilda Rubin. I ended up purchasing the painting, frame and all, for $5. Can you tell me what the value of the painting is?
— M.G., Ocala
A: There is a little information available about the artist Hilda Rubin. It is said that she was a Chicago-based artist. Rubin was active during the mid-20th century, painting in abstract and cubist styles. She produced beach scenes, nudes, genre and still lifes. Currently, recorded auction prices range in the low hundreds. No doubt you got a bargain.
Q: I was wondering if you can help me with this Lincoln picture that I have. By way of an inheritance, I acquired this photo. I believe it to be a picture of a mock-up of the Lincoln Memorial done by Daniel Chester French. It looks like, maybe, it was made from clay, and it appears to be sitting on a base in the picture. On the back in pencil it says "Lincoln" and "D.C. French, sc." That means the photo was done between 1914 when the memorial was commissioned, and 1922 when the actual memorial was opened to the public.
My mother left me this when she died, and she received it in an inheritance from American sculptor John Amore. I am sure there is a better place for this photo than the box it has been in since my mom died many years ago. Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated.
— L.B., Internet
A: There is, of course, large interest in Lincoln memorabilia. Perhaps you can discover more information about your photograph by contacting those interested in the category. Lincolniana is the category, and there are many clubs. Just Google the name and follow the yellow brick road. Good luck.
Q: In 1952, my husband was serving in the Air Force in Germany and purchased several Marklin toy trains. He was always going to set up a display of them, but never did. These are all in the original boxes and even are wrapped in the original paper. I would like to send these to auction. Do you know of an auction house that has a specialized auction for toy trains?
— A.A., Gainesville
A: There is considerable collector interest in Marklin toy trains. It is good they are in the original boxes and not used. It will positively affect dollar value. I suggest you contact Morphy Auctions. They specialize in toy trains. The website is www.morphyauctions.com. The phone number is 717-335-3435. Good luck, and let us know how things work out.
Q: I purchased an old dresser approximately 25 years ago from a family named Jackson in Rochelle. I never really paid much attention to the dresser in detail until I was getting ready to paint it. When I pulled all of the drawers out, I found an oil painting nailed on as a backboard for the dresser. The picture is definitely not a Florida scene. When researching the family and Rochelle, I found out that the family is a direct descendant of Stonewall Jackson, and that most of the founding families of Rochelle came from South Carolina. I would like to know what you suggest I do at this point, as I have stopped any restorative action, nor have I removed the painting.
— K.M., Internet
A: For starters, take several good, clear photographs of the chest and painting. Check to see the material the painting is on, and how it is attached to the chest. Then, perhaps I can help.
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.
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