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Robert S.
Robert S., Antiques and Collectibles Researcher
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 5602
Experience:  Expert in decorative arts especially ceramics, silver, paintings, and furniture.
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S I am having trouble with my camera so these

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I am having trouble with my camera so these pictures are not very good the picture is painted on board and has a rather shinny varnish It was behind glass and I have taken it out from its frame. there is a thumb print in the varnish! it also have a very fine even cracquleur and possibly a monogram? but maybe just wishful thinking! The house on top of the cliff could be Scottish but the towers look wrong, drawing not very strong and panel late with two lots of old paper stuck round the edge what I really need to know is could this be Dutch 18th or 19th century?Customer
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Antiques
Expert:  Robert S. replied 1 year ago.
Hi April,Thanks for the new Q,The composition of this painting has a lovely flow to it and one could go for a walk in it and not get lost, which is what Derek Hill once told me was the definition of a good landscape.But that's all I can make out, I'm afraid. It looks like you dropped the camera in a puddle! Is there another you can use, or an iPhone?If the frame and the painting are the same age then it's late 19th century as that's when that particular sawtooth molding was fashionable.I could tell you a whole lot more if I could see the detail. Maybe you could try drying out the camera by sealing it in a plastic bag with oven-dried twists of newspaper; this works wonders for soggy optics like binoculars, much better than rice, in my experience.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
will see what I can do to morrow, I remember going to Derek's house and hearing a corncraig in the fields below. my husband wanted him to paint me, but he refused hows that for a put down! Yes I thought 19th century but early rather than late but then not at all sure about the rather even craquleur looked slightly like a baker!
Expert:  Robert S. replied 1 year ago.
What fun to have heard a corncrake! All gone now, except a few banished to Tory Island and a handful of other outposts where silage making hasn't reached. We shall never know how many thousands of corncrake chicks were lost to this practice, shredded and pickled in the winter cattle fodder of modern farming.You were in exalted company being turned down by Derek Hill, he was very proud of the long list of the good and the great he'd been "simply too busy to do". Apparently an old friend of his from Donegal challenged him once about his chronic and shameless name-dropping, to which Derek famously replied, "That's funny, that's exactly what Princess Margaret said when I saw her last week!"
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How funny I didn't know that story, it was the only time I have ever heard a corncrake. I have got my self a new ( second hand camera) but by the time I got it home with a card it had come with out one the light had rather gone, but will take better pictures to -morrow ( that is if I recover from a rather heavy evening to night. !) But I am also going to send you a picture of a bronze? scarab which again has a very interesting provenance which I might as well give you now. Again comes via my niece but actually from my maiden wonderfully execentric Aunts. The contents of their house have been in bags for the last 11 years waiting to be sorted which I started on among other things on my last trip to Scotland. My great grand father among other things liked to go digging in the ruins in Egypt i think it kept his 7 very plain daughters busy in the winter months, they then brought them back to Norfolk where they had a handy private musuem where they spent the rest of the year painting pictures and cataloging the items, and encouraging a local lad into the mysteries of Egyptology sadly my grt. gandfather went bust, so the local lad got another patron Lord Carvnavon and as they say the rest is history
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Now Andrew at last I can get back to my photographing. Why can I not learn that it is a HUGH mistake to say late at night after a jolly evening 'Well why not come to me to lunch to morrow?' the down stairs filled with half sorted out sacks of stuff from Scotland and sitting room with bits waiting to be photographed and wrapped selotape, bubble wrap, boxes of goodness knows what scattered about plus the fact I have 4 people coming to supper tonight! Fortunately they were catching a plane so it was a quick ish lunch so here are the hopefull better pictures of house and you can see the cracquleur it has a very shiny varnish on it. Also enclose the scrab pics
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
scrab measure 3" long by 1.8" wide and 1.6 high or or 8 cm by 4.5 by 3.5 cm
Expert:  Robert S. replied 1 year ago.
Thanks so much for the new batch of photos, I can see the painting a lot clearer.However, the close ups are still too blurry to see anything, I'm afraid. May I suggest using the "macro" setting on the camera. It's the little flower icon. That way it should automatically focus as close as you wish to go.Also, can you attach one of the back?Best wishes,Robert PS. Sounds like you had the perfect dinner party last night, one that continues the next day at lunch! Just my sort of do!PPS. Is the scarab made of wood? Or some other material?Also, how big is it?And when you get a chance, can you initiate a new question for it, again, don't forget to put my name "For Robert S. only.........." in the subject line and it will be sure to get to me. Many thanks. R
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
will try and get some better pics to day I see I called you Andrew it must have been a good party!
Expert:  Robert S. replied 1 year ago.
Good morning April!Thanks for the extra photo.I'm still at a loss as to who this is by. But I'm fairly happy about the date, namely the second half of the 19th century (and therefore contemporaneous with the frame) rather than any earlier, and the architecture of the building certainly has Scottish baronial written all over it, notably the crow step gable at the far end of the main roof, as well as the ruins of an older castle alongside the later C18th gentrification. I think this is Roslin Castle outside Edinburgh which sits up on a dramatic bluff like that above a bend in the North Esk river and with the ruins of the old 16th century castle still standing in two dramatic stacks like that to the left of the 18th century bastle-style reconstruction.You are right, the draftsmanship isn't top notch, though the artist does have a classically trained understanding of composition and perspective and how to emphasis the drama of an already dramatic location and topography.Here's how Turner painted the same scene in about 1820. And here's an engraving of Turner's original done by W.R.Smith.What a difference eh? Your artist may have visited the site to take a few notes (if he visited at all, considering the too-complete way he rendered the ruined tower on the right) but most of his painting looks like it was done in a warm studio, no doubt a short train ride back in Edinburgh.Joseph Mallord ***** *****, on the other hand, came up to Edinburgh from London in 1818 by stage coach (pursuant to a special invitation and commission by Sir ***** ***** to paint picturesque Scottish landmarks) and braved the chilly autumn slopes on foot, sketching copiously for days, and later in the finished painting, carefully selecting each leaf, crag and corbel while disregarding a hundred others, to get just that impressionistic romantic stamp that lifts Turner's landscapes head and shoulders above anyone else. So, given we know the subject, and that it's a popular Scottish landmark, and considered so picturesque that even Turner painted it, I would give your painting (plus period frame) in it's current condition, not too bad considering, albeit embalmed in thick discolored varnish, an auction value in the range of £200 - £350.Full retail/replacement value: £700.Hope this helps!Best wishes,Robert
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
knowing where it is is great I will look that up and hopefully I will be able to sell it more reasonably rather than picture of unknown place so many thanks.

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