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Fine Art/Artist unknown of old paintings

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Hi there,
My step-dad (originally from Holland) has a nicely framed example of some pen and ink illustrations that depict areas of old Netherlands. They were prints on menus from BOAC and/or KLM aircraft back in the 1950s or 1960s collected over a period of time. They were subsequently put into the frame you can see in one of the pictures attached. I've unfortunately had to photograph them inside the frame and haven't been all that successful in getting rid of the reflections on the glass. I hope you can see them okay. I've taken a close-up of the signature but can't quite work out the name - it looks like Anton Greck to me. I've Googled the name and variants of it with no success. Am very interested to know if you recognise any of the illustrations and/or the artist's name. If so, can you give me any background information on him/her as I'm interested to know the origins of those lovely works.
Many thanks,
Lyn

Answer
Hello Lyn, and thank you so much for all of the very good photo's

Thank you for the question about the  Dutch an artist called  Anton F.  Piek (1895-1987.)

As an  artist/illustrator, Anton  Piek is very well known inside the Netherlands.
But perhaps outside of his native land , he is far  less  far less know.
He was  primairily working  as an art teacher in Holland - between 1920 and 1960.
Anton Piek, devloped a  rather  eccentric style - based on fairy tales, and a great nostalgia for the Victorian world  of Charles Dickens characters and fairly tales.
His works – they  covered children’s illustrations for different stories, calendars, books, birthday cards - and such like.

He experimented with many kinds of  mediums for  his artistic expression, including  the use of etchings and prints, but also a great many  illustrations of his were finished in ink, and also as colored lithographs.

However, he is  well known for his images of nature - and the more naturalistic approaches to recording daily life as would be found in great era’s of  the Victorian past.
It was during the Nazi occupation of the second world war - that he worked  in Holland for the Dutch resistance. Here, he channelled his  artistic skills to forge fake documents for allied aircrews which had been shot down - and other documents to provide safe conduct, or otherwise  to assist the allies.

During his long career, he has won a great acclaims for his works, and in 1952 he also designed a kind of  childrens  >> funpark << much like a type of  Disneyland, which is all based on fairy tale characters.
It must be stressed, that he is a rather specialised artist.
In 1984 a museum was created in Hattem, here in Holland - to honour his works.

Like a great many other artists, Anton  Piek also needed commissions to make some money – the commercial world, it provide him with such artistic and financial avenues.
This is quite normal for >> Big Business<< to use  artist’s to promote marketing campaigns,  a great many other artists also  did it, ranging from working for various  chocolate manufactures, to  the railways, or big shipping lines, and right down to the more  mundane  >> Persil Washes Whiter Adverts<< or the  even more  infamous  cigarette billboard adverts - of the tough looking  >>Marlboro Man<<.

There are a few  more steps needed in order to achieve more clarity as to, if they are really a genuine original object, rather than a  fake reproduction form China.
A real time inspection by a reputable 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 also vary a great deal.
With a person llike Anton Piek, the art world who are most interested are the collectors of Victorianiana, the collectors of classical  airline and travel memorabilia, and of course those who are interested in childrens illustrations.


The local yellow pages and the internet, should point you in the direction of the auction houses in your own  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, which is quite reasonable.

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

Very good luck indeed, at the auction house.
I  am quite  sure that they will be able to help you over the few  last  steps before take off, so to speak!
Take care.
David.  

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D. E. Lombardo

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

Organizations
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.

Publications
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.

Education/Credentials
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.")

Past/Present Clients
With a view to the present lawmaking on privacy and reasons of confidentiality, this topic will remain private.

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