|Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
||"He's a European officer I think." said the antique dealer when we asked for information. "It came from a house in the Lindsay area!"
We are always sleuthing out high profile antique shows. Especially those with a reputation for high prices, because antique dealers try to save up special items to sell for large amounts. The logic, for us, is that unique items will show up there that are set aside from ordinary auctions.
That is also why we make sure we are first in the door, on opening night, before the crush of greedy buyers overwhelm the place, and clean out the choice items.
The door had hardly been open for five minutes when we spotted this large oil of an anonymous soldier, by an anonymous painter, in the booth of a seller who knew next to nothing about the picture, or the era, the sitter was probably from.
The crowd was gathering and we knew if we looked further, to see what else was available, it would probably be gone, sold to a knowledgeable collector, or, a smart dealer, looking for choice items he could "flip" at inflated prices at another sale.
Believing we had a special item, of exactly the kind we were looking for, we asked for "her best price" for an item that was already priced very low.
Sellers know that paintings of anonymous sitters by anonymous painters are not popular among antique buyers.
So was he English, Hungarian, Austrian, French, Italian, Polish, Spanish, or German?
All possibilities, in Canada today, where antique portraits have been brought over by generations of immigrants from all parts of Europe over the last hundred years.