Antiques: Painting’s Chips Slash its Value

This small seascape is typical of Whitney M. Hubbard’s work.

Q: I have had this Whitney Hubbard oil painting for many years and would like to know its value. It is small, measuring 8 by 9½ inches. It has a couple of spots where the paint has chipped.

– L.I. Sound by Whitney M. Hubbard, Greenport, Long Island, -.Y. (the “N” is missing) — does not hurt.

Hubbard was born in Middleton, Conn., in 1875. He exhibited at the National Academy of Design, the Chicago Art Institute and the Brooklyn Museum of Art, but the Great Depression hampered his career.

At his death in 1965, his art was not appreciated and sold for only a small amount of money. But art dealer Melvin Kitchin promoted his work, and today it brings respectable if not spectacular prices. Hubbard painted landscapes and marine scenes associated with his home on Long Island. He also painted some portraits, and we found one cityscape of New York City.

What it’s worth: In perfect condition, this beautiful, impressionistic seascape with sailboat might have brought as much as $1,200 at auction. But with the damage, we feel that would be reduced by as much as three-quarters. While we think the damaged spots can be repaired, the job will be expensive, and this will reduce the value of the painting considerably.

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