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This is an actual Authentication and Appraisal document
of an artwork submitted to us by one of our clients (name has been altered).
Every project we accept is thoroughly researched and documented, as this one is...



Prepared for

J*** U*****


(Mr) Gayle B. Tate
G. B. Tate & Sons Fine Art


George William Thornley
(France, United Kingdom, Italy, 1857 - 1935)

"Storm off the Coast of Cornwall"
Oil on Canvas, 11 7/8 X 22 1/2 Inches
Signed in paint lower right with Monogram “WT”
In generally good condition

Detail of Subject Artwork - Signature


1.  In addition to our own research and findings from independent resources, this authentication is submitted, using our own physical examination and the submission of our own images and information gathered from the original.

2.  The Subject Artwork is an oil painting on canvas, executed in the typical style and fashion of the artist, Georges William Thornley. This evaluation of the Subject Artwork is made primarily from comparisons made to similar works sold through the public venues, most notably by major auction houses of the United States and Europe, and private galleries. In addition, substantiation of our conclusions is supported through various professional texts and documents, written by authorities on the artist’s work. 

3.  The signature on the Subject Artwork compares favorably with the typical signature on the work of Georges William Thornley. For further discussion on this point, see Para 4 below.
4.  Our conclusions are supported by the following factors and characteristics that can typically be found in the work of Thornley: 

a. Depiction of figures, usually in groups, that appear regularly in the artist's work
b. The somewhat rounded backs and torsos, a characteristic well know about the artist
c.  Strong color, usually in earth tones, bringing emphasis to the central subject matter
d. Irregular and natural ocean wave patterns (as opposed to stylized or regular waves)
e. Depiction of a land form, jetty or pier extending from one side of the picture space
f. The tendency toward more dramatic scenes and lighting, such as an approaching storm, windy seas, sunset/sunrise or intermittent lighting under cloudy conditions
g. Clouds that arise from the same direction as figure groups and landforms
h. The tendency to produce small paintings

5. The Subject Artwork was compared with other works by Thornley found through various auction and art gallery facilities (See Appendix “A” below). 

6.  Examination of the Subject Artwork reveals very specific artistic devices found in those used as comparisons in this report and listed in Para 5 above. Other common characteristics are less easily defined, such as the overall feel of the painting or tenor of the scene itself. 

7.  History and Discovery Notes: The artist is generally known as William Thornley, but is also cataloged under the name Charles Thornely, RBA (1858-1898). Furthermore, in a rather mysterious and playful manner, he used a number of names to identify his work. He signed his paintings variously as Georges William, William A. Thornbery, W. A. Thornbery, Thornberry, Thornbury, and Thornery. In addition, There are authenticated examples of his work signed W. Lawrence and the name William during a period when he was consistently using the name Charles. As if that is not enough, some writers referred to him as Hubert Thornley, a name he is not known to have used, presumably taken from the artist's tricky use of the T and H monogram that he also used to sign his work, aside from his use if the T and W monogram. 

The discovery of the two monograms “TH” and “TW”, used uniquely, have only added to the researcher's burden, as speculations to the artist's identity have been many over the decades.
This confusing array of mischievous interplay of names and letters has only added an extra burden to the searchers of authorship of Thornley's work, making it difficult to track and accurately catalog the artist's paintings. Nontheless, Denys Brook-Hart did exactly that in his comprehensive book, "British 19th Century Marine Painting" (Baron Publishing, Woodbridge, Suffolk, England, 1974). Brook-Hart meticulously sought work by British artists and set out the task of compiling an authoritative volume to end such confusion. 

However, another author of a discussion on the artist's work succumbed to the confusion... stating "William Thornley was a painter of coastal scenes whose work is very similar to Hubert and Charles Thornley, who may have been members of the same family" (Haynes Fine Art of Broadway, Worcestershire, United Kingdom). 

He was believed to have first exhibited marine paintings at the Royal Academy in 1859 from an address in Paddington, London and also at the British Institution from 1861 until it closed in 1867. He continued to exhibit at the Royal Academy until 1898. 

Thornley also exhibited at the Paris Salon and the Salon of French Artists, receiving an honourable mention in 1881 and a third place medal in 1888.


8.  Valuation of the Subject Artwork is based on the current market as of the date of this writing. It should be noted that the year 2006 was the year of the strongest sales for the artist's work, when auction prices topped out above $45,000 USD. Due to economic factors, the market was in a sharp decline from 2007 until the last two years (2013-2015). Since that time, the markets have shown mildly renewed vigor and the prices for the artist's work have increased, but not to the levels seen in 2006. Recovery to that or higher levels will only be determined over time and availabiity of the artist's work (See Appendix “A” below).

9.  The value of the Subject Artwork is determined for true market value and comparable replacement, if necessary. Replacement of the painting in the event of loss must by necessity include addition expenditures, such as travel, agent or gallery commissions and various factors, such as works that may or may not be comparable in size, quality or condition to the Subject Artwork. We have also submitted the market value separately, as an estimate of the actual cash value for the Subject Artwork from a sale to a private party, and does not include such expenditures.

10.  Factors against value for the Subject Artwork include the fact that the artist did many different genres of work (landscape, still lifes & etc). Such diversity usually plays against a high evaluatuation.

11.  Factors for a significant value include the fact that sea coast scenes are the most sought by the artist.

12.  It is a major factor that the artist tended to create small paintings. This means that size is not a hindering factor to value.

NOTE: The value of the frame or other additions is not considered in this evaluation, unless particularly noteworthy of attention and significant value.

Explanation of the Appraisal Value (see “Conclusions”, below):
In an open and competitive market economy, the works of George William Thornley are well known and accepted as viable goods. The artist's works are sold regularly through established venues, and usually bring prices within forecast parameters and pre-sale estimates.

The Appraisal Value is the actual cash value at which the Subject Artwork should be expected to sell from a typical retail or e-commerce art gallery located in a favorable market area for the artist. Galleries or dealers will certainly buy or consign for a lesser net amount, depending on their policies and projected profit or return on investment. In practical terms, the actual cash procedes anticipated from such a gallery for the Subject Artwork should be a lesser amount, reduced by a specific percentage discount formula of an amount, from a token discount to up to half the Appraisal Value. If placed at auction, the anticipated net result should be comparable to such a gallery transaction or greater. Offered directly to a suitable private buyer, it should be anticipated that the full Appraisal Value would be obtained.


The Subject Artwork is an original oil on canvas by George William Thornley

The monogram signature is by the hand of George William Thornley

Appraisal Value...     $6,500 USD

The evidence of artworks compared to the Subject Artwork is compelling. That and the opinion of other dealers and art professionals involved with Continental and European painting agree with our conclusions. There is therefore no reason to doubt its attribution to William Thornley, nor its authenticity. The Subject Artwork is typical of the artist and compares favorably in execution and subject matter with the finest examples of the genre being offered in the marketplace. All other factors, including technique and style, are consistent with original works by the artist.


This authentication and appraisal is submitted for J. U*****
The results are based on information submitted to us by Mr. U***** and
her representatives, without our own firsthand examination of the Subject Artwork
and together with our own research, experience and other resources.

I certify that the information contained in this authentication has been thoroughly
researched and is a true, accurate and complete record of my findings.
A copy of this report is retained at our offices.

Certified on this day...

January 7, 2017

G. B. Tate & Sons Fine Art

414 South 19th Street | Laramie, Wyoming 82070 | 307 399-3316 |

Appendix “A”


George William Thornley

French Fishing Boats Outward Bound, Size: 16.00" x 24.00"
Low Estimate: $800; High Estimate: $1,200
Skinner Inc, Boston, 10/09/2015, Lot: 467

Coastal Shipping, Size: 7.48" x 15.35"
Low Estimate: $1,547 (£1,000); High Estimate: $2,321 (£1,500)
Thomas Watson Auctioneers, 02/25/2014 , Lot: 619

Moonlight at the Mouth of the Humber; Return of the Fishing Fleet, Size approx 8 x 16”
Sales Price**: $4,835 (£3,125);
Low Estimate: $3,095 (£2,000); High Estimate: $4,642 (£3,000)

Auction House  Bonhams Knightsbridge, 04/15/2015, Lot: 102

A beach Scene with Fishing Boats, Size: 9.84" x 15.94"
Hammer Price*: $1,114 (£720)
Low Estimate: $232 (£150), High Estimate: $386 (£250)
Fieldings Auctioneers, 09/06/2014, Lot 444

Low Tide, Size: 13.98" x 12.01"
Low Estimate: $795 (€600); High Estimate: n/a, Hammer Price*: $1,060 (€800)

Fishing Boats off the Coast, Size: 10.00" x 14.00"
Low Estimate: $1,857; High Estimate: $2,785; Hammer Price*: $1,857
Auction House: Gorringes - Sussex, 09/04/2013, Lot 1313

Appendix “B”


Standard Biographical References and resources used in research, and quoted in this appraisal are:

Malletıs Index: Mallettıs Index of Artists, an International Bibliography, by Daniel Trowbridge Mallett, 1948

Fielding: Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors and Engravers by Mantle Fielding, 1974, revised and expanded 1989

Davenport: Davenportıs Art Reference and Price Guide by R.J. Davenport, published yearly, 1987 to present.

Benezit: “Dictionnaire Critique et Documentaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs”, by Emmanuel-Charles Benezit (a French publication in 10 Volumes) 1976.

Thieme - Becker: “Allgemeines Lexicon der Bildenden Kunstler von der Antike bis sur Gegenwart”, Leipzig, 1934 (a German publication in 40 volumes).

12. Other occasional biographical references, which we do not commonly use, are detailed in full in the body of the appraisal.

13. Sources for determining the Price Evaluation (including Davenport, Benezit and Johnson & Greutzner, above) of the works of art are:

Franklin & James: Auction Price Guide, published Bi-Annually

Falkıs: Auction Price Guide, published Annually

Hislopıs Art Price Index: Auction Price Guide, published Annually

Meyerıs Price Guide to Antiques and Fine Art: Auction Price Guide, published Bi-Annually

Fine Art: (Susan Theran) Auction Price Guide to the Art Marketplace, published Bi-annually from 1987 to 1996

Art at Auction in America: Auction Price Guide, published Annually from circa 1990 to 1995

AskArt: Online auction, gallery and research resource on the internet

ArtNet: Online auction, gallery and research resource on the internet

Fine Art Investment Services: Online auction, gallery and research resource on the internet

ADEC (Artprice): Online auction, gallery and research resource on the internet

Art Library Online: Online auction, gallery and research resource on the internet

Traditional Fine Arts Online: Online auction, gallery and research resource on the internet

iCollector: Online auction, gallery and research resource on the internet

The United States Library of Congress: in Washington, DC

American Art Review: A bi-monthly art magazine devoted to the art marketplace and museum and gallery operations

Art and Auction: A bi-monthly art magazine devoted to the art marketplace and art auction operations

Art and Antiques: A bi-monthly art magazine devoted to the art marketplace and art and antiques auction operations

Antiques: A monthly art magazine devoted to the art and antiques marketplace and gallery operations

American Artist: A monthly art magazine devoted to the art marketplace and artist promotions and marketing.

The Artist: A monthly art magazine devoted to the art marketplace and artist promotions and marketing.

The Journal of Print World: Bi-monthly news magazine on the area of fine prints and their marketplace.

Appendix "C"


G. B. Tate & Sons has served the art community continuously since its founding in 1967 by its still current owner and president, Mr. Gayle B. Tate. It was founded under the name Tate Gallery in Tallahassee, Florida, and subsequently served in Tampa, Florida and Asheville, North Carolina. Since his retirement in 2000, the offices of G. B. Tate & Sons are located at:

G. B. Tate & Sons Fine Art
414 South 19th ST.
Laramie, Wyoming 82070
(307) 399-3316

Mr. Tate has acted as art dealer, gallery owner and appraiser since 1967. He is the author of three privately published books on topics in the art field, including art investments and the dynamics of the art market. Other discourses have been on the prevention and recovery of fakes, fraud and theft in fine art.

Mr. Tate served for five years in the United States Air Force as a commissioned officer, being discharged honorably with the rank of Captain in 1972.

Mr. Tate is a founding member and past president of the Southeast Professional Art Dealers Association, Tampa, Florida. Certified for the authentications and appraisals of artworks under the auspices of SPADA since 1980 (
certification no. FM-80-12003).

Mr. Tate is a founding member and past president of “The Seven”, Alliance of Artists, Asheville, North Carolina, 1992 - 2000

Mr. Tate has worked for insurance companies throughout the United States... from 1976-82, on two different occasions, Mr. Tate worked with the private sector, insurance companies and the FBI to uncover rings of fraudulent operations working in central Florida. Through research and investigations of claims made by criminal vendors of works of art, he was able to discover their purposes to create and market fake works of art. In both occasions, the criminals involved were tried and convicted of fraud charges and subsequently sentenced to prison terms. On other occasions, thieves were brought to trial and sentenced to prison terms.

Mr. Tate is now retired from art gallery operations and management. He continues to work privately at his offices in Laramie, Wyoming.

G. B. Tate & Sons Fine Art

414 South 19th Street | Laramie, Wyoming 82070 | 307 399-3316
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