Oil painting goes from storage to auction block (detroitnews - Oil Portrait Painting)
Patrons of Grosse Pointe's now-closed Punch & Judy Theater may find something familiar about the art work that Dick Komer of Bloomfield Hills recently brought in for appraisal.
The work by Dutch-American artist Hanny Van Der Velde once hung in the movie theater on Kercheval Avenue in the area known as "the Hill."
Komer's family owned the theater and while he remembers the painting fondly, "the problem is, we never display it," he says.
Curious about its value, they recently took it down to an appraisal session at DuMouchelle Galleries in downtown Detroit.
Robert DuMouchelle remembers the movie theater and enjoyed hearing about the piece's provenance.
"That's what makes this business so fascinating," he says. "I love the stories."
No Sunday painter, Van Der Velde lived from 1883-1959, says DuMouchelle. Born in Rotterdam, she was the mother of American painter Henry Van Der Velde and graduated from the Rotterdam Academy of Fine Arts.
According to www.askart.com, she later moved to the U.S., settling in Royal Oak, where she became a member of the Detroit Society of Women Painters.
She began exhibiting about 1910 and won a variety of awards
DuMouchelle has seen works by the artist before.
"There was a piece of hers not long ago that sold for $2,000 that was a little bigger and had more detail," he told the Komers. Because of that, he estimated the Punch & Judy painting at $1,000-$2,000.
DuMouchelle's estimate was right on the money. After the appraisal, the Komers decided to auction the piece rather than continue to store it. It sold in January for $1,700, a result the couple was happy with.
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