Treasure: French subject and artist perennially popular


In French, “joie de vivre” can be translated as “joy of life.” As fans of the lighthearted work of Louis Icart know, it’s also the name of one of the French’s artist’s more popular works.

According to, Icart is “a French artist best known for his drawings of glamourous women — often erotic or mildly humorous in tone — as well as for depictions of 1920s Paris life.” Bob Kurzmann was lucky enough to inherit a copy of one of his more popular etchings from his grandmother along with a few other items he recently brought for appraisal to DuMouchelles in downtown Detroit.

DuMouchelles’ expert Mary Kossarek took a closer look at the appealing image, which features an attractive woman in flowing yet form-fitting clothing accompanied by two stylized dogs. She filled the Trash or Treasure audience in on a little more detail about the artist, explaining that he was born in 1888 and lived until 1950. “He is famous for art deco style and was very popular into the 1930s.”

Signed in the lower right, its #120 of 500 copies according to the folio. It also has a blind stamp of a windmill that is partially covered by the frame, Kossarek pointed out, all indications of the piece’s authenticity, she told Kurzmann. “The etching does have a few condition issues, she cautioned, including a few scratches, indentations and “toning,” which she said is a form of paper discoloration. According to Kossarek’s research, the piece dates to 1929.

In the world of antiques, condition is key. “In perfect condition, it would be worth about $900 to $1,000,” she told Kurzmann. “In this condition, the value is closer to $600 to $800 at auction.”

She cautioned him to keep the work away from sunlight, which will damage it and ultimately reduce its value even further. “If you decide to keep it, I’d definitely invest in UV glass to protect it,” she added. “Other than that, I’d just recommend hanging it and enjoying it.”

Kurzmann decided to hang on to the family heirloom for now. Kossarek said that the work should hold its value, especially if he takes care of it, and that it would sell well if he ever decided to part with it. “People really like this image,” she says.

Win A VIP Breakfast With Dr. Lori: Fans of Dr. Lori, the celebrity appraiser who is coming to the Novi Home Show at the end of the month, won’t want to miss the chance to meet her and enjoy her company (along with that of yours truly) at a special breakfast event to be held that weekend. Five lucky winners and their guests will have breakfast with Dr. Lori and be treated to a free appraisal at the event that will later be used in this column. To enter, go to The contest runs through Jan. 23 at 11:59 p.m. You must be a Detroit News reader to win.

Do you have an object you would like to know more about? Send a photo and description that includes how you acquired the object to: The Detroit News, Trash or Treasure?, 160 W. Fort St., Detroit, MI 48226. Include your name and daytime telephone number. You may also send your photo and description to If chosen you’ll need to bring the items to an appraisal session. Letters are edited for style and clarity. Photos cannot be returned.

About this item

Item: Louis Icart etching

Owned by: Bob Kurzmann

Appraised by: Mary Kossarek, DuMouchelles

Estimated value: $600-$800 at auction

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