What's It Worth? A Case of Sketchy Provenance
In the world of miniature provenance, this should be a real winner! It is an example of American miniature art and even has handwritten provenance. Add to that it is early American, circa 1840, and is of Southern origins. Southern-state items tend to bring a huge premium among collectors.
In spite of all this, the problem is the family provenance is sketchy. The owners know their great-great-great-great-great grandfather was a professor in Charleston, as has been carefully annotated on the back and the frame; but it is almost unreadable. We love to research, and dealers and collectors enjoy trying to crack the signatures of such pieces; but all we know for sure is he was a professor and his middle name was something like Husser. His first name looks like Pinxl or Pinyl, and then Dickman or Dickson.
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