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Fine Art/Frank Howell monotype


Turquoise Thunderbird
Turquoise Thunderbird  
 This is not so much a question as to value of this Frank Howell monotype named Turquoise Thunderbird, as I have already received an informal  appraisal, (11,000.00)  from the Frank Howell gallery based on pictures and information I submitted to them.  My question is......and not sure how to put this without any disrespect  to the appraiser,  who owns the gallery,  but would it not be in a gallery owners best interest to put a high appraisal value to a piece, when that very piece is by the artist they specialize in??  It just seems like an awfully high appraisal for a piece that could be picked up for less than 500 dollars.   Thanks for your time,  Jim

Dear Jim,

Frank Howell lithographs bring in the $3000-$5000 range when purchased new from the gallery.  Monotypes are not prints in the general sense, in that they are not multiples, they are one of a kind works of art produced by painting an image on a plate which is then transferred to a support such as paper or less often, canvas.  Monotypes are individualized works that are not reproduced multiple times.  Therefore, a monotype would be worth significantly more than a lithograph, all other marketable aspects of the work being equal.

It may be possible to purchase a Howell litho at auction for the price your quote of $500, but even that price would be considered a bargain for Howell's prints.

On the other hand, you are right to be concerned about an appraisal from a gallery that handles the work of the artist.  This is not considered an "arms length" appraisal, in that the seller has an interest in the price assigned to the work.  This is not to say that many galleries do not provide accurate appraisals.

I would have to conduct significant research that exceeds the parameters of this site in order to arrive at an appraised value that would be meaningful for your specific work.

If you need your work appraised for a formal purpose, such as insurance, you may want to consider contracting with a professional independent appraiser for this service.  However, from the limited research I have conducted on your behalf, I do feel your work would be legitimately appraised for insurance replacement value much closer to the value assigned by the gallery than the $500 mentioned in your question.

I hope this information is helpful.

Cindy Charleston Rosenberg, ISA CAPP

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Cindy Charleston-Rosenberg


Our firm provides professional written Art Appraisal Services for formal functions such as donation, estate tax estimation, or insurance. Within the parameters of this site we are happy to answer general questions about art. Examples of such questions would be: "What does the "e.a." on my print mean?", "What does a fraction on the bottom of the image stand for (example 10/200)", or "How do I know if a certificate of authenticy is reliable". However, we regret that we are not able to provide the value of specific works without engagement. Clients who would like to engage us to advise them about the value of specific works of art are invited to visit our website at The "fees" link provides specific directions for how to obtain an informal evaluation, or a formal written report, depending on your specific needs. We are an independent art appraisal company and therefore we also cannot help clients who are looking for a dealer or broker to sell their artwork.


President and Founder: Art Appraisal Firm, LLC Founding Partner and Fine Art Consultant: The Appraisal Firm of Pennsylvania Art Appraisal Consultant to: Museums, Attorneys, Financial Planners, Trust Companies, Historical Societies, Prominent Auction Houses, and Galleries. Contributing Feature Writer for Art Matters magazine, covering fine art, auctions, and antiques. Featured Guest Speaker: Building a Fine Art Collection, Ten Elements in the Appraisal of Fine Art. Proprietor: The Charleston Galleries located in Chestnut Hill, Malvern and Wayne, Pennsylvania; and Lambertville, New Jersey. Specializing in estate paintings and sculpture, 1991-2001

Certified Member in good standing: International Society of Appraisers (ISA). Business Partner Sponsor: Philadelphia Museum of Art; Woodmere Art Museum. General Memberships: The James A. Michener Art Museum, Doylestown and New Hope; The Philadelphia Sketch Club; The Chestnut Hill and Cheltenham Historical Societies; Glenside Chamber of Commerce. Volunteer Activities: Group Facilitator, Safe Harbor Children’s Bereavement Program, Interfaith Houses for Humanity Project.

Art Matters Magazine

B.A., Human Services, Antioch College, 1979 Graduate Studio Courses: Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1989-1991 Graduate Studio Courses: University of the Arts, 1989-91 Continuing Education: Appraisal Theory Changes and IRS Standards Changes: ISA, 2007 New IRS Tax Laws: ISA, 2007 Connoisseurship Seminar: ISA, 2007 Art History in Context: The Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2006 Philadelphia Library Symposium, Art and Religion, 2005 Art History Courses: The Impressionists of New Hope: The James A. Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, PA. 2005 Masterpieces in Context: The Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2004 American Indian Painting, ISA, 2001 Art Conservation Panel, ISA, 2001 Appraisal of Prints, ISA, 2001

Awards and Honors
Completion of the experience, continuing education, peer review, report writing, and qualifying examination requirements for the ISA Certification to Appraise Fine Art (CAPP) designation under the auspices of the University of Maryland. The CAPP (Certified Member) distinction is the highest level of recognition ISA can bestow. Certified ISA members must recertify every five years by demonstrating continued professional development in their specialty areas and must pass a recertification exam. Successful completion of coursework and required examination in the ISA Appraiser as Expert Witness Course.

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