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Fine Art/trying to ID Oil {Panying by signature


QUESTION: I am trying to identify the artist of an oil painting I purchased at an antique consignment shop. The seller told me it was about 120 years old and from England. I have tried to ID the signature/iniitals.

I bought this for my wife for Christmas - probably foolisly but it may be fun to learn about it. I did like the painting.

Am Image of the lower right majority of the painting (painting is about 12X16 in) is attached. There are no other marks on the back, etc. except for a large "58" in chalk on the back of the canvas.


Greg Rolfson

ANSWER: Greg, Maybe 20 years old.
What you have is furniture store art, in other words a factory painting. There are over 700 "art factories" in Hong Kong alone, not to mention the rest of Asia, Eastern Europe, and Mexico. A canvas is moved down a table or conveyor belt, one person paints trees, another paints mountains, another water, etc. A name for the artist is taken out of a book or just made-up. This will be fine for your next yard sale.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Wow - that is depressing. Can you help advise me on how to notice old versus recent factory paintings? The really does look old and the oil painting looked dirty and "weathered" in areas. I looked at the canvas back and it seemed "old" by its color and relatively fine texture. Unfortunately I have wrapped this for my wife as a Christmeas gift or I would photagraph the frame.

Did you spot something on the canvas back (the "58" which I assumed was from an estate sale or something like that)? Was it the general quality of the painting"? Was it the signature?

Any help for the future would be appreciated.


Greg, Don't feel singled-out, I answer thousands of inquiries and about 70% are "factory paintings." Where do you think those tens of thousands of phoney artworks, pumped out every day, go to: pseudo-antique stores, furniture stores, Goodwill, Salvation Army, flea markets, and hundreds of thousands of internet websites. I cannot transfer my 37 years of experience to you. The canvas and stretcher bars on your painting are not old. Go to auctions that have old paintings, you will see patches, worm holes, fly specks, old labels, portions of old labels, all sorts of auction numbers, etc., etc. If you don't want to be screwed, as in anything else, you need to educate yourself.

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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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