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Fine Art/Watercolor painting


Hello Mr. Hynes,

We have recently acquired a painting with a signature of Al D Lenz with the date of '94. It is a watercolor with a Victorian theme, having a vignette of 6 females; one seated in a large chair being served by the other five, all surrounded by colorful filigree.
It measures 10" x 22".

Condition of the painting is very good with no tears, staining or other damage and is under glass. It is backed with cardboard which was covered with paper. The paper is almost all gone. All is held in the frame with small nails that have rusted and appears to be the original framing. The age of the painting would be 112 years.

It has a label on the back stating the following:

E.B. Courvoisier
451 Sutter Street near Stockton
Frame maker-Art Dealer
(This is in San Francisco, CA)

Have researched on the Internet, we assume the artist is Alfred David Lenz. Born in 1872, at Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Died in Havana, Cuba, 1926.

We found where he went to San Francisco at age 19 for "awhile". This painting would have been done at age 22 according to the date on it. This would indicate being done 3 years after going to SF. With this label, there is a tie to SF.
Whether he had the picture framed or someone else did after he left SF, it would logically seem to have been painted while he was in SF. According to the information we found, he went to New York from SF and went into sculpting and metal casting.

What we are wanting to know is:

Are there many or few other paintings done by this artist? Is this a rare find but has no value? Where to have it appraised. Where would we sell such a find?

Being ignorant of such matters, any info you deem of value would be appreciated.

If there are other people to ask or avenues of research for us to inquire into, please pass this information to us.

Thanking you in advance,

Gary Orr  

Dear Gary, I am not sure you identified the correct artist. Alfred D. Lenz was a self-taught sculptor. He did some engravings, but I find no information regarding paintings. If your watercolor were by him then it would probably be an experimental piece or a study for a bronze. It is unlikely it would be a finished piece or very accomplished. Also he signed his bronzes Alfred Lenz. It is very odd to see a nickname "Al" on any 19th century work.
If you like you can send a jpg attachment to my email at Please keep the image under 800 pixels, and make your subject line "allexperts."

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Daniel A. Hynes


Collecting, buying, selling, identifying, and caring for paintings, drawings,and watercolors (19th and early 20th century American and European). No prints, contemporary art, or works executed after 1940.


35 years as a fine art dealer, including 3 years as a gallery director. Also was art expert for Leslie Hindman's Auctioneers, and for Dunning's Auction.

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