This Old Thing: the artist captures the moods of the season


Q. I would like to know if this painting is worth anything. I bought this about three years ago at one of my favorite vintage shops in Almonte, Ontario. I was drawn to the colors and style, which reminded me of a landscape by Tom Thomson/Group of Seven. The artist is Sid Charles Mooney and the oil painting on panel measures 28 x 35.5 centimeters (11 x 14 inches). It is titled ‘Mud Lake’ with a date of October 1981. A note referring to this and another, partly on the back, reads: ‘made in my favorite places. Mud Lake near my hometown of Perth, Ontario. — A village called Fallbrooke. They take approximately one to 1.75 hours to paint.

A. Sidney Mooney (1927-2018), born in Montreal, spent much of his youth in Perth, Ontario, and later in Ottawa. Primarily self-taught, he was influenced and taught by Group of Seven artist AY Jackson. He captured much of Canada, including the Ottawa Valley, the Gatineau Hills, the Gaspé Peninsula, Algonquin Park, and Georgian Bay. As a label on the back states “A natural draftsman, he paints on the spot…capturing the seasons and changing moods.” You have chosen well and your painting reflects the wonderful autumnal flavor of Canada’s Group of Seven with bright pops of color, cloudy blue skies and fluid motion. It is worth a solid $750 today.

Q This dancer belonged to my in-laws and may have been purchased in South America many years ago. There is a name marked at the foot of the figure. I have no further information on where and when it was purchased. It is 47 cm tall (18.5 inches). Thank you very much for looking at this sculpture. I would be interested to know something about it.

Lorenzi bronze dancer

A. Much of the work of Josef Lorenzl (1892-1950) was cast in foundries in Vienna, Austria, where he also began his training and career. This is an Art Deco form and Lorenzl designed many different poses of risque dancers. He has also designed car mascots and more. This bronze figurine was probably designed and made in the 1920s or very early 1930s. Patinas may deteriorate more easily when cold painted – colors are not “set” by a firing step additional. That’s why there are only a few flecks of gold left on yours. Examples with an intact patina are worth the money for serious collectors. As is, it’s worth around $250. With the patina intact, this figurine could fetch $2,000 very quickly.

Q This breathtakingly beautiful dish was given to me by a friend who lived in Annecy, France. She told me it was valuable and dated from around the 1920s. I have exhibited it at home for 30 years. It measures 25.4 cm in diameter (10 inches) and there are many marks on the underside. I would be interested in a review of this dish. Thank you so much for taking the time to watch it.

Plate of Longwy

A. The company Longwy Faience from Longwy, France, has made your plate with these striking enamel colors. The process used mimics cloisonné wares made by Asian craftsmen – a process where strips of metal delineate borders for colors. Your piece is earthenware – a pottery with a milky white ‘tin’ glaze, which is then carved to form borders so that the colors are applied within the carved borders. Brilliant glazes are typical of this firm and the Asian influence is also evident in the cartouche with birds on a branch of prunus surrounded by vines of tree peonies. Inscriptions date it between 1920 and 1940. It is very showy and carries a value of $150.

John Sewell is an appraiser of antiques and works of art. To submit an article to his column, go to the ‘Contact John’ page at Please measure your part, say when and how you got it, what you paid for, and list all identifying marks. A high resolution jpeg photo must also be included. (Only email submissions are accepted.) *Assessment values ​​are estimates only.*


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