A large portrait of a woman of obvious wealth and status, 36" by 35", signed "Wells" at lower right on a prop envelope, and dated there 1930, set into a beautiful, unique, valuable 3 3/4" wide frame by the famous framemaker M. (Maurice) Grieve Co. of New York and London (see photo, reverse of frame). An online search did not turn up a "Wells" artist that would obviously fit with this work's subject matter, handling, and period. However we can see that this artist was quite obviously a skilled academic painter. Note the details of the dress and pearls, and the overall elegance of the silvery palette. The hand-carved, complex frame with its overall patina of age, and the silvery/whitish, vigorously carved, distressed portions, set off by reddish-brown segments, is of significant value in and of itself. It was made by the well-known M. Grieve Company, which sold high-end frames for major paintings as far back as the days of famous art dealer Joseph Duveen. Numerous major works in private collections, museums and galleries, by some of the greatest names in art, find themselves in frames made by this eminent company.
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