Fine Art/Etching


Harbor etching
Harbor etching  
Hi, Bought this etching and I'm trying to get some information about it and the artist. On the lower left it has the date 1903 and the initials AVW. The ship on the right hand side is the Haabet. Any information you may have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Scott

Hello Scott, and  thank you so much for the very good photo of your print

Regarding the question about the  artist  with the  only the > 3 <  identifying letters  of AVW, this situation  - is  rather similar to searching for  the proverbial “needle” in a haystack!
However, if I were to  make an educated guess as to the probable identity of the artist, then I would  probably choose an artist called  Waning - who lived from 1861 -1929.

His full name is Cor. Anthonis  van Waning,  and he  is a very versatile and prolific artist.
His many works span landscapes, including  river scenes and watery landscapes, urban landscapes, and marine  pictures.  
Throughout the whole of history, not all artists have used their own names, indeed some people with long names, they have often shortened, or have chopped up their own family names  into something  which they deemed to be  far more appropriate.

To give perhaps an extreme example, is the name of a railway station in Wales –  over in Great Britain.
The name of the station, in the local (orthodox) Welsh language is as follows;


However the locals, they generally   just call it  “Llanfair PG”.

Waning, he experimented with many kinds of  mediums for  his artistic expression, including  the use of etchings and prints, but also a great many  illustrations and works 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 and recording  “daily life”  at the  turn of a new century.
Besides the use of old  photographs, it is the work of  people like Waning - who were  in part responsible for the  re –invention – or recreation  - of  the new physical environment in postwar Europe.

A great part of Europe has been smashed to bits and reduced to rubble, as part of the many   disagreements which have occurred,  and served to spark  off -  both the  First and Second World Wars; in this part of the world.
Subsequently victory was declared -  and  when the recriminations and the >>hangover<< had all gone, the job of recreating the once vast  areas of  urban  cities,  that were  now transformed into  jagged  landscapes of flattened of rubble – all  swung into action.
Both the Rhineland  parts of Germany including  the city of  Hamburg were flattened during the  Second World War - by the allied  air power of the  Americans and  English etc.
The German city of Dresden, is  perhaps one of the  most well know examples of post war - Urban reconstruction.
After the war a  huge "FBI like" research was needed - in order to reconstruct many vast urban areas, which after the war -  were  almost  unrecognisable to the majority of the survivors of the allied  bombings.

Imagine 9/11 and all of that kind of  damage being spread that over  40 -60% of  area of  New York city, or imagine the Capitol  over  in Madison –  as being just as  a  huge pile of white dusty and charred rubble?
Therefore,  it is such old prints, drawings and  photographs  - who  provided the only real link to the past - such as in the Rhineland and Hamburg -  for example.
The authorship might be an educated guess, however and  undoubtedly the image portrays either  the part of the old  harbour at Hamburg, or the huge  Rhineland inland harbour area  belonging to the old city of Duisburg,  that is also  part of the   - gigantic industrial Ruhr district.
The architecture in the print  is of the Hanseatic type , which identifies the locations.
The most  most notable cities as past part of the older historic Hanseatic trading league, was  places such as Deventer and Kampen in  Holland, the German  cities of Hamburg, Duisburg, Lubeck - and the  famous city of Gdansk in Poland.
The old smoking  “puffer”  boat in the background on your print - is  probably  a small cargo boat, or a tug.
This print is a is frozen moment in time, when the smells of produce which ranged  from coffee beans, teak tree lumber, barley for the  brewing of  beer, and coal dust -  all mingled with that of the arrival of  crates with fresh oranges.
Ironically this tranquil image it is dated 1910,  and just 4 short years before “all hell” broke loose in Europe with the start of the First World War.
Rather more poignantly, it is such images as  is to be seen on your  old print  which helped to heal the  ugly  urban gashes of the Second World War, and provided a useful “sat nav”  image; that was  to guide  all of the many city  planners -  of the post war  reconstruction period in Europe.

Today,  places like Hamburg - or Duisburg are all visited  by sleek  “roll on roll offs” or container ships, which are  all standardised and pretty  box like in shape.
The  crates of oranges  and  jute sacks bulging with coffee beans are all gone – and are now  hidden inside rectangular  steel  containers,   the giant  container cranes are now  perching  where  tall  warehouses once stood along the many wharves.  
The huge modern cranes, they  have also ousted all the  brawny men who once toiled here -  people  that are  to seen in your  print.

But today - here and there - are still a few remnants of old buildings from the time of your own print -  which are situated along the edges of the  modern docklands.
A few  old remaining  puffer’s  can still get up a  head of steam as a  festive and touristic  “tall  sailing ships” regatta slowly  gets under way – all  along the quay side.
There  are celebrations and bunting, with flocks of people who visit –there are a great  many more smoky  barbeques all decorated  with  sizzling hot dogs and hamburgers – rather  than  “old puffers”, but still there is a huge amount of  beer, coffee  and orange juice all  along the water front.

In a nutshell, the print is a window into a more tranquil past, and it  partly also prophecies  a future fast changing world, with the arrival of  steam power and electricity.
It is also the kind of image that is also part of a healing process, which helped many urban planners from a great mass of the war ravaged cities in Europe - to regain their damaged memories and sense of identity after the chaos of war.

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.
A real time inspection by a reputable auction house, can make a very good assessment; as to condition, type of  paper used 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 do also  vary a great deal.
With a person like Waning who is quite collectable , the art world who are most interested are the collectors of Victoriana, the collectors of classical  maritime  and travel/ urban memorabilia, and of course those who are interested in the history of the Second World War and any of course any historical German / American connections.

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.!
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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