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Fine Art/Large Oil on Canvas 1922 Signed Painting


Miss Cindy,
         Good afternoon from Arizona. Perhaps you will be generous enough to attempt to solve what has turned out to be an ongoing enigmatic situation...Will try to be as brief and salient as possible....
         For a number of years I coveted an oil on canvas painting, signed and dated by an artist named M. Dawson. the scene is pastoral called, "The Thames", Image size is 39" x 26".
         Research ALWAYS takes me to World-renowned Marine Painter, Montague J. Dawson particularly because after WW1 he lived in Chiswick, London, almost on the Thames River banks AND, even after gaining fame, his signature, although somewhat flamboyant in his later years, STILL shows a sort of "Gull- Winged" affect to his "M".
         Label on back of frame reads, M.J. Allan, Carver and Gilder, 14, Duke Street, Leith, Edinburgh.Purchase details tell only of the painting being sold in Canada prior to my purchase And a $11,500.00 valuation statement, since lost !!!
         Is it possible that this picture might prove to be a rare pastoral landscape by Montague J. Dawson, R.S.M.A., F.R.S.A.
overlooked these last eighty-odd years ?????
         A trifle long-winded I realise Cindy, yet could be very interesting outcome.        My best regards to you, Johnathon

Dear Johnathon,

Thank you for contacting the Art Appraisal Firm about your painting.  The label you describe of course pertains to the framer, and a period hand carved and gilded frame tells me that there is at least a possibility that you may have an important painting.  It would not be possible to give any opinion about the likely authorship of the work without at the very least viewing a quality photograph of the work and the signature.  Even then, most appraisers would not feel comfortable appraising a valuable painting without personally inspecting the work.  Authentication is another matter.  This would be accomplished not by an appraiser, but rather, by an art historian or scholar who is recognized as the leading expert on the work of the Dawson.  

That said, from the information you have provided, I would say this is worth pursuing.  If you can attach a photograph of the painting and the signature, I would be happy to provide my opinion as to whether your work is characteristic of Dawson, and if so, researching the authenticator may be in order. Wouldn't that be exciting?    

I look forward to seeing your photograph.


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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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