Treasures: Grandfather’s Pictures are Attractive Finds

John Bradshall Crandall’s “Pretty Polly” has great visual impact.

Dear Helaine and Joe: I have attached photographs of a couple of pictures in their original frames that belonged to my grandfather.

I am curious if they are worth anything. One is “Pretty Polly” by Bradshaw Krandell and the other is a boy and girl by George Iverd.

— C.N.

Answer: These were your grandfather’s and they are also very attractive, so they are worth something even if it is only sentimental value.

We are going to start by addressing the image titled “Pretty Polly” and signed by Bradshaw Crandell (not Krandell). John Bradshaw Crandell was born in Glen Falls, N.Y., and became known as the “artist of the stars.” Carole Lombard, Veronica Lake and Lana Turner posed for him, as did Judy Garland and Bette Davis.

Crandell was primarily an illustrator who began his career in 1921 with an ad for Lorraine hair nets, which were sold exclusively at F. W. Woolworth. That same year, he created a cover for Judge magazine. He established John Bradshaw Crandell Studios in 1925 but dropped his first name from the business name around 1935.

He was something of a pin-up artist and did some calendar work, but he also did oil on canvas portraits and poster work for 20th Century Fox. He created some nudes, notably “Water Nymphs,” and he did several different images of a woman with a colorful parrot, of which “Pretty Polly” is a wonderful example.

It is unfortunate C.N. did not tell us the size of her piece, but we suspect it was probably created in the 1930s or 1940s and would retail in the $65 to $85 range if it is in good, undamaged condition. Any unsightly damage whatsoever could reduce the value below the $10 range. It should be mentioned Crandell also did work under the pseudonym “Barclay Grubb.”

The other piece is signed by Eugene Iverd, the pseudonym for George Erickson (1893-1936), an illustrator, painter and very successful teacher. He is best known for his cover art done for Curtis Publishing. He created 29 covers for the Saturday Evening Post, but his covers can also be found on issues of McCall’s and Ladies’ Home Journal, among others.

Iverd/Erickson did commercial illustrations for many famous American companies, including Winchester Western, Pure Oil and Monarch Foods. He came to Erie in 1926, where he worked at Academy High School.

Iverd/Erickson is known for depictions of the joys and wholesomeness of childhood. He used the children of Erie as his models. This image of a sunny little girl dressed in a vividly yellow dress placing a flower in the overalls of a barefooted young boy makes the viewer long for simpler, purer times.

We must assume this is a print probably made between about 1926 and the artist’s untimely death in 1936. The value of this as a print is in the $50 to $75 range. In the highly unlikely event this is an original, the value would be much higher.

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