What’s it worth? Appraisal of antique European painting

Sharon asks:

This oil painting was from the Frank T. Bliss estate. Mr. Bliss
was an ancestor of mine who was president of the Chicago Board of
Trade in the mid 1899’s.

The Blisses were Welsh so this scene may
depict a Welsh country side. There is no identifiable signature.
There is no damage to this work of art. I’m contemplating an
American artist of Hudson River Valley school or European German
Rhine bluff areas.

antique european oil painting hudson river style

AW says: It’s always tricky to assign value on unknown artists work so let me start with the caveat that if this were found to be a known artist, the price could rise accordingly.

There is definitely a Husdon River feel as the the vast sky and mountain embankment indicate. However a zoom of the image shows folks on European shaped boats and in European dress. 

So let’s go with the excecution, subject, condition & frame. It doesn’t take long to find the flock of birds coming out of ravine, and although they’re the smallest things in the picture, they’re not by any means the least important. (You could argue that the freedom they represent is the theme here.)

The contrast of the train heading in the opposite direction of the birds means there’s a lot going on here when you add in the folks on the river. A lot acheived for such a calm scene. I like it.

The painting and frame appear to be in excellent condition, and the values given are based on that.

Circa 19th century:

Retail value: $1,200

Wholesale: $800

Keywords: Welsh? painting, European, river, Hudson River style, trains, gold gilt frame, 19th century,

(P.S. In a case like this, be sure to research estate paperwork and ephemera for artist attribution.)