Ask A Worthologist Question: Currier & Ives Print
WorthPoint member John S. wanted to find out if his copy of Currier & Ives’ “New England Winter Scene” was an original or a copy, so he engaged “Ask a Worthologist” to get the answer.
John S. had what he believed to be an antiqueCurrier & Ives print, but didn’t know much more than what was printed at the bottom of the image. He didn’t know if it was an original or a copy, but he was hoping it was the former. He engaged WorthPoint’s “Ask a Worthologist” service, and it was forwarded to me. Here is John’s question:
I picked up this print at an estate sale; it was part of a box lost of junk picture frames the frame and glass was quite dingy. I picked up the box for $10. Going through it this piece looked like the best piece in it. It’s titled “New England Winter Scene,” in very small print under the print it says “entered according to act of congress in the year 1861. By Currier & Ives in the clerk’s office of the district court of the United States for the southern district of N.Y” It measures about 18 inches by 23 inches. I’d be grateful for any information you could give me about this piece.
I had some good news to report to John after I did the valuation on the print:
Based on your image and the dimensions, you might have made a very good find. The size of your print indicates that it could be an original Currier & Ives “New England Winter Scene” from 1861. Currier & Ives was America’s longest-running printing establishment, publishing more than 7,000 images covering a span of 73years.
This particular piece was made in what’s referred to as a “Large Folio*,” originally published with an image size of 16.7 inches by 23.10 inches. While the Currier & Ives prints have been reproduced on a regular basis since the 1930s, most have been in smaller sizes, such as 8 inches by 10 inches, 12 by 19 inches, etc.
There are some very good sources for researching your piece, such as “Currier & Ives Prints An Illustrated Check List,” by Frederic A. Conningham, and “Currier & Ives A Catalogue Raisonne,” by Gale Research. That being said, the potential value of this piece warrants having it examined by an appraiser. The last original sold through a Skinner’s American Furniture & Decorative Arts sale, on Feb. 17th, 2008, went for $7,000.
* Currier and Ives Prints were issued in the following sized folios: Small folio prints are approximately 8 inches by 12 ½ inches; medium folios are approximately 10 to 14 inches by 14 to 20 inches; and large folios were anything larger than about 14 inches by 20 inches.
Mike Wilcox, of Wilcox & Hall Appraisers, is a Worthologist who specializes in Art Nouveau and the Arts and Craft movement.
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