Fine Art/maurice utrillo
I recently found an oil on board painting at an antique store. It is quite small (maybe 4' by 5'?). Can't remember much of the details, but I think there is a signature. At the back of the frame it says Maurice Utrillo and "eglise de strins" and 1883-1955. I think there is more information at the back as well, but I can't remember what it is. The frame looks old. They're asking for $90.
I fell in love with this little painting, however, not sure how can I tell whether it's real or reproduction? I found a few prints/lithos of the same name online all different sizes, however, can't seem to find any info on the original.
Also, found a website saying that a painting that looks very similar (they didn't have the name) just sold on ebay and that it's a fake.
There also seems to be one for sale on this website as well: http://www.jewelsusa.com/misc.htm
for $125. This one has the name and the signature.
Would appreciate any help!
'Eglise de Strins' has been reproduced in photo-mechanical print form since the mid 20th century. At a 1961 Booksellers and Publishers conference in Bournemouth it was credited as being one of their top selling reproduction prints. Some were also printed on canvas and given away in a promotional soap offer (when you collected so many tokens). So there are literally thousands of reproductions of the original painting which is owned either by a public institution or in a private collection (I suspect the latter), and has been licensed to certain companies for reproduction royalties.
The answer therefore is that the one in the thrift store is a reproduction. Whether it's a painted reproduction or a printed reproduction is impossible to tell without seeing an image, but I'd expect it to be printed. If you love it, it's worth whatever you're prepared to pay for it (I expect if you took a print to a framer in the USA it would cost around $90). It only has decorative value and as such has no real market price. You can always barter them down!