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Author Topic: Your chance to put my sister out of her misery...  (Read 3475 times)

Offline P-Kasso2

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Your chance to put my sister out of her misery...
« on: 22 May, 2016, 01:52:01 PM »
This is a very long shot...but this picture (in my attachment below) is driving my sister potty.

She has had the painting for 30 years stuck in the attic.

All she can tell me for sure is that it's a watercolour pasted on to a wood mount. And that it is definitely old. Unfortunately (apart from an indistinct signature at bottom left) there are no solid clues as to date, provenance or even who the framer was. Mysterious. And more than somewhat bliddy annoying.

Can anyone help identify this watercolour? Or give me any clues as to where it might have been painted?

Or even in what century it might have been painted?
  The attachment gets a bit clearer if you click on it.

Judging from the admittedly none too clear photo (sent from my sister's smart phone) it's an old urban street scene. And her painting certainly looks old.

(One thing I should point out is that the photo of the painting in my attachment below is one she took of the watercolour painting lying down so the central image looks as if it tapers away from you. It's actually just a normal oblong painting so that means please ignore those shapes on either side of the central painting, that's just my sister's patio.)

What would Inspector Poirot have done with this? Does the style of dress that the two peasant women are wearing give you any clues?

Does their clothing remind you of coming from anywhere in particular? Could it be from Austria, Germany, Holland, the UK? Could it be Dutch? My sister thinks it might be Dutch and I reckon it might just be Scottish too.  Or from somewhere else perhaps? Anything you can fathom out might help us narrow it down a bit.

Someone might even recognise the actual street in the painting but that's probably too much to hope for.

From the style of the buildings, what can you glean? Those three gables on the houses on the right of the picture...are they just three ordinary gables or are they possibly the kind of gable which had a winch to hoist things up into the top floor storage area? Does this mean the picture might be of a street near a harbour? Or near agricultural land?

And what's that view at the end of the street? Any ideas?

Judging from the blurry signature, it was painted by someone called M. Unick (or could that be M. Urick with an 'r'?)

Where does the surname Unick or Urick come from. Is it British? Or some other nationality?

I've had a quick google of both the spellings of the surname and not had much luck except for the following little nuggets...

Unick (with an 'n') was a family name. Judging from the 1891 census returns shown on Ancestry dot com there were two or three separate families living in Cornwall and Essex at that time.
 
Furthermore, there were also a couple of people called Unick recorded as having been emigrants to the USA in the late Victorian period, this time judging from Ancestry dot com's New York passenger lists between the 1850's and 1890.

And I know that families used to dock in Falmouth on their way from Central Europe to America in the 19th century. Maybe that's a clue?

Confusingly, the Urick name (spelled with an 'r') also crops up as having been the name of some families but this time living in London and Worcestershire (from the same 1891 census).

And again there were also a couple of Urick's (with an 'r') recorded as having been emigrants to the USA in the late Victorian period, judging from the same Ancestry dot com's New York passenger lists.

I am now totally stumped.

Any theories or deductions you can add? Even vague, half-baked deductions are really welcome because I am totally baffled and I promised my sister that I'd try putting the question to IA's renowned sleuthing department. Any ideas?




« Last Edit: 22 May, 2016, 02:36:45 PM by P-Kasso2 »
"I live in hope"

Offline Hiheels

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Re: Your chance to put my sister out of her misery...
« Reply #1 on: 22 May, 2016, 04:15:10 PM »
We're going to need a better picture please, P-K, or more than one if you like.
It would be useful to have a close-up of the signature and of the women who appear to be in some sort of national dress.

It appears to perhaps be a river or sea at the end of the street, the national dress isn't the Netherlands or Finland. Could the name be Unck? That's Danish, although not a listed painter.

Offline P-Kasso2

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Re: Your chance to put my sister out of her misery...
« Reply #2 on: 22 May, 2016, 04:32:33 PM »
We're going to need a better picture please, P-K, or more than one if you like.
It would be useful to have a close-up of the signature and of the women who appear to be in some sort of national dress.

It appears to perhaps be a river or sea at the end of the street, the national dress isn't the Netherlands or Finland. Could the name be Unck? That's Danish, although not a listed painter.

I shall ask my sister to pop off a variety of better photos for you and post them on here as soon as she sends me them.

It'll probably be tomorrow or Tuesday before I get better pics for you all to sleuth away on because she's too busy this weekend decorating and playing with her snazzy new Kärcher Vario-Power Spray Lance gizmo - storming around like a mini tornado and high pressure cleaning the winter off her patio and pathways.

"I live in hope"

Offline Hiheels

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Re: Your chance to put my sister out of her misery...
« Reply #3 on: 22 May, 2016, 10:33:20 PM »
I hope she moves the piccy off the patio before hand or there'll just be attachments of a white rectangle for us to pore over.

Offline Cosmos

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Re: Your chance to put my sister out of her misery...
« Reply #4 on: 22 May, 2016, 10:40:01 PM »
Looking at the signature it looks more like Vrick or Vaick to me. If it is Urick consider that artists may only use their surname or a pseudonym, ergo it could be Murick or Munick. Another idea is that it may be written in Cyrillic letters.
Bare barbarer barberer rabarbera bra .

Offline P-Kasso2

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Re: Your chance to put my sister out of her misery...
« Reply #5 on: 24 May, 2016, 01:06:48 PM »

I have three new pics of the watercolour painting for you...but unfortunately they are 'png' files. Even more unfortunately, IA doesn't support png's.

How can I quickly and easily convert these three pics into jpeg's or whatever so I can post them on here?

I use Word 7.

Don't have Photoshop. Can't make PDF's. But I do have Paint (for what that's worth.)
"I live in hope"

Offline siasl

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Re: Your chance to put my sister out of her misery...
« Reply #6 on: 24 May, 2016, 01:16:32 PM »
A handy guide to image format shifting:
Step 1: Open image in Paint
Step 2: Select the File menu
Step 3: Select the "Save As..." button
Step 4: Select the JPEG option
Step 5: Create/select filename
Step 6: Click "Save"

No need to trouble MSWord with such heavy lifting

Offline P-Kasso2

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Re: Your chance to put my sister out of her misery...
« Reply #7 on: 24 May, 2016, 02:06:22 PM »

I have 3 new and hopefully better pics of my sister's mystery watercolour painting.


The first two new pics attached are...

PIC A    The whole watercolour painting

and

PIC B    A close-up of the two women

A third new pic is a new close-up on the artist's signature but I'll have to post that as a separate post because IA limits us to just two attachments per post.

I hope these new pics give you sleuths a better set of visual clues to go on.
« Last Edit: 24 May, 2016, 02:11:21 PM by P-Kasso2 »
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Offline P-Kasso2

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Re: Your chance to put my sister out of her misery...
« Reply #8 on: 24 May, 2016, 02:10:02 PM »

And here is the third clue A new close-up photo of the artist's signature  is attached. Can anyone decipher it?

I'm looking forward to you all sleuthing away and possibly answering the questions in my original Q post. Fingers crossed!
"I live in hope"

Offline Hiheels

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Re: Your chance to put my sister out of her misery...
« Reply #9 on: 24 May, 2016, 08:49:41 PM »
No attachment on the last one old fruit.

Offline antonymous

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Re: Your chance to put my sister out of her misery...
« Reply #10 on: 26 May, 2016, 09:25:54 AM »
I can only suggest a possible location for this picture;
It reminds me of Broad Street, Old Portsmouth, see attached pic. With the exception of the changes to right hand side if all the buildings were similar to those on the left it does suggest up a credibility, however slim.  This hunch  was triggered  by virtue of the blue splash across the background, thats where Portsmouth Harbour is.
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Offline P-Kasso2

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Re: Your chance to put my sister out of her misery...
« Reply #11 on: 26 May, 2016, 03:54:52 PM »
No attachment on the last one old fruit.


Your  wish is my command. I'll try again, Heels. One missing attachment coming up. I'd better open it and check if it's attached or somehow become disattached like the last one.

This should be of the artist's signature.

Bingo!

"I live in hope"

Offline Hiheels

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Re: Your chance to put my sister out of her misery...
« Reply #12 on: 26 May, 2016, 05:48:04 PM »
I'm waiting for the page to load for the whole thing, but how about this as a start, which is by Milind Mulick, who is an Indian painter.
Hopefully I can post a bit more later if the page ever finally arrives...

At last! The page loads - have a peruse...but be warned it might take minutes to finally come in once you've clicked the link http://www.parkablogs.com/content/book-review-watercolour-milind-mulick
« Last Edit: 26 May, 2016, 06:10:47 PM by Hiheels »

Offline antonymous

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Re: Your chance to put my sister out of her misery...
« Reply #13 on: 27 May, 2016, 08:47:03 AM »
 Gd_pst

I think you've nailed it Heels.
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Offline P-Kasso2

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Re: Your chance to put my sister out of her misery...
« Reply #14 on: 27 May, 2016, 09:32:51 AM »
Gd_pst

I think you've nailed it Heels.

I hate to rain on your grenade but I think it just became slightly un-nailed!  The thing that nags away at me is that my sister's watercolour is really old. Around the Edwardian period and probably even before.

So unless the very talented Milind Mulick is also a centenarian master forger I think that we reluctantly have to rule him out. It'd have been really great to present my sister with a nailed case but I sadly don't think we can.

Also, the fact that Milind Mulick is clearly a very talented artist scores against him here because, in comparison, my sister's painting was obviously painted by what the art world and Fiona Bruce call 'a pretty damn cackhanded artist'.

Plus the fact that Mr Mulick is still gaily walking around faraway somewhere in India also casts a gossamer of doubt over him being the likely artist too.

But luckily my sister is driving down today to stay for a day or two so I will immediately show her your excellent sleuthing Heels (after she's had a cup of tea) this afternoon and see what she says once she's seen Milind Mulick's other watercolours on your link.

Like me, I am sure she will want to thank you for all your sleuthing and excellent thinking.
"I live in hope"