In my parents house, for as I can remember, these two "paintings" have hung in the living room. The girl, is my great, great aunt, Mary Broyles. She died at the age of 16 from a ruptured appendix. The "painting" is about a 30x24 or so, very large and was totally sealed up in a frame with glass. I took it to have it reframed because the frame was broken and covered with dust and nicotine stains. When we opened it up and took the glass off we were surprised to see that it was a pastel, unsealed and was just beautiful. Some of the pastel had adhered to the glass obscuring the beauty and detail and the signature. I have the original picture the pastel was taken from with directions on the back for the detail colors. I was so pleasantly surprised by the discovery. Topping off the find was the signature and date, "Nelson 1910". That means it is nearly 100 years old!
Now this painting, and it is a painting, was just setting in a frame, unattached to it and hanging on the wall. I love it. It is an oil but has major nicotine stains and lots of flaking going on. Even the stretcher bars of the canvas are showing through. I'm really torn about whether to have it cleaned and risk more flaking or to just frame it and leave it be. It too has a signature, "F. Miller", yeah like that is going to be easy to track down. I have no idea where it came from, it has just always been there.