Now, I cannot top last weeks map find, at least not in age. I think the 300 year old map will always be the oldest thing I find at an estate sale. I do have another little (not really it's kind of long) story for you. Meet "Oscar". We call him Oscar because the signature on the bottom of this painting reads "for Oscar Strobel, Mahlon Blaine '37". I always assumed it was a portrait of Oscar Strobel painted by Mahlon Blaine but it could just as easily be a self portrait of Blaine that he gifted to Oscar. Either way, around here, the painting is affectionately referred to as Oscar. We love him. He is like a member of our family. We designed and built this niche for him when we built our house. It's one of the first things you see when you walk in.
I picked this up at an estate sale for $50. It was the estate of a fairly renowned and prolific local artist. They were selling mostly her work but also a few pieces from her collection. This was from her collection. It was love at first sight for me. I love art. I love portraits. I am always drawn to them.
Oscar was attacked by my dog Jake. During our move, I was bringing Oscar over to the newly finished Pagoda. I had nothing else in the car except Jake and he was in the very back. Oscar was on the backseat - precious cargo was being brought by special delivery. There was this other dog by the car and the barking started and Jake, oh dear my heart, Jake jumped out of the back and directly onto Oscar. I kind of started screaming. Yes, I was screaming. I was freaking out. Jake had NEVER done that before. My poor baby Oscar. I was sick. I cried. Look at the damage...
Still, we love him. Here is the fun part. Even with the damage, I took Oscar to the Antiques Roadshow. OH, did I not mention I got to go to a taping of Antiques Roadshow last year? Sorry about that. They told me he was worth about $6,000 "as is" and quite a bit more if I get him restored. I think restoration is going to cost a pretty penny but I'm saving up for it. He deserves some plastic surgery don't you think - he is 73 years old after all.
Little side note: When one of the three part Phoenix Antiques Roadshows aired (last week)- you could see me and my mom in the background the entire time they were doing one the appraisals. Here is some advice if you ever get to go. DO NOT wear a babydoll top that is tight under the chest and flares out. The camera will add 210 lbs. You always HEAR 10 lbs. but what they mean is 210 lbs. I wouldn't lie to you. Well, I might but this time I'm not. It was a painful reminder that I am no longer a size 2 - not even close.
Here is some information on Oscar Strobel and Mahlon Blaine.