Antique print from plate
16 February 2024

This was sold to me over 20 years ago from a personal collection of an antique dealer. The frame has since rotted, and we are now in the process of trying to get an appraisal to see if the framer can do the top-of-the-line frame due to the value.


20” x 24”

Acquired from
Dealer or Gallery
For sale
Answered within 3 days
By Delia
Feb 19, 12:09 UTC
Fair Market Value
$40 - $60 USD
Suggested Asking Price $75 USD
What does this mean?

Hi Dean,

Thank you for contacting Mearto with your appraisal inquiry.
Based on the photos and information provided, and subject to examination, this is:

After John William Godward (British 1861-1922)
'Il Dolce Far Niente (Sweet Nothings)' print,
Pears Trade Mark stamp lower left, titled at base under mount
24 by 20 inches
CONDITION: This print is in overall fair- poor condition with staining, corner & edge losses.
PROVENANCE: Acquired from a dealer or gallery
*represents a fair-market value for auction purposes; retail or asking price may vary.

Please let us know if you have additional items to appraise, or questions/concerns, and thank you again for using Mearto.
~ Delia

Delia Feb 20, 21:11 UTC

I would like a reconsideration due to the following factors:
A new print, with none of the extra markings, such as plate, copyright, etc., is offered by the catalog for $180
One of the markings mentioned England
I would assume that a print that is over 120 years old would be in poor to good condition
Your appraisal does not value the obvious age of the print; I would assume that increases value, not decreases it.
thank you for your reconsideration efforts into this piece of artwork

Delia Feb 20, 21:19 UTC

Hi Dean,
Your email was forwarded to me; I've attached it in a comment box so that our communication about this print stays with the appraisal, and to avoid lags in response since I get immediate alerts anytime a client responds through the comment boxes.
I always appreciate the opportunity to reassess and double-check my valuations...after all, you are certainly more familiar with your piece than I am and it's possible I missed something in my valuations research.
You refer to "A new print, with none of the extra markings, such as plate, copyright, etc., is offered BY THE CATALOG for $180;" can you please provide me with the link to this catalog so I can compare. It may be worth pointing out now that the $180 price would be considered a retail value (which are typically higher by 2-3 times the fair-market values that Mearto appraises at).
Antique or vintage editions of this print that I've found sold at auction all brought $100 or less, even those that are 120 years old and with age-appropriate wear/condition. Compared to those, your print stains and edge losses that keep its value modest.
I look forward to seeing your link and comparing this more fully to arrive at a mutually agreeable value.

Delia Feb 22, 12:53 UTC

Thank you for the link (

The market for John William Godward's antique (late 19th/early 20th C) prints is quite soft at the moment; when you acquired this print 20 years ago, the market was stronger and your print would have been in much better condition. If you acquired this from a dealer, you would have paid a retail price, which is always higher - by a factor of at least 3x - a fair-market value.
A fair-market appraisal - made at the time of purchase - would have been lower than an insurance/retail replacement appraisal.
Because the values Mearto assigns are fair market, I have to look at recent auction prices of comparable examples, then factor in elements such as condition (and, when relevant, provenance). The only example of this print I could find that had been sold at auction - along with another print - brought just £30 ($38) in 2016 (
Here are a few other examples of recent auction sales of John William Godward original prints (it's worth noting most are in better condition than yours):
- ($40)
- (estimated at $200/300, did not sell with a starting price of $100).
- (two prints, combined estimate £80-£120, did not sell with a starting price of £40.)
- (a JWD print sold - along with 3 other prints - for about $10)
I wish the news was better for you and have been as optimistic as I possibly can regarding the value of your print but at this point, raising the value would falsely inflate its worth in the marketplace.
In the interest of good client service and to foster good will, if we are close in our ideas of value, I'd be willing to consider your value to see if I can close the gap at all. Please advise...

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