Fine Art/oil painting


My aunt has owned a oil painting on canvas by H Zabateri for over 50 years. We think the painting was owned by her mother for at least 30 years prior to this. We think the painintg is titled 'the dream' but cannot verify this. Can you advise on how we get verification this is an original and an aproximate estimate of its value. It is a huge painting of 4foot long by a foot high. It has several semi naked ladies surrounding a lady sleeping in a bed of water. Any information would be helpful. We live in Birmingham, England.

Dear Anjella,

I hope this finds you well. Your auntís painting sounds lovely and from your description it appears she has one of Zabateriís (also known as Zatzka and/or Bernard) allegorical scenes. It is also very large and this will positively affect its valuation. His mythological paintings have more appeal by collectors and are therefore going to fetch a higher price than his portraits or other works.

In reviewing the most recent realized auction prices on works that are similar in style and size, I am guessing that your auntís painting would get an pre-auction estimate of over $20,000 USD. I found a private dealer that is offering a large allegorical painting that sounds very close to your aunt's for $100,000. If you are looking to have it appraised for insurance purposes, you will need to secure the services of a qualified appraiser. The Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery should be able to give you a list of reputable appraisers in the Birmingham area.

If your aunt is wanting an appraisal because she is interested in selling the painting, you can contact the major auction houses in England and inquire as to their estimate and consignment terms.  You can get contact information on their websites at and There may be others and the museum should be able to give you more resources as well.

I hope this information is helpful.

Best regards,

Fine Art

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Dolly D Headley


I can assist with identification, acquisition, sell representation, and care of fine art prints and original paintings. Some of my artist specialties include Henri Toulouse Lautrec, California Artists, and the Modern Masters. I can also assist with information on getting professional appraisals and authentication.


Dolly D. Headley, owner of Headley Fine Art, LLC, has provided consultative art services to retail gallery clients in Sausalito, CA, and at since 1998. With over 14 years experience as a Senior Art Consultant, Gallery Director, and an extensive art research library; Ms. Headley has provided hundreds of people with her high quality personalized consultation services and solid guarantee of satisfaction. Dolly is a volunteer at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

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