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Fine Art/Watercolor painting by Al D Lenz


I Have recently acquired a painting with a signature of "Al D Lenz" with the date of '94 (1894). 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 indicates the painting being done 3 years after going to SF. This label shows a tie to SF.

This is not to say it was done while he was in SF; but only that the framing was done there. It is possible to have been painted somewhere else after he left and sent to someone in SF. (But doubtful.)

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.

(My thoughts are that perhaps it was given as a gift to some sweet young thing he met while there and one of the faces in the painting is hers.)

According to the information we have found, he went to New York from SF and went into sculpting and metal casting.

I now have to interject something just for your own information. I asked someone else this same question and that person could only see Lenz as a metal sculptor and/or casting expert and while that is true, as that was his main interest, according to a magazine article about him in Time Magazine, (Dec. 26, 1932 issue); quoting, "he worked for years as a commericial artist and calendar designer." I believe this is how he supported himself while doing research and experimenting in metal casting before becoming an expert in such.

What we are wanting to know (and I understand how difficult these question are) is:

1. Are there many or few other paintings done by this artist?

There must have been much art work done by him in these years of "commericial art and calendar designing" but what of other paintings just for the sake of art?

2. Is this a rare find but has no value?

3.Where to have it appraised.

4.Where would we sell such a find?

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

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

6. Is there a registry of artists works that are on display throughout the U.S.?

I can furnish digital photos of the painting and signature if you would like.

Sorry this is so long but without all the information you would be working under a handicap.

Thanking you in advance,

Gary Orr  

I found the same thing using ARTNET. in terms of information on the artist. This is an early find, maybe not rare. A local certified appraiser would be good. An auction that you research and trust locally. I could find no comparables on this artist for paintings. You can send photos to

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Joseph B. Laskowski


I have been researching,buying, collecting, dealing, and appraising 19th and 20th Century American Art (1850-1950) for the past 15 years. Ask me anything about this topic. I am a member of the Pennsylvania Antiques Appraisers Association.


Experienced in American Art from the period 1850-1950. This Includes Impressionism, Regionalism, Early American Modernism, Hudson River School, WPA. I have 15 years researching, collecting, dealing, and appraising in this field. Ran a Fine Art gallery for 3 years in Phoenixville, Pa. that focused on American and European art from the 1800's to contemporary works. Rare books focused on fine art monographs and catalogue raisonne.

Pennsylvania Antique Appraisers Association
American Society of Appraisers (Candidate)

Brimfield Rush, a book written by Bob Wyss of the University of Connecticut. It details the escapades, trials and travails of myself, my ex, and other individuals who have been to Brimfield , Mass. to tame the largest flea market in North America. Maybe even the world.

American Society of Appraisers
BA from Lenoir-Rhyne University in North Carolina
Appraisal Studies at George Washington University

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