Monday, December 27, 2010

Alfred Hair appraisal

A ridiculous appraisal will not help you sell your painting on eBay.

A realistic appraisal might not, either.

Copy/pasted from the eBay listing:

"This is an original Alfred Hair painting. Mr. Hair was the original highwayman and was killed in a bar fight when in his 20's. More can be found on him on Google by typing in his name. This painting was valued at $2500.00 and as high as $6500.00 fully restored."

addendum 02/03/11

OK, boys and girls, if this posting is still available when you stumble upon my exciting blog, you can see that the seller, with all his shared "knowledge" of the value of this piece, started the bidding at $1700.00. It attracted attention, certainly, as would any original "fast painting" by such a famous deceased artist as Alfred Hair. It did not attract any bids, however.

And, what the hell, as long as I'm picking on this attempted transaction, despite the fact that Gary Monroy sold all those books titled " Harold Newton, the Original Highwayman", and despite the fact that Antiques and Art Around Florida published my article on the discovery of a painting by Newton and titled it (for me) "The Original Highwayman's Self Portrait Discovered and Sold", and despite the fact that Harold Newton met and worked with Backus before Hair was introduced to the old Beanster, this seller "enhanced" his listing by trumping all that and deciding that Alfred Hair was "the original highwayman".

Sheesh. How did THAT work out for him ?

The seller went fishing, but caught nothing. Ebay made money. End of story.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

highwaymen art summary 2010

I'm feeling lazy and I need a few days off. Both of those things.
I'm just linking you to the other blog, something to read about, if you got a mind to.

Merrry Christmas and Happy New Year.

2011 has to be better, doesn't it ?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Harold Newton, early or late ?

This is an interesting Harold, especially if you like action. Looks like a hurricane.

True to life, hurricanes are not especially colorful.

Howevah......................The style and colors and the frame he used confirms a later work.

So when Geraghty tells you it's EARLY, do not think it was painted in the 50's or 60's, but possibly in the late 70's, although it looks newer to me. 80's or 90's.

I wasn't there when Harold painted it, so I don't know for sure.
But I HAVE been studying his work for the last 15 years.

I DO believe he priced it fairly, and that's what matters in the end.

Another caveat emptor for your interpretation of eBay descriptions.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

H Newton appraisal policy chapter 5 or 6

Maybe this spells it out more clearly than in previous posts ?
You be the judge.

email received and responded to this morning.


I have a painting by H Newton that my dad gave me years ago. He acquired it when he lived in Palm Bay, Fl. It is approximately 18 by 22 and it is in great shape. I have attached some pics. Would you be a buyer? If not, can you direct me to an interested party?

Thank you kindly,

Ed, this is how I do it.

I can appraise paintings by use of images from emails in most cases. Yours are excellent.
I have a pretty good handle on which artists' works exist as prints or giclees, having studied this market since its birth 15 years ago.


Each highwaymen artist has his own market, with values depending on a multitude of factors, most obviously the scene itself, elements within it, and size.

And although every painting is unique, there exists a lot of repetition.

There are several prices or values for each piece based on many factors.

A liquid price, which means I write a check to you and we're done.
If you choose this option, I return the appraisal fees. This requires physical inspection.
A fair wholesale asking price which is a little higher than what I would pay .
A fair retail price, higher still. What I would expect the market to bear.
What you could expect at auction minus commissions.
And the high retail insurance value I use for the certificates.

Upon payment, I give you these numbers and create the certificates.

There are willing buyers at fair wholesale. Fortunately I know a few.
Retail buyers are more difficult to find. And they are both fickle and picky.
However, there are probably a hundred buyers out there for something with the Harold Newton signature due to his fame on a national level and due to the promotion of getting him listed in various art references.
The two books about him don't hurt, either.

My specialized knowledge has value.

I found out many years ago that if I give a free appraisal, I'll usually see the painting on eBay within a week and not even get a word of thanks.

Having a keen sense of the obvious, I found that annoying.
So, I adjusted my thinking.

I charge a flat fee of $ 100.00 per painting for appraisals which include a certificate of authenticity, an example of which is on the first website below.

This is a fraction of what you can pay for an appraisal by someone who is accredited by some group with initials, but unfamiliar with the market itself.

More detailed info on how I appraise things can be found in this newspaper article.

Some people think I'm fair, some don't.

regards and happy holidays.



As an addendum, at least I got a fair response, as I'm posting below.

Free appraisals are worth what you pay for them. That's what offers really are.
I have no use for internet bidding wars.

I also believe that passing his information on to others has value.
So, I guess I'll have to turn that request down.


Thanks for the reply. I am not in a position to pay money, I need money. That is why I am willing to part with the painting. If you are willing to make me an offer, I am all ears. If not, please pass my information on to others.

Thank you for your time.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Investment quality highwaymen art

There is highwaymen art.......................

and there is investment quality highwaymen art.

If you can't tell the difference, call me. I can tell.

I read this TCPalm to keep up with highwaymen news, and was surprised to find this article.

Boil it down, the wealthy are investing in art and the major houses that handle the high end stuff are thriving. Eventually this will trickle down to our little market, regional Florida art, and sales will perk up. This will push prices back upward, which will wake up the sheep, and they will invest more causing more price increases. The cycle will trend upwards again.

When will that happen ? When ?

Gain some confidence, people. Buy a damn Harold Newton.
You'll be glad you did. But don't just buy what I call "an autograph", a plain blah one. You gotta step up to the plate and buy a NICE one.

Here's the article:

By Marilyn Bauer
Posted November 18, 2010 at 12:08 p.m
As the first of the fall auctions in impressionist, contemporary and modern art commenced in New York, a group of about 20 Treasure Coast investors met at the Elliott Museum in Stuart for an educational presentation on entering what has proved to be a rapidly recovering art market.
With only weeks until the start of Art Basel Miami Beach — the famed international contemporary art show — the presentation by highly credentialed art consultant E. Sarah Paul registered as perfect timing. Paul will be back in town to give advice on what's hot and what's not just a few days before Art Basel begins, as a guest of UBS Financial Services, sponsors of the art as investment presentation.
"It's not unlike what The Lyric Theatre does when they bring an artist to town and have them do a program in the schools," said Craig D. Price, senior vice president with UBS. "I would like to emulate that model."
Price charmed the mostly female audience with his assessment on why to buy art now: "The government is pumping money into the economy in the hopes of stimulating inflation," Price said. "An asset that benefits from inflation is art, as well as gold and silver."
In other words, art is a great place to park one's wealth while waiting out the recession. (emphasis is mine, don't want you to miss it)
The art market has soared 39 percent in volume over last year, according to the Wall Street Journal. In addition, the New York auctions, which have not finished as of the writing of this column, are expected to sell 2,266 works equaling $1 billion.
The market increase has to do with significant de-accessioning of works by important collectors and newly minted millions from the BRIC countries (Brazil, Rio, India, China) interested in buying art at the New York auctions, thus inflating prices.
Paul, the 32-year-old founder of the developing website, is a well-educated innovator with experience in building important collections. She provided information for every level of collector, stressing research and legwork before making a purchase.
UBS took Paul's show to the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach with plans to continue the invitation-only lunches through April.
Price is a class act dedicated to community building and enthusiastically promotes culture as a way of improving our standard of living.
"The idea for the luncheon was to give those who were collecting art in our community the chance to hear from an expert and to solidify a deeper connection to the arts locally," Price said.
Price sees great opportunity for collectors right here at home suggesting the work of landscape painter Cristina de la Vega, who was honored by the state, as a place to start.
Marilyn Bauer is a columnist for Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers. This column reflects her views. Follow her blog at

Saturday, November 20, 2010

highwaymen art appraisals at Florida antique shows

I do a lot of them.
I bring a CD player to the shows.
$35.00 at Walmart. They break, you buy a new one.

I like to play some soothing Stevie Ray while I'm doing appraisals to sooth the edgy anticipation of the customers.

Especially this one:

When the show opens, usually at nine a.m., here's the one I like to blast at full loudness.

I've done this at a Pete Clapp show when I was set up on the stage, overlooking a smallish room, probably 40 dealers with booths. Nice place just off 95 near Melbourne. Viera.

Some of the stodgy old farts gave me dirty looks, you know the ones who only listen to Barry Manilow and deal in delicate fancy glass and "very special" rare tea cups.

Mostly I got smiles, though, even though it was probably annoying more than anything else.

I knew it would be annoying, but I did it anyway, because I like attention at these shows.

Didn't get to play it all the way through, Pete came huffing and puffing up one of the aisles frantically motioning for me to turn it down.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

highwaymen appraise and evaluate

Here's a quickie to either amuse or offend.
Ocala National Forest photograph.

My only question is, "Why ?"

Armadillo crossing ? We had like a plague of them one year here at the homestead in New Port Richey. New holes every day.

My kids were teens then, so, of course, they called them Armadildos.

I didn't hate it.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

highwaymen art official business

That's right, official.

In my other blog today (go read it) I'm commenting on AOL's take on cutting prices in this economy and what I've been doing.

Howevah................ there's another side to our AOL "welcome to Nov 3, 2010".

AOL attracts one's attention by posting this picture of what they believe a small business owner should look like in today's day and age. Worried.

Now this is a sort of brainwashing on a subconcious level and one of the reasons I put so much blame on the media for helping to sustain this pathetic economy.

This guy pictured is every small business owner and by God, he's WORRIED.

America, you too better be worried. That's the message, no question.

I see this picture and the Travelers Insurance (the one with an umbrella) advertisment that I see on television all the time runs in my head. The one where the cute little white terrier frets about where to secure his bone for a rainy day. In the background is this great blues song that goes. "Trouble, Oh, trouble, trouble...been dogging me since the day I was born. Worry. Oh, worry, worry, worry...". You must have seen it, I've seen it about a million times. Very effective.

That's the little AOL guy for ya way up top. I don't look anything like him.

Actually, he looks like my cousin's husband, Jim. Not that he's worried, just looks like him.

Highwaymen art market

Got these words from an auction description and I like them so much that I'm copy/pasting them here.

About the market itself as a pleasant change from the usual re-hashed history.
Well done.

Here you go, boys and girls:

They regained their place in the sun—and ardent fans are creating a perpetual demand. The paintings of the Highwaymen are now considered to be an important sector of American Art. Perhaps the art of the Highwaymen can best be de- scribed as a marriage of rich arresting color and stark simplicity of form. If the viewer lets his or her imagination soar, the effect is almost hypnotic—these scenes appear to be embedded in time. For many individuals it’s a trip down memory lane, evoking fond recollections of grow- ing up in Florida. For the neophytes, these paintings offer a look into a culture with storybook appeal. For the urbanites, the “trendy” aspect is proving irresistible, and for still others, they provide a visual foray into the lush Florida landscape. Whatever the individual fascination, the born-again popularity of the Highwaymen has collectors strongly intrigued...and vying with each other to supplement their collections.

Friday, October 29, 2010

alfred hair appraisal

Here's a classic from Alfred Hair, 24 x 48 upson of course, pristine condition with original crown molding frame. I appraised this one for an estate about 6 months ago.

I've had a few of these golden sunrise seascapes, 48 and 36 inchers, mostly he did the longer ones. There's one of these in the Fitch traveling highwaymen display thing he's got going. Or there used to be.

Anyway, these are classics. Enjoy the pic.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Fake Livingston Roberts on eBay

Be careful out there.
This link, while it lasts, takes you to a L Roberts fake or mis-attribution on eBay 10/23/10.

Well here we go, boys and girls. I understand how this can happen, but.........
here's what the seller writes in his description : (copy/paste)

After much research the Highwaymen signed their work in many formats / ways depending on what they had and could afford for tools and paint at that time.
I personally cannot portray that this is one of Livingston Roberts earlier pieces- but it does carry the ambience of one through his style, technique and vivid colors.
All of Livingston Roberts paintings of Florida landscapes are painted in oils on Upson board or Masonite. He signed each work in a way unusual for many Highwaymen –
******by scratching "L. Roberts" into the wet paint with a PALETTE knife.******

First he states that Roberts always scratched in the signature. Then he shows a nice close-up of a painted-on signature. Go figure.

L Roberts sometimes painted on his signature, so this seller/researcher's first premise was incorrect to begin with. Although signed L Roberts, the signature was not done by "highwayman" L Roberts, maybe it was done by Leo Roberts or Lenora Roberts or Lucy Roberts, an amateur grandmotherly hobbyist/painter.

The signature is wrong, one indication is that Livingston used a lower case "b", as in L, RObERTS" when he signed. Don't know why, but he did.

I might as well mention that the style is wrong, the technique is wrong and Livingston painted on canvases and canvasboards as well as upson and masonite.

The most obvious difference between this painting and a genuine L Roberts painting is the talent level portrayed by the finished product. Livingston was talented.

This L Roberts, whoever it may be, ain't what you could call "talented".

Or maybe someone just added the signature for fun and possible profit, although that would be against the law, so that certainly wouldn't happen, eh ?

Be careful out there.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Appraise and evaluate highwaymen paintings

Well, here's how you get a stronger google presence, I'd have to guess.
Seems to have worked for THEM, let's see if it works for me.

This is copy/pasted from another site with only the names changed to protect the guilty.

GUILTY OF WHAT ? (you may ask)
Guilty of nothing, sez I.

Her you go, boys and girls. It is what it is.

Florida Highwaymen Painting. Sell Highwaymen art and paintings. Appraise Highwaymen painting and art. Buy Highwaymen paintings and art. - Florida dealer and appraiser of Florida Highwaymen paintings and art. Appraise Highwaymen - Our appraisers evaluate, appraise and value your Highwaymen painting. Appraisers of single Highwaymen paintings to complete Highwaymen art collections. We will purchase Highwaymen paintings outright or offer you the best consignment terms in the industry in the next fine art exhibition. Our marketing and West Palm Beach venue are unparalleled. Florida Highwaymen artists and works remain in strong collector demand. Contact us for appraisal consultation for your Florida Highwaymen paintings or other works of fine art. We travel Florida for fine art and collections.

Highwaymen collectors should contact us for our current offerings of Highwaymen paintings.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Harold Newton Market Report

Harold Newton Market Report.

You pronounce it "ray-poor" like the Colbert Report.

Anyway, it's all good news. The season is upon us and the investment quality listed and deceased highwaymen market resurgence has begun.

Two classic 1960's Harolds have sold for decent money, rather than lowball give-away prices around $1000.00 that the plain ones sell for.
The savanna is a 24x48 upson board
The sunset is 24x36 upson

The reason, of course, is that they are high end drop dead gorgeous examples of his work, and when you want the best, it always costs a premium.

Here they are for you to enjoy. Look at them separately, together they clash, each with it's own charm and look.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Highwaymen Certificates of Authenticity

As you probably know, the main purpose of these Certificates of Authenticity is to help protect collectors from the forged paintings and fake signatures that dot the Florida landscape art market, and specifically highwaymen art by the more valuable artists in the group.

I am usually able to determine attributions to the artist for unsigned pieces, although sometimes it can be difficult considering the similarities in style of many of them.

The toughest unsigned attributions are differentiating between the three sets of brothers in the group of twenty-six.
(I know, I know, they're all "brothers". I'm talking blood brothers.)
Ellis and George Buckner. Willie and Johnnie Daniels. Sam and Harold Newton.

If I am personally unsure, I'll simply reach out to Geoff Cook or various experienced collectors whose knowledge and experience within the genre I respect.

That said, I have been seeing more and more Certificates being used as sales tools in auctions such as eBay and Craig's List, etc.

Here are the two latest examples, while they last, for you to peruse.

The orange fire sky McLendon, to me, is a "no-brainer". I've certainly seen and studied over a hundred similar pieces and in fact used one for a calendar page in the (now rare) 2004 Highwaymen Calendar.

The yellow one is more difficult and could possibly be McLendon as well.
On the money side of these Certificates, knowing their true liquid market value as well as how much one should insure these works of art for, well, that couldn't hurt.

Monday, August 30, 2010

highwaymen appraisal policy

Here are the nuts and bolts of the process.

As an example, here is an email I received and my response today.

Good afternoon Bob,

I hope this finds you doing well!

Thanks so much for responding. I am not sure how this process works. What is the process once I submit the photo of the painting? Is there a fee?

Thanks so much in advance!!

Wishing you a great day!!

Customer X

Hello, Customer X,

There is a fee of $ 100.00 to appraise your painting and issue one of my certificates.

Here is an example :

The value I place on these is for insurance purposes, based upon current "replacement" cost for a similar painting by the same artist. I also inform you of its current liquid value, which generally is approximately half of the appraised value.

If you have a painting that I can use in inventory and you wish to sell it to me, I will refund your fee when we agree to a purchase/sale agreement.

In that case, I would need to physically inspect it or arrange for a trusted associate from your area to do so on my behalf.

If you think that's fair, we can proceed and I will give you my mailing address.

I accept payment only by personal checks or cash, and occasionally Paypal, although I prefer not to.

Please let me know.



Saturday, August 21, 2010

highwaymen art appraisal policy

I charge a simple flat fee of $ 100.00 per painting.

For larger collections, I always offer a discount.

In most cases, I can create them with images sent by email.

There are exceptions, of course, because prints are known to exist for several of the artists, including Sam Newton, Livingston Roberts, Charles Walker and R L Lewis.

An internet hignwaymen "highjacker" has captured images from various websites and created prints of Harold Newton's work and is offering for sale mousepads and clocks featuring them.

Because of such practices , this is my official disclaimer:

I may need to physically inspect the paintings which is always preferable in any case.

You can get free appraisals in many places by many people. They may or may not be accurate regardless of the so-called credentials and societies they may have paid a fee to belong too. No matter how high-profile these appraisers may appear, very few would be accurate if you showed them a Roy McLendon painting with a shack and some people on canvas, and a similar scene on upson board.

Other appraisers may or may not wish to buy your painting which could influence their evaluation.

I am willing to buy, sell, trade and authenticate and appraise. If your painting is for sale it will not lower my evaluation.

My services have been used by other dealers, museums and the retail public.
References are available.

Buying depends on many factors, especially whether or not I like your painting as an easily salable property. Having sold thousands of highwaymen paintings over the last decade and a half, I know which ones are easy or difficult to sell.

That helps me to appraise their value realistically. The liquidity factor, let's call it.

As an example, here's a recent email I sent a potential customer: copy/paste

Hi, each artist has his own market.
And although every painting is unique, there exists a lot of repetition.

There are several prices for each piece based on scene desirability by the public.
Consumer demand has been watched closely for the last 15 years.

A liquid price, which means I write a check to you and we're done.
If you choose this option, I return the appraisal fees.
A fair wholesale asking price which is a little higher than what I would pay.
A fair retail price, higher still. What I would expect the market to bear.
What you could expect at auction minus commissions.
And the high retail insurance value I use for the certificates.

Upon payment, I give you these numbers and create the certificates.

There are willing buyers at fair wholesale. Fortunately I know a few.
Retail buyers are more difficult to find. And they are picky.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Florida highwaymen art appraisals


If you need to know the value of a highwayman painting, we can help.

First of all, the artist must be on the official list of highwaymen artists who were inducted into the Florida Artists' Hall of Fame in Tallahassee, maintained by the Division for Cultural Affairs.

However, their information is currently inaccurate, as of August 17, 2010.

Here is a copy/paste of the email I sent to the Administrator today:


Dear Mr Crawford:

In the interest of accuracy, I thought you would be interested in updating the Florida Artists Hall of Fame web page regarding Alfred Hair and the Highwaymen.

Since their induction in 2004, the last 6 years have seen 3 more additions to the deceased list.

I also see that there is some incomplete information regarding various birth dates, etc.

Please accept this information with my compliments. Should you wish to add my website to your resource list, I enthusiastically grant permission.

Alfred Hair (1940 - 1970)
Harold Newton (1934 - 1994)
Sam Newton
Lemuel Newton
Al Black
Livingston Roberts (1942 - 2004)
Johnny Daniels (1954 - 2009)
Willie Daniels
Mary Ann Carroll
R. A. Mc Lendon
Al Moran (1930 - 2003)
James Gibson
Curtis Arnett
Hezekiah Baker (1940 - 2007)
Charles Walker
Robert Butler
Ellis Buckner (1943 - 1991)
Charles Wheeler
Issac Knight
George Buckner (1942 - 2002)
S. M. Wells
Cornell Smith
John Maynor
Willie Reagan
Rodney Demps
Robert Lewis

regards, Bob LeBlanc


TheDivision of Cultural Affairs responded thusly.

RE: Fl Artist HOF Updates
9/1/2010 4:03:42 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Reply To:

Thanks very much for your kind email. I saw your message when I returned yesterday. We will review the list and update as needed.
I certainly appreciate it.
Ken Crawford

OK, so it looks like they are on the ball. That's pretty good for a government office.
Kudos to Mr. Crawford.

With the success of my other blogspot website, and with the increasing demand for appraisals of highwaymen art, I thought we might as well create this one.

Eighteen of the original twenty six Florida highwaymen artists are alive and painting, exhibiting and marketing their new work.

It is the eight deceased artists in the group that we are most concerned with, but the vintage works from the 1950's to the 1980's by any of the artists can have a considerable value.

Our main website, was created about a decade ago.

Our blog was created in May of 2008.

My next post will outline our appraisal policy.