coeli (coeli) wrote in little_details,

Cost of a commissioned portrait in 1912

I am trying to figure out how much a fashionable portrait painter might charge in 1912. The painter is either American or British (I'm still deciding, and may well make my choice depending on the results of this search). His clients come from both sides of the Atlantic. He's well-established and popular, filling a niche similar to that of John Singer Sargent a few years earlier. A rough estimate or range is fine.

I've tried googling the word "portrait" in combination with various permutations of "cost," "price," or "commission" and "Edwardian" or "in 1912." Any variant of "cost" or "price" in those searches turns up recent auction prices and sites selling reproductions. "Commission" has just gotten very general mentions without any actual dollar or pound amounts attached. I've read the Wikipedia entries on John Singer Sargent and William Merritt Chase, and the material about Sargent on this site. I also looked at the Smithsonian's online collection of Sargent's letters, but found myself having an embarrassing degree of difficulty with his handwriting and was unable to determine if they contained anything relevant.

UPDATE: Thanks, folks! I've got an answer that's precise enough for my needs. I appreciate all the help and suggestions.
Tags: 1910-1919, ~arts: visual arts

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