Insomnia Art Gamble

Wednesday, May 13, day 57. Gosh, almost two months of sheltering in place. I know many of us are in the same boat…wondering what day of the week it is. Lately I’ve been waking up not knowing what month it is! Honestly, a few days ago I woke up anticipating Easter and realized (with sadness) that Easter and April had both long passed.

So here we are in mid May….

On the good news front some of the Goodwill thrift stores in my county are opening on limited hours with stringent customer guidelines. Alas both stores are some distance from me. (Can’t wait till the one in my neighborhood opens!)

Still I have continued to source a little online. Early this morning, plagued with insomnia, I went out to our family room and made myself cozy on the couch. I ended up perusing eBay for paintings in the “small, less than $100” category. As I was scrolling (and scrolling) one finally jumped out at me.

The label on the back read…


Last spring I bought a small ship painting ($2.00 at my neighborhood thrift store) with a similar label on the back. Discovered the signature was for Harry Hambro Howe, born 1886 (died 1966) to a ship-faring family. Both Harry’s father and grandfather were artists as well.

On the back of mine….

I listed mine on Chairish and it sold in five days for $225.

Would this one of Howe’s do as well? I decided it was worth the gamble. Since there were only a few hours left to the auction, I placed a modest bid around 2:00 a.m. and won it a little after 4:00 a.m. Later that morning the seller contacted me and said she had another one by Howe of a different ship and would I be interested in that as well. I took a look at it and thought, well sure. She gave me a price and I agreed.

The seller did mention that she had been trying to sell the paintings for a neighbor but no one had been interested in them until I came along. That did give me pause. Had the market for this artist’s work dropped? Were ship paintings passé now? I did a bit of research and my fears seem unfounded. I’m guessing that these paintings just hadn’t been discovered yet!

While I paid up for these paintings, I definitely think there’s meat on the bone. I’m anxiously awaiting their arrival next week by FedEx.

“Mystery” Purchase Received Last Week

A week or so ago I shared about a brass dragon boat figurine I won in an another eBay auction. It arrived and I am very pleased with it. It’s heavy and has amazing details.

But it still perplexes me. There are bolts on the bottom holding the men in place so it’s not meant to stand on its own. Perhaps it once had a wood base? Or?

And the nationality of the garb and faces elude me. Possibly Burmese or Javanese?

I have spent hours looking for similar pieces and so far have not found any like it. I would love to list this, but I want to know more about it before I do. For now it’s enjoying a prime spot on our mantel.

Sales Still Strong

The irony is not lost on me that at a time of year when online sales are normally tapering off, all this sheltering in place has kept them strong. Which is lovely, but I’d much rather have the world back to normal!

I’ll close for now…wishing you health and happiness and a few good scores,



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