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Fine Art/help identifying artist


The Blue Mosque
The Blue Mosque  

Signature or date
Signature or date  
I inherited a framed piece of art from my father, and I have no idea who the painter is. I am more interesting in the history than the value. It was framed/matted by a shop in Hendersonville, NC, named Barber's (I could not find a business there today) - this was probably done sometime prior to 1950.

The back of the frame has in pencil "The Blue Mosque", "Istanbul" and "Constantinople" on it. The portion inside the matte measures roughly 11 3/4 " x 7 3/4 ". In the lower left corner, there is something that may be a date - Possibly "SEPT 1946" or it could be a signature. The frame is sealed with paper on the back, I haven't cracked it open to see if any additional info is there.

Although framed in the US, due to the subject matter I was hoping you might be able to assist with this, thinking it may have been created in Europe.

I am attaching an image of the framed piece and also of the lower left corner, hoping that may help.

I do appreciate any info you may be able to provide.


Hello Elmore;

Thank you for posting the question, and supplying the very clear images.

On the basis of the supplied images it is not clear if the work is and original watercolor, or perhaps a print.
The image is that of famous The Blue Mosque also perhaps one of the best loved sights in Istanbul, which is in Turkey.
This very imposing  building was made, between 1609 and 1616.
Moreover the inside is also breathtakingly spectacular in both size and decoration. The  word "blue" refers to all of the tiles, of which more than 20.000 are used on the inside.
The present use, is that of worship, a school, hospice and a tomb.

Quite rightly the view, is painted form over on the other side of the Golden Horn - on the Asian side of the Bospherous.
The date as you quite correctly pointed out, is that of September 1946.
It is most likely to be painted by a local artist, from the area.

There are a very great many issues with the work, but which will need the necessary provenance and forensic research, in order to establish the  real facts surrounding in this work.

Based on the supplied images,I think that it probably is a real original.
There are some issues about the materials used, which will need proper examination.
There are quite a number of loose ends however, which all need a much closer examination.

Therefore, my advice would be for you to take it along to a good auction house near to where you live - and get a " Hands On " examination of the work; and also in order to achieve an authentication. The back also needs to be checked, in order to see what is under the backing. I think that possibly, more information is hidden there.

However, if it is really a genuine original, rather than a colour printed reproduction - then the auction house can make a very good assessment; as to condition and value, etc.
The average prices for those works all depends on; size, artist, quality, provenance, subject matter and condition- which are all highly important and also do vary a great deal.

The yellow pages, should point you in the direction of the auction houses in your location,
I would strongly advise, in taking it along to at least 2 different auction houses for a valuation. Second opinions, are always very beneficial indeed.
Furthermore; should you desire to take it to auction - then I would also advise on selling it with a fixed bottom end reserve - but perhaps with a 10% auctioneers discretion.

Selling without a fixed reserve, is definitely not to recommended.

Very good luck indeed at the auction house. I quite am sure that they will be able to help you over the last hurdle, so to speak!

Take care.

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D. E. Lombardo


I am unable to answer enquiries concerning objects, which are NOT related to the areas of Fine Art and Antiques. Nor will I; on the sole basis of any photographic images be willing to give any definitive monetary valuations, or monetary opinions. In such cases I would always advise on getting “real time” valuations and opinions from reputable and qualified auction houses, or third parties. In some applicable cases, I may perhaps give general indications of value, based on the presented materials. True valuations always need a direct “hands on” approach, with perhaps also the necessary research and verifications. Broadly open to almost all questions, regarding the majority of both European, American quality objects, which are related to both Antiques and Fine Art. This also includes modern 20th century designer objects such as furniture etc. My own particular comfort zone areas would be; The decorative Arts, marble, stone, furniture, ivory, bone, amber, ceramics and porcelain, sculpture, glass, silver and metal objects etc. I will also answer inquiries, and give opinions concerning Dutch 17th, 18th and 19th century paintings. Please note that I do have limitations and cannot possibly answer all questions, as the field is very extensive. VERY IMPORTANT and PLEASE NOTE: Please note that; providing > GOOD CLEAR and Preferably High Resolution < photo's of the object(s)in question, is vital. Pics taken with a cell/mobile phone, are of a poor quality and best avoided. Posting signatures only, or just fragments of an artifact - will only provide me with insufficient information and it is often quite misleading. So please; Do post good clear overall images, with your question(s). Failing to do so, may cause rejection, which is also a great pity.


Since the early 90’s I lead a team of very enthusiastic staff at a business, where have the following disciplines; Restoration and refurbishment of historical buildings and gardens, including interior design. The restoration and care of Fine Art and Antiques at our restoration studio We are also Fine Art and Antique dealers, besides being collectors ourselves for a great number of years.

The main professional organization of which I am a member is the BNA, or Association of Dutch Architects, which is equivalent to the US; American Institute of Architects. Affiliated to the Art Loss Register in London and the International Cites Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.

Villa Rufolo; The forgotten paradise on earth. Published by the University of Aarhus, Denmark Book reviews and articles for International Archis Magazine, in the Netherlands.

Since I wished to become a Restoration Architect, firstly I took my BA degree in Art History. Then after graduation, I followed this immediately by studies to graduate and become a Restoration Architect. Ever since then, I have been an established Restoration Architect and Antiquarian. Since a great number of buildings are also inhabited by Fine Art fixtures and furnishings, I also became absorbed by all the artifacts, which go to fill them and not only the edifices themselves. This and much more, was the reason for gaining an advisory post on the City Commission; For The Protection and Care of Historic Monuments of Amsterdam - Amstelveen.

Awards and Honors
Citations and gratitude; “From the Town of Amalfi” for the groundwork achieved in order bring back the Historical past to the Medieval Villa Rufolo and its vital role in the region. BA in Art Hisory. Graduation Diploma as an Architect & Antiquarian; and also practicing as such. I have also completed a 3 year course in antiques, at the VHOK in Amsterdam VHOK is translated as; ( "The Association of Fine Art Dealers In The Netherlands.")

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