Treasures: Tintype photograph is desirable

The size and history of this photo, and nice-looking people, are a plus for this tintype.

The size and history of this photo, and nice-looking people, are a plus for this tintype.

Dear Helaine and Joe:

I have a tintype photograph of Hiason Milton Finch with a notation on the back – Hiason Milton Finch Pope Creek, Ohio, Oct. 29, 1863 – plus a lock of hair tied with a string. Finch was my grandfather. After serving in the Civil War (captured and imprisoned at Harper’s Ferry) he married in Iowa and had 19 children. He lived to be 89. Is there any value to this item?

Thank you,

J. S., Bethlehem, Pa.

Dear J. S.:

There are all kinds of “value” – there is monetary value, sentimental value, historical value just to name three. And of the three mentioned above, this photograph has two of the three, and to a lesser extent, the third.

We are not going to go into a long history of photography starting with Albertus Magnus in the 13th century and fumbling our way through the various uses of light-sensitive substances such as silver nitrate to capture images inside a camera. But we will mention that it was Nicephore Niepce who managed to develop photographic images on paper in the early 1830s.

The Niepce process required long exposure times, but Louis Daguerre managed to shorten these times and produced one-of-a-kind photographs on relatively thick copper plates. His process was announced to the world from Paris on Jan. 7, 1839, and just 17 days later, Englishman William Henry Fox Talbot announced his invention of photo salt prints on paper.

It was something of a battle between photographs on paper and photographs on metal or glass. The “ambrotype,” which is a positive image developed on glass, came along in the 1850s. There is some thought that the name “ambrotype” was taken from the Greek for “immortal impression.”

The “tintype” or “melainotype” as it was first called was first described by Frenchman Adolphe-Alexandre Martin in 1853. The process was the same as that used on the ambrotype, but on a thick iron sheet (thus its other name “ferrotype”) that had been coated with a dark lacquer that can sometimes peel with age and destroy the monetary value of the photograph.

Tintypes came in a wide variety of sizes and quality. Most tintypes are rather small, and while many were taken in a professional photographic studio, large numbers were taken in booths at county fairs, at other large public gatherings or by itinerant photographs who worked on the sidewalk.

If the tintype in today’s question is as large as the photograph sent by J.S., it is essentially a “half plate” size, which is generally 4 ½ by 5 inches. This one would appear to be 4 by 6 inches, which is large for a tintype and a seldom found size. The photograph was professionally done, and the subjects are nice-looking people.

The image appears to be in good condition, and this coupled with the size, the historic information, the lock of hair, and the nice-looking people make this a much above average tintype. Unfortunately, tintype values are rather low for run-of-the-mill examples, but this piece is desirable, and this priceless heirloom should be insured in the $150 to $200 range.

Read the original article here.

Treasure Hunt

This piece was probably used daily for many years.

This piece was probably used daily for many years.

DEAR HELAINE AND JOE: I went to an auction not long ago and could not stop myself from buying this piece, even though there was some damage to the finish. It is marked “Hale & Kilburn, Philadelphia” on an oval tag. Any thoughts on my purchase?

Thank you, — S.C.

DEAR S.C.: Today, when we see a piece of furniture such as this one, we cannot help but think “hospital.” Every hospital room across America seems to have a modern version of one of these for serving meals to bed-bound patients.

But when this particular example was new, we think it had a more elegant purpose. Yes, it is still useful for the nonambulatory, but when it was new at the turn of the 20th century it was probably used for serving madame breakfast in bed — or perhaps when the lady of the house wanted to dash off a few notes while still in her boudoir.

Yes, there was a time when these overbed tables tended to bring to mind maids and butlers rather than nurses and doctors. They can be extremely useful and practical, but they seldom fit in modern homes where space can be a premium.

Hale and Kilburn was founded in Philadelphia in 1873 by inventor and industrialist Henry Hale and Cheney Kilburn. They began making parlor and other household furniture including folding beds and water coolers.

By the time the company moved within the city they had started manufacturing seating for railroads, trolleys and subways. They had even developed a so-called “walkover” seat that could be rotated to face the way in which the train, subway or trolley was traveling — we supposed because some people get queasy when they have to ride backward to the direction of motion.

The company was sold in 1911 to J.P. Morgan and again in 1920 to the American Motor Body Co., which made closed car bodies for Ford, Hudson, Chalmers and Maxwell automobiles. Looking at this piece, we see it was made from oak and stylistically it looks very much like other pieces of utilitarian furniture made at the turn of the 20th century, and we do see a bit of very late Victorian Eastlake influence.

As far as the finish goes, we recommend S.C. try cleaning it gently with mild soap and water. Then, she might try rubbing it down with a little bit of lemon oil and see how she likes the results. But please, no sandpaper and no harsh refinishing!

This piece was a workhorse. It was probably used daily for many years, and it has earned its scars as a badge of honor. S.C. must have liked the look before she bought it, and now would be a good time to appreciate it for its years of useful service.

As for the monetary value, we feel it has an insurance value between $150 and $200 — just as it is.

Treasures: Tintype photograph is desirable

The size and history of this photo, and nice-looking people, are a plus for this tintype.

The size and history of this photo, and nice-looking people, are a plus for this tintype.

Dear Helaine and Joe:

I have a tintype photograph of Hiason Milton Finch with a notation on the back – Hiason Milton Finch Pope Creek, Ohio, Oct. 29, 1863 – plus a lock of hair tied with a string. Finch was my grandfather. After serving in the Civil War (captured and imprisoned at Harper’s Ferry) he married in Iowa and had 19 children. He lived to be 89. Is there any value to this item?

Thank you,

J. S., Bethlehem, Pa.

Dear J. S.:

There are all kinds of “value” – there is monetary value, sentimental value, historical value just to name three. And of the three mentioned above, this photograph has two of the three, and to a lesser extent, the third.

We are not going to go into a long history of photography starting with Albertus Magnus in the 13th century and fumbling our way through the various uses of light-sensitive substances such as silver nitrate to capture images inside a camera. But we will mention that it was Nicephore Niepce who managed to develop photographic images on paper in the early 1830s.
The Niepce process required long exposure times, but Louis Daguerre managed to shorten these times and produced one-of-a-kind photographs on relatively thick copper plates. His process was announced to the world from Paris on Jan. 7, 1839, and just 17 days later, Englishman William Henry Fox Talbot announced his invention of photo salt prints on paper.

It was something of a battle between photographs on paper and photographs on metal or glass. The “ambrotype,” which is a positive image developed on glass, came along in the 1850s. There is some thought that the name “ambrotype” was taken from the Greek for “immortal impression.”

The “tintype” or “melainotype” as it was first called was first described by Frenchman Adolphe-Alexandre Martin in 1853. The process was the same as that used on the ambrotype, but on a thick iron sheet (thus its other name “ferrotype”) that had been coated with a dark lacquer that can sometimes peel with age and destroy the monetary value of the photograph.

Tintypes came in a wide variety of sizes and quality. Most tintypes are rather small, and while many were taken in a professional photographic studio, large numbers were taken in booths at county fairs, at other large public gatherings or by itinerant photographs who worked on the sidewalk.

If the tintype in today’s question is as large as the photograph sent by J.S., it is essentially a “half plate” size, which is generally 4 ½ by 5 inches. This one would appear to be 4 by 6 inches, which is large for a tintype and a seldom found size. The photograph was professionally done, and the subjects are nice-looking people.

The image appears to be in good condition, and this coupled with the size, the historic information, the lock of hair, and the nice-looking people make this a much above average tintype. Unfortunately, tintype values are rather low for run-of-the-mill examples, but this piece is desirable, and this priceless heirloom should be insured in the $150 to $200 range.

Treasure Hunt

A dramatic painting by a well-known American artist.

A dramatic painting by a well-known American artist.

DEAR HELAINE AND JOE: I live in the middle of Iowa where there is no appraiser anywhere nearby, so I hope you will be able to assist me. I am looking for some information about a marine oil painting signed in the lower right “Chas. P. Gruppe.” It is in the original gold frame and the size of the painting is 35 ½-by-41 ½ inches. We think this painting was probably bought by my husband’s grandparents in the 1920s or ’30s. Hope you are able to help.

Thank you, — A.N.

DEAR A.N.: This is certainly a dramatic painting. Some may even find the heaving ocean a bit stomach-churning.

Today, the internet can tell collectors a lot about what they own, but it can also lead them down a rabbit hole into a maelstrom of misinformation. It really helps to have a little experience interpreting information gathered online, and always remember to look for a second source to act as confirmation.

Charles Paul Gruppe was born on Sept. 3, 1860, in Picton, Ontario, Canada. His father, Henry W. Gruppe, died when Charles was 3 years old and his mother, Albertina, moved Charles and his brother and sister to Rochester, N.Y. Gruppe was a self-taught artist and somewhat of a prodigy when at age 12 he became one of the founders of the Rochester Art Club.

In 1897, Gruppe moved his wife and family to the Netherlands, where he worked with the Hague School and also worked as a dealer, selling paintings by Dutch artists in the United States. The Gruppe family returned to New York in 1913 just before the outbreak of World War I.

Back in New York, Gruppe joined a number of prestigious art clubs, including the American Watercolor Society, the National Arts Club, the New York Color Club, the Philadelphia Art Club and the interestingly named Salmagundi Club, which began its existence as the New York Sketch Class (later the New York Sketch Club).

Other than Gruppe, the Salmagundi Club included such members as N.C. Wyeth, Norman Rockwell and Louis Comfort Tiffany. It was founded in 1871, and many say its name was taken from a kind of hodgepodge stew that was often served to the members in the club’s early days. But it is really from a French word for “a desperate assembly of ideas, things or people.”

Gruppe had four children, all of whom were in the arts — one a cellist, another a sculptor, another a watercolorist. His son Emile Albert Gruppe (1896-1978) was also an artist who specialized in coastal and marine paintings like his father. Emile Gruppe was a member of the Cape Ann (Mass.) school of artists, and his work can bring strong prices.

A.N. might be interested in knowing she owns a piece by an artist whose work can be found in the collections of the Smithsonian Institution and the Detroit Institute of Art, among others. Charles Gruppe’s paintings usually sell for between $5,000 and $15,000, and his most desired works feature boats, boatyards, wharves and people.

In our opinion, the painting in today’s question should be insured for $7,500.

Read the original post here.

6 THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE BUYING VINTAGE FURNITURE AND HOME DÉCOR

Shopping secondhand is a great way to live more sustainably. Instead of running to buy something new when you’re in the market for new furniture or home décor, you may be able to repurpose some unique, timeless gems for your space, and save some trash from a landfill while doing so.

Of course, shopping for vintage and antique pieces won’t necessarily be as easy as buying something brand new. However, there are plenty of tips to help you peruse and sort through vast collections of pre-loved home goods.

Before you start browsing for vintage home décor, furniture, and more, here’s what you should know.

1. Take measurements beforehand

It’s best to be as prepared as possible before you start your shopping, as it can save you a lot of time and headaches down the road. If you’re on the hunt for a larger piece of furniture such as a couch, coffee table, or dining table, make sure your room can handle the new addition.

Lisa Cini, Ohio-based interior designer and president and CEO of Mosaic Design Studio, says “Items in thrift shops are typically out of context so it’s difficult to understand the scale. You don’t want to buy an item and bring it back home to learn that it’s too big for the space.”

Before heading to the store or shopping online, grab measurements of the space you’re looking to fill and have them on hand when shopping. Compare these measurements to those listed online or in-store—you may even want to bring a tape measure with you to do some measuring yourself.

2. Bring in a color match for reference

In a perfect world, matching furniture and décor is easy. Unfortunately, that’s not so much the case in the real world. Chances are, it’ll be difficult to find a piece in the same exact color or pattern as the rest of your items when buying secondhand—that said, it’s not impossible.

To make the color matching process a little easier, Cini recommends bringing the matching item in or grabbing a paint color sample to visually see it side-by-side with the furniture store’s collection.

Cini recommends, “You can bring a pillow without the insert to the store or get a paint deck from the local paint store for a more accurate match.”

3. Stay flexible

Start by browsing online to see what kind of style you’re looking for: Is it mid-century modern, American colonial, cottagecore, or something else? From there, see what stores in your area stock items of that style. Once you’ve got an idea of what you want, Fendelman recommends heading straight to the stores rather than looking to buy online.

Helaine Fendelman, an antiques appraiser and certified member of the Appraisers Association of America,” says “I am very cautious about buying online, and I think that everybody should be. You can’t always see the entire piece—you’re much better off buying in person.”

Local stores may have online listings of items that you can later check out in person.

Having a set idea of what you want can be helpful, but also limiting. While it’s important to know what kind of style, color, or finish you’re looking for, try to come in with an open mind, as you never know what hidden gems you’ll find in a local store or flea market.

4. Skip items with major stains or damage

Even if you’re DIY-savvy, experts like Fendelman recommend against buying damaged or soiled pieces. Broken, aged, or stained items can be signs of significant wear and tear, but may also mean lurking bugs.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), some telltale signs of bed bug-infested furniture includes, but are not limited to, rusty or reddish stains, dark spots, tiny eggs or eggshells, and pale yellow skins that nymphs shed. Bed bugs specifically may hide in the seams of chairs and couches, in drawer joints, and even in the heads of screws. Fendelman also says sawdust shavings in drawers and other nooks may be a sign of bugs making themselves at home.

If possible, be sure to give a good look at the furniture in question to ensure there are no warning signs of bed bugs or other insects, as bringing these into your home can easily become a nightmare.

It’s important to note that not all damaged antique furniture is a lost cause—some with minor marks or stains can be dealt with.

Fendelman says, “Sometimes, stains like burn stains can be polished out of wood. Sometimes, ink stains can come out quickly. A nick or a scratch can be quickly fixed, but anything else like the beginning of a split to a leg or a large gouge in the material, you shouldn’t do.”

5. Take into account the material

When shopping secondhand, experts recommend looking closely at the quality and make of the product. Not only will higher quality materials most likely last longer, but they may be easier to clean.

For example, real wood will last far longer than materials like plywood or fiberboard. Fendelman says, “If it needs a quick polish, that’s easy.”. You can clean it up and further protect your material by applying a wood polish finish to your wood pieces.

Upholstery is another material to keep a close eye on.

Proceed with caution when shopping for upholstery and other fabric materials—carefully inspect the item before taking it home with you—fabric can be a breeding ground for bed bugs.

6. Use common sense

Being an informed and prepared shopper is a great start for second-hand browsing. But perhaps one of the most important tools to use is your common sense, says Fendelman.

At the end of the day, if something doesn’t look or feel right about the furniture or home décor items, skip it and move on to other items or stores.

Cini advises, “If it feels or smells bad, it may not be for you, so trust your gut.”

Read the original article on Reviewed here.

 

Treasure Hunt

Plates like this came with either floral borders or ones featuring state Capitols.

Plates like this came with either floral borders or ones featuring state Capitols.

DEAR HELAINE AND JOE: Attached is a photograph of a Missouri Pacific Lines china dinner plate. It is marked “O.P. Co. Syracuse China.” It is in excellent condition with vivid color. Any information would be appreciated.

Thank you, — M.B., Calumet, Ill.

DEAR M.B.: We cannot help but picture Judy Garland slinging hash in the 1946 movie “The Harvey Girls.” The reality of railroad travel in the early to mid-19th century has been greatly romanticized on film — early journeys might have included no restrooms and no place to get a decent meal.

In the early days, railroad meals, such as they were, often consisted of rancid meat, cold beans and stale coffee. Food service was limited to “roadhouses” near where the trains stopped for water.

There are stories that the meals were so bad that sometimes there was a collusion between the train’s conductor and the roadhouse food provider that had the conductor call “all aboard!” before the food could actually be eaten.

Things began to change, however, after the American Civil War, when George Pullman built his first railroad dining car in 1868. Fred Harvey’s founding of the Harvey House chain of restaurants and hotels in the late 1870s also raised the level of food service along the American railroad system (essentially west of the Mississippi River).

The Missouri Pacific Line (or MoPac, as it is sometimes called) was founded in 1872 and went out of business in 1997. The plate in today’s question appears either to be a dinner plate or perhaps a 10 ½-inch diameter service or “place” plate used by the company in their dining cars. This particular one was probably sold as a souvenir, perhaps on the train or at the train station.

There are two distinct versions of this plate — the later one (1948-61) had a border featuring various state Capitols served by the railroad, while the earlier version had a border of floral motifs. Unfortunately, the plates with images of the various state Capitols are a bit rarer, more desirable, and yes, more monetarily valuable.

The plates were made for Missouri Pacific by the Onondaga Pottery Co. of Syracuse, N.Y. The company can trace its origins to 1841, but 1871 is probably a firmer date. Most people know the company by the name Syracuse China Co., but they have reportedly been out of business since 2009.

There are many collectors of railroad memorabilia, and a piece like this with a locomotive in the center would certainly be attractive to many collectors. If it had been the state Capitol version, it should have retailed in the $150 to $200 range, but the floral border pieces do not have quite the necessary pizzazz to command that much money. This example from the late 1940s should be valued in the $60 to $80 range.

Read the original article here.

Treasures in Your Attic: Prints purchased in Paris

Are these prints valuable?

Are these prints valuable?

Dear Helaine and Joe: I have photographed two prints for your attention. They were purchased in Paris, France, in 1956 or 1957. Hopefully, you can tell me if they have any monetary value. I am thinking about reframing them but do not want to do something to devalue them.

J. D.

Dear J. D.: Some prints can be very valuable, others not so much.

The valuable ones tend to be those done in small (often less than 25), limited editions, and signed by the famous artist who created the image. Of course, there are exceptions to this. Currier and Ives prints come to mind where rarity, condition, size and subject matter determine the value, which can be quite high and run into the multiple thousands of dollars.

John James Audubon prints also come to mind. The vast majority of these are worth very little, but the originals are highly sought after as are a few of the later editions, such as the ones made by Julius Bien, which are limited because production was interrupted by the American Civil War.

Now we come to the prints in today’s question, which were made from images created by French artist Elisee Maclet, who was born in Lyon-en-Santerre, France in 1881 and died in Paris in 1962. Maclet is considered to be a “naïve artist” because he had no formal artistic training except for some lessons from his parish priest.

In his younger years he worked with his father as a gardener, but in 1906 he moved to Paris – despite his father’s objections – to pursue a career as an artist. He had something of a checkered career in that he had to use his talents doing odd jobs such as painting dolls and props that were used at the Moulin Rouge.

But Maclet also produced scenes of Paris, and in 1923, he acquired the patronage of the Austrian Baron von Fray, who financed Maclet in a painting expedition in the south of France. Maclet returned to Paris in 1932 and continued to paint even though he suffered from a mental illness.

The Maclet prints belonging to J. D, were produced by E. S. Hermann of New York City in an open – not limited – edition. These Maclet prints are widely available and have only a small value.

Maclet original paintings appear to sell in the $3,000 to $8,000 range but these mass-produced Hermann prints of his work do not inspire much collector interest. The examples belonging to J. D. are available for purchase in the $15 to $35 range and we do not think their monetary value will rise to any great degree in the near future.

Read the original article here.

Treasure Hunt

The raised decoration on this piece is called "moriage."

The raised decoration on this piece is called “moriage.”

DEAR HELAINE AND JOE: This vase/bowl with lid has been in my family since the 1960s. I have no idea where it is from or if it is valuable. I am looking to downsize and want to sell it. — D.D.

DEAR D.D.: Unmarked pottery and porcelain can drive a collector halfway to tears of utter frustration when trying to identify the maker of a piece or even the country of origin. We may never know exactly who made this covered jar, but we do know with some certainty where it was made and what it should be called.

The first picture supplied by D.D., which was of the entire piece, told us the piece was made in Japan. The second and third pictures showed details of the pottery. They revealed what appeared to be semi-porcelain with a cream-colored glaze that has a network of fine crazing and some subtle brown undertones.

This told us the piece is Satsuma ware and was probably made in the Satsuma region of Japan, or in the towns of Tokyo, Kyoto or Yokohama, or on Awaji Island. This ware originated when the lord of Satsuma returned home after trying to conquer Korea with 22 Korean potters as prisoners of war.

The potters and their families originally settled in Kagoshima and Kushikino. But in 1601 they moved to Naeshirogawa, where there was a good source of white clay that could be used in their work. After much experimentation, the Korean potters created the pottery that is known today as Satsuma. We should point out that it is still being made today.

The body has a special name, but so does the decoration, which consists of raised lines with some gilding and what appears to be a little beading added for texture. This type of raised decoration is called “moriage” and was very difficult to make because it required semi-liquid clay called “slip” to be hand-piped through a bamboo tube to make all the raised detailing. Later, rubber syringes were used.

The piece has two marks on it, but neither turns up in any references we checked on the subject matter. One is probably the mark of the unknown artist responsible for all the painstaking moriage decoration, and the other might be for the person who made the ceramic body.

It is a shame that D.D. did not tell us the size of her piece because in Satsuma the most important component of value is the artistry of the design, but size can be a very important factor along with age and condition. We feel the piece is probably the size of a biscuit jar, but if it turns out to be smaller the price will be less than the quote and if it is larger the price will be greater.

If this piece is indeed the size of a biscuit jar it should have a fair market value of between $200 and $275. But D.D. should be aware that now is a tough time to sell because of the pandemic.

Read the original article here.

Treasures: ‘Wag-on-the-wall’ clock

This clock was made in continental Europe, probably Switzerland, Germany or Holland.

This clock was made in continental Europe, probably Switzerland, Germany or Holland.

Dear Helaine and Joe:

I cannot find any information on this clock. My mother bought it at an estate sale in 1960.

Thank you,

J. A. R.:

Dear J. A. R.:

We discuss certain aspects of his clock, but the pictures we were sent are small and it hard to see the details. This gives us the opportunity to ask those who want information about their antiques, art, and collectibles to send us good, large, and detailed pictures – because the better the photographs the better the answers (for the most part).

There is no question that this is a “wag-on-the wall” or “wags-on-the-wall” clock and that it was made in continental Europe – probably Switzerland, Germany or Holland. These clocks have an interesting history that requires us to go back to 1582 and the day that the scientific genius, Galileo Galilei, was praying at the cathedral in Pisa, Italy.

While at worship, the lamplight came by and lit the candles in the chandeliers and in so doing set them swinging. Being the consummate scientist that he was, Galileo is said to have used his heartbeat as a measuring device and discovered that no matter how long or shot the swing of the chandelier happened to be, the time it took to make the arc was the same.

Galileo and his son tried to incorporate the pendulum into a clock but failed. Then in 1656 Dutch astronomer, Christian Huygens managed to incorporate a pendulum into a clock, and this more accurate timepiece allowed him to better measure the movements of the stars and planets.

Before too long (in the 1660 to 1870 range), the wag-on-the-wall clock (so named because the pendulum appears to wag on the wall like a dog’s tail) was deemed not to be attractive enough to hang on the wall in many upscale homes, so wooden or glass and wooden cases were added.

In 1670, English clock maker, William Clement, introduced a pendulum that was 39 inches long and before long and with some other developments, the long case or floor clock appeared. Today this type of clock is popularly called a “grandfather clock,” but that name is like fingernails on a blackboard to us.

We believe that J.A.R.’s clock was never intended to be housed in a case and it was made much later than the clocks discussed above. In our estate work, we see wag-on-the -wall clocks such as this one fairly frequently. Joe remembers walking into a storage building not long ago and finding this clock’s near twin hanging on a metal shelf.

Looking at the pictures we have, we want to say that this is early 19th century but fear we cannot without better images. Our instincts (and experience) tell us this clock is probably last quarter of the 19th century. Now the question comes down to condition.

Are all the original parts there – we have our doubts that the weights are of the period. But here’s what is really our main concern: Does the clock still work? If it does, we feel the insurance replacement value is in the $450 to $650 range.

Read the original article here.

Treasure Hunt

This may be signed Moreau, but it was made long after his death.

This may be signed Moreau, but it was made long after his death.

DEAR HELAINE AND JOE: While reading an article in the MetroWest Daily News, I realized that I own an August Moreau lamp titled “Innocents.” I would appreciate more information about the piece.

Thank you, — M.G.

DEAR M.G.: Actually, we would like a little more information too. We do not know how big the lamp is, or how it is signed and where. We do not know how M.G. found the title of this work. But we have our suspicions.

Twelve years ago, a reader wrote to inquire about her Auguste Moreau lamp, which was 47 inches high from base to the top of the shade and weighed in at a respectable 34 pounds. She also reported a label on her example, “TL-1005 Moreau Innocents An Authentic Reproduction of an original French Bronze by Moreau c.1825.”

This is incorrect on one major point. There were a number of Moreau family members who were sculptors, such as the father, Jean-Baptiste Moreau, and his three sons, Hippolyte, Mathurin and Auguste. This particular piece was initially created by Alphonse Moreau, who was born in Paris in 1834 and died in 1917, making the 1825 date impossible.

The reproduction in today’s question was probably made in the 1960s, and we doubt that it was made from solid bronze. We suspect the material may well be bronze plated over white metal. Looking at the color we are reminded of the baby shoes that countless doting mothers sent off to be bronzed for posterity during the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s.

We should also mention the piece has several titles other than “Innocents” or “The Innocents.” The image is of a young boy whispering in the ear of a young girl, and the piece is sometimes called “The Secret,” “Whispering Children” or “A Confidence.”

In our original article, we discussed the notion that most people who bought lamps wanted a pair and that single lamps are not desirable items in the current marketplace. But as we revisit this subject, it occurs to us that this Moreau lamp is from the 1960s and was probably intended to be a statement piece that stood apart as a focal point in a room.

The second time around, we are hit by how this may have been a piece that was meant to stand alone. It may very well have been viewed as an updated sculpture that also provided its own spotlight. Alphonse Moreau was very much a proponent of the art nouveau style, but this “authentic reproduction” introduces varying colors and textures to the piece Moreau never envisioned.

The piece implies a certain amount of sexuality (oh, those 1960s!). The piece has become a little too French rococo, but this just makes it more interesting in a way. For insurance replacement, value this lamp in the $400 to $500 range.

Read the original article here.