Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Mr. Montelius, Mystery Man

I was looking up and pricing some recent finds when I came across this watercolor. 

It's an original, but it was in a funky frame so I took it out to see the signature. And of course broke the glass. Ah well, all swept up. It's discolored, probably from years of being in that frame, but I like the beige-y overtone.

The signature was carefully printed at the bottom left corner in pencil. Harry Montelius.

So I went looking for other work by this artist with no luck. Apparently he wasn't a known artist, then, but perhaps just a man who had taken an art class, or who like to paint, and this was the lesson in perspective. I tried googling his name and came up with a random list of Ancestry and other genealogical sites. Which one was the right one?

I have no idea who this man might have been. Was he the one who graduated from Michigan University in 1917? Was he Harry Everett, born in Ohio and lived in Illinois? Or Harry Howard of Pennsylvania, married to Sarah? Were there any living children or grandchildren? I could find none. Was his family originally from Sweden, as other searches indicate? Was he the Dr. Montelius in a photo for sale on eBay, dressed for a Shakespearean play? 

I guess I will never know he he was. I won't know what he did for a living, who his family was, where he lived, nor anything else about him except that he painted this watercolor which ended up in a thrift shop in Ripley, West Virginia.

I like Harry's painting. I had planned to sell it, but I think I will re-frame it and hang it in my living room--a mystery painting by a mystery man named Harry Montelius.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.


annie said...

Great post, you never know who you'll find in a thrift shop.
Maybe the next one will be famous, and will be worth a fortune!

Brig said...

Sometimes the hunt for information, background, is just as much fun as the find.
I have a favorite shop near where my Sean lives, that I would love to have a booth in...

Susan Anderson said...

I like it. The living room seems like a good spot.


Gretel said...

I think whoever Harry was, he'd be chuffed to bits to know that his artwork had been found and appreciated!

Rowan said...

How intriguing! You never know - one day you might discover who he is:)

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