Valuable Exquisite 150 Year Old Painting Destroyed by Careless Handling and Shipping

Wonderful detail of a jewel-like valuable painting… extensively damaged because of stupidity.

Damage to artwork from careless handling, lousy packing and then shipping is completely avoidable… and you’d think that an exquisitely painted, $75,000.00 valued oil painting would automatically be treasured and cared for!

This extensive damage which resulted from lack of care had to NOT be a surprise to the owner as previous flaking, painting restoration and probably active, continued flaking were undoubtedly evident. But, now, the damage and losses are catastrophic.

The quality valuable frame is a casualty also; its very nicely carved wood, not made of plaster from a mold. It had to have been brutally smashed to have been broken the way it is. Several of its main ornamentations have been busted off (but are easily reattached). Fortunately, the frame can be restored without extensive cost and will be 100% original when completed.

Carved frame was also badly damaged in shipping.

So, now that the horse has left the barn, the main question on the mind of the people reaching out to us for help is, “Can the artwork be restored? How much will the restoration of the oil painting cost? How much will the painting be worth after its restored?” There is no insurance company involved in this dilemma.

Let’s start with the last question, How much will the painting be worth after its restored?… the answer to which may over-ride the other two questions.

The painting in original undamaged condition is worth, retail-gallery-value, about $75,000.00… give or take. Obviously, condition is a factor, however. So, with the extensive damage which impacts most of the painting, is the value impacted 75% even if its restored perfectly? A knowledgeable art collector wouldn’t buy it. Perhaps a designer who could place it in a unknowledgeable person’t house or office could turn it around… but that designer is a hard person to find. The restored damaged painting would probably be offered at a low grade auction house that does not provide condition reports and “buyer beware” is the motto. Restored perfectly, it might even bring less than a 1/10th the undamaged good condition value.

So, if it costs $7,500 to do a good job on the restoration, would you save the painting? Leave a comment below about your opinion! I’ll respond.

On-topic with this cognitive dissidence, the following articles will interest you:

Can Botched, Over-Restored Art (repainted) Be Saved?

Rip in Painting Results in $350K loss in Value A Painful and Expensive Collector Care Lesson


Thrown in the trash… pulled out by dumpster-diver and sold for $500… perfectly restored for $5,000. What is it worth?


Call to discuss your restoration issue: Scott M. Haskins, Virginia Panizzon, Oriana Montemurro Art Conservators 805 564 3438

About Scott M. Haskins

Scott Haskins has been in professional art conservation since 1975, specializing in the conservation/restoration of easel paintings, murals and art on paper. FACL, Inc. is known nationally for doing A+ work no matter the size or difficulty of the project. We are happy to do a quick cleaning on a family heirloom. Our client list and resume is also full of very satisfied clients of large, difficult/complicated projects at remote locations. Excellent services are also available as an Expert Witness/Legal Testimony in art related matters. Consultation on art related projects occur regularly including extensive insurance evaluations for insured or insurer. Services are offered worldwide. Scott M. Haskins is also author of the "Save Your Stuff" series, educational information, materials and supplies to help people protect and save their treasured family heirlooms and collectibles at home and office. He can be reached at 805 564 3438. Video and written testimonials at
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