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Fine Art/Painting Identification


Oil on Marble
Oil on Marble  

Oil on Marble: Label
Oil on Marble: Label  
I have an oil on marble, which I inherited from my grandmother.  There is a label on the back of the painting:  Harris & Sons, Plymouth England, with a date: 30.8.23 (August 30, 1923) and a number appearing next to the date:  610 18.
I cannot locate a signature anywhere on the painting.  It is possible that it is obscured by the frame.  The painting itself measures approximately 15 1/2 inched high by about 12 inches wide.  Part of the panel is obscured by the frame, so the dimensions may actually be a bit larger.
Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Hello Allen;
Thank you for both the question and also, the exellent images.
The firm, Harris  and sons of Plymouth was one of the leading firms of decorators and picture framers. It being established, towards the end of the 1790’s, and was a very successful family business.

I also suspect, that the plaque dates to the very end of the 19th century – but that it was probably re-framed, back  in 1923.
The  reference number  610 . 18 –  is  where 610; is the  type of frame and the number  18;  - that is the frame finish.
The plaque I suspect, is quite rightly a mineral based material, but more likely to be ceramic rather than marble.

However, the marble connection cannot be excluded, but it is more unusual - and porcelain is far more common.
Both the  finish and quality of the painted daffodil flowers and branches, is of an exceptionally high standard.
It is likely that indeed the ground is of porcelain, perhaps made by and English, or a German factory.

There are a very great many issues with the plaque, which will need the necessary provenance and forensic research, in order to establish the facts surround in this work.
Based on the supplied images, I think that it is a late 19th century 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  painting on porcelain, 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.
I myself would opt for either; Bonhans, Sothebys, or Christies.
A smaller, general auction house is not to be recommended is this case.

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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