Show Notes

Dear Mr.Willis,

I have attached a photo of a painting signed Walt Kuhn in upper right, which belonged to my father. We have reason to believe it was passed down from his paternal side of the family. He never displayed this painting nor had it appraised – he died in 2008. We found the painting among his effects and we think he forgot that he had it.

The painting is on canvas, and it has no signature. There is an old New York gallery label on the reverse of the painting that says “Walt Kuhn, Head of a Young Girl” the painting is 14″x 10″

Can you tell me what it is worth?  NK


Dear NK,

Thank you for sending this information. Your painting certainly appears to be by the artist Walt Kuhn (1877-1949). There is a lot to say about Walt Kuhn; besides being an American Modernest Master, he was also instrumental in putting together the landmark 1913 Armory Show. Through this show, he was the first to bring Pablo Picasso among others to the US. Kuhn was offered $20,000 during his life for his masterpiece, The White Clown. At the time, it was the most money ever offered for any painting of a living artist. The White Clown currently lives at the National Art Gallery in Washington, DC and would without a doubt set a new record (the current record at auction is: $1.1 million) if it ever went to auction. Kuhn was known for painting circus performers which as a collector is the most desirable subject. It is possible your piece is of a performer However, not being identified, it would not be a good idea to sell it as one.

I would be delighted to handle such a piece at auction. Without seeing it in person, if authentic, the pre-auction estimate of $8, 000-12,000.


Martin Willis, Appraiser

James D Julia Auctioneers

827 Main St

Woburn, MA 01801


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Martin: Hi everyone, welcome to the Antique Auction Forum. This is Martin Willis. Today is Podcast 122 with Gregg Elliott. His website is We’re going to be speaking today about collecting high-grade, mostly antique, shotguns. You can like us on our Facebook page, or you can follow us on twitter. Those icons are on our website. If you would like to contact me, that’s

Thank you for listening, and I hope you enjoy today’s show.

This podcast is sponsored by WorthPoint. Find out what your antiques are worth at

I’m with Gregg Elliott. How are you doing, Gregg?

Gregg: I’m doing well, thanks. How are you doing?

Martin: Great, and we’re going to talk about shotguns, which I never thought I was going to talk about on this blog, but it’s pretty interesting. Right off the bat I’m going to ask you what makes a good shotgun a good shotgun?

Gregg: I think, from my perspective, one is original condition; I like to find one that hasn’t been refinished or restored in any way. I really value old finishes because those were put there by the original craftsmen, and they are part of the history of the item and if something has had that wiped away I feel like part of the history of the item is gone.

Martin: Now, are we talking about the stock and barrel?

Gregg: Yes, so the metal work and the wood; both of those can be refinished,

Martin: re-glued and…

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Martin:  Hi everyone, this is Martin Willis with the Antique Auction Forum. Welcome to Episode 121 with Mary Miley Theobald. Today’s topic is going to be on historical myths. Some of them do apply to antiques; it’s a pretty fun show, I hope you enjoy it. You can follow us on twitter or you can like us on Facebook; those icons are right on our website You can contact me at Thank you for listening, and I hope you enjoy today’s show.

This podcast is sponsored by WorthPoint. Find out what your antiques are worth at

Martin:  I have Mary Miley Theobald in Virginia on Skype. How are you doing Mary?

Mary:  I’m fine, thank you.

Martin:  And you are a historian, and you live in Virginia.

Mary: Yes I do.

Martin:  I listened to one of your podcasts, the Colonial Williamsburg Podcast; I thought it was great and a really interesting topic because we do from time to time some historical podcasts here and a lot of what we are involved in in the business certainly relates to history, so they’re always very popular on these shows. Can you talk a little bit about what some of your books have been lately about myths and debunking them? This is a real fun subject if you ask me.

Mary: It is fun. And of all the writing I’ve done in the past 30 years this has really been the most fun book I’ve written. I guess it got started back in 2006 when I visited the DAR Museum in Washington, and they had an exhibit on history myths. They were debunking certain myths that are widely repeated at museums, or historic sites, national parks, city bus tours, carriage rides, those kinds of things. Myths like “People didn’t bathe back then”, or “Colonial Americans thought tomatoes were poisonous” or “women secluded themselves indoors during pregnancy”; things that were patently not true. I wrote an article debunking a few myths; I thought maybe I’d find a dozen. And it got a lot of attention. People wrote back saying “what about this myth” and “what about this myth”, so I wrote a second article, started collecting them, had enough for a book, and I’m still collecting; I might have enough for a second book!

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Martin: Hi everyone, this is Martin Willis of Antiques Auction Forum episode 120. I’m excited about today’s guest; it’s the award-winning legendary actress, and singer as well as author, Polly Bergen Because of that I have her music as an intro and outro. Hope you enjoy that. A couple of announcements: You can follow us on twitter and you can like us on facebook; those icons are right on our website. This pod cast is sponsored by Worthpoint: Find Out What Your Antiques are Worth at Thank you for listening, and I hope you enjoy today’s show.


 Martin:  I am in Connecticut with Polly Bergen. How are you doing Polly?


Polly:  I’m very well. Thank you, Martin.


Martin:  It’s such a pleasure to work with you first of all, you are really gracious with me to record about antiques.


Polly:  Oh it’s my pleasure. I’m old enough to be able to talk about old things!


Martin:  (laughing) Now, you were collecting all the way back into the 1950’s but before we get into that, first of all, for the younger people – we have a lot of younger people around world who listen – can you kind of go into…

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Martin:  Hi everyone, this is Martin Willis with the Antique Auction Forum. Today’s episode is number 119 with Dale Blackwelder. He is a picker who specializes in artwork; very interesting.  It’s a short podcast but I hope you enjoy today’s show.


Martin:  I’m with Dale Blackwelder. How are you doing Dale?


Dale:  Real good.


Martin:  Now you’ve been dealing in art for…?


Dale:  I had my first store, I think, in 1969 or 70. I used to do clocks and music boxes, (but) I always had an affinity for art. I liked looking at it and I started collecting paper works; now it’s mostly oils.


Martin:  So you’ve evolved mostly into art over the years?


Dale: Well, yeah. I like mechanical things, and what I could see really well. It was easy to do, and it was quick… you know, I could clean a clock and make a few dollars. And at that time the Europeans were sending everything over to the United States, so you could go into warehouses and buy 50 great clocks – and oil paintings and things.  There was just so much of it; it was really inexpensive, so I started then.


Martin:  Now, in our conversation we had prior to this, you don’t use a computer. You never used a computer, you never will, probably (laughing).


Dale:  Most likely not; I just find it keeps you from learning what looks good and what isn’t good.

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