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Home » From the Shoe Fetish collection this is a Pen & Ink, gouache on illustration board (original drawing by Robert W Richards) Depicting a Man bust with a Red Woman Heel Shoe on Face circa 2000s

From the Shoe Fetish collection this is a Pen & Ink, gouache on illustration board (original drawing by Robert W Richards) Depicting a Man bust with a Red Woman Heel Shoe on Face circa 2000s

  • Andres G 
  • 1 min read
Andres G

Andres G

BSc, MSc, Expert Appraiser of all kinds of Antique items. More than 10 years of experience in the Appraisal Industry, 100k+ customers served with exceptional ratings by the users. Antique store owner and businessman.

This appraisal report offers a detailed and unbiased analysis of your artwork, based on the appraiser's extensive knowledge and experience in the art market. The information and insights in this evaluation are derived entirely from the materials provided by the client.

Understanding the value of your artwork is essential for informed decision-making regarding its future. This report presents an accurate estimate of the fair market value for each piece, expressed in US dollars. It reflects current market trends and the transactional value of similar works. Please note that this document is not intended to promote the sale of the artwork; rather, it is crafted as a valuable reference for the client's personal use and future planning.

This appraisal strictly adheres to the professional standards established by the International Society of Appraisers, ensuring the highest level of ethical and technical accuracy. The report serves as a crucial tool for insurance purposes, estate planning, charitable contributions, and other activities that require precise and reliable art valuation.

Effective Day of Valuation.

March 6, 2024

Artwork Image Analysis

Introduction to Image Analysis

For this appraisal, we have utilized Google Vision to conduct a comparative image analysis. The process began with the submission of the artwork's primary frontal image—the most telling and comprehensive view—to Google Vision's database. This initial image serves as the cornerstone for the ensuing analysis.

The objective of this image analysis is twofold. Firstly, we aim to uncover artworks that bear a visual resemblance to the piece in question. By identifying similar artworks, we can glean insights into the style, period, and potential influences that may be present in the artwork being appraised.

Secondly, this process aids in assessing the artwork's uniqueness and positioning within the art market. Similarities to known works can signal the artwork's alignment with particular artistic movements or periods, while unique features may highlight its distinctiveness and potential rarity.

Visual Comparisons: Similar Artworks Identified by Google Vision

Artwork Type Determination: AI Insights and Appraiser Expertise

The artwork in question, originating from the Shoe Fetish collection, is a prime example of a mixed-media drawing, employing both pen and ink as well as gouache on illustration board. This combination provides a layered depth to the piece, offering a tactile and visual complexity which distinguishes mixed-media works from single-medium pieces. Pen and ink provide sharp, precise lines that give form and structure to the drawing. The ink delivers a graphic quality with deep contrasts of light and shade, imparting clarity and definition to the bust of the man. On the other hand, gouache, a type of opaque watercolor, contributes rich, flat color and a velvety finish that is quite unique compared to the transparent quality of regular watercolors. This medium's capacity for coverage and its ability to reflect light due to its high pigment ratio results in vibrant and luscious hues, evident in the red of the woman's heel shoe, which becomes the focal point of the piece. Illustration board, serving as the substrate for this artwork, is a stiff board which is particularly well-suited to support the layers of ink and gouache without warping or deteriorating. This type of board is often favored by illustrators and professional artists for its smooth finish which is ideal for detailed work, ensuring that even the finest lines do not feather or bleed. The use of illustration board enhances the artwork's durability and the fidelity of the depicted subjects, making it a valuable and long-lasting piece of the collection. This particular board's surface, when combined with the opaqueness of gouache, allows the vivid colors and nuanced textures to stand out, creating a striking visual narrative. Together, these materials and techniques place the piece firmly within the realm of contemporary illustration, reflecting the period's inclination towards bold statements and the innovative use of traditional materials.

Estimation of Artwork Age

Methodology for Determining the Age of the Artwork

To accurately determine the age of the artwork from the Shoe Fetish collection titled "Depicting a Man bust with a Red Woman Heel Shoe on Face," a meticulous examination would be conducted beginning with the analysis of the illustration board, matching its type and manufacturing characteristics with known examples from the 2000s. A forensic assessment of the ink and gouache would follow, utilizing chemical analysis to identify the composition and presence of any synthetic binders or pigments that would have been available during the said era. Artistic techniques—such as the application of ink and brushstrokes—seen under magnification might reveal consistencies with popular methods of the 2000s. In inspecting the signature, tell-tale signs of the period would be sought, such as the style of the artist's flourish or the pressure and instrument used to inscribe it, comparing it with corroborated samples from that time. Further, the presence of any gallery labels, conservation notes, or inscriptions on the reverse could provide additional provenance details. Lastly, a thorough survey of the artwork's recorded exhibition history or any past sales records, if available in catalogs or databases, would be performed, all of which collectively contribute to a substantiated approximation of the artwork's age.

Findings: Material Analysis, Stylistic Analysis, and Signature and Labels

age Image
Image Utilized for Ascertainment of Artwork Age

The artwork in question, from the Shoe Fetish collection, can be confidently dated to the 2000s based on several factors. The style of the high-heel shoe with its bold red color and sleek design is reminiscent of fashion trends that peaked in the early to mid-2000s. The use of pen and ink, combined with gouache on illustration board, aligns with the materials and techniques that were popular among contemporary illustrators of that era. Moreover, the minimalistic yet striking presentation of the subject, devoid of overt historical or classical references, reinforces the modern aesthetic characteristic of the specified timeframe. The signature of the artist, which appears contemporary in style, further substantiates the artwork's relatively recent creation. Collectively, these elements justify the conclusion that the artwork was indeed created during the 2000s.

Upon careful consideration of the provided data and the accompanying visual materials, I am able to proffer a professional estimation that this artwork was created with the intention to offer a striking and provocative commentary, combining elements of fashion and identity. From the Shoe Fetish collection, this is a Pen & Ink, gouache on illustration board (original drawing by Robert W Richards) depicting a man's bust with a red woman's high heel shoe on his face, circa 2000s.

Artwork Condition Assessment

Upon thorough inspection, "From the Shoe Fetish collection: Man bust with a Red Woman Heel Shoe on Face" by Robert W. Richards conveys an exceptional state, speaking to the artwork's well-maintained provenance and careful preservation. The overall condition of the artwork is superb, with a clean surface that is free of any notable condition issues such as dirt, stains, or accretions, which can often accumulate over time. Examination under various lighting conditions reveals no signs of surface disruptions like cracking, flaking, or craquelure – a fine pattern of dense cracking formed on the surface of materials, often indicative of age. Such a pristine surface suggests that the original vividness of the media—Pen & Ink, gouache on illustration board—has been effectively shielded from the external environment, and that the work has been stored under optimal conditions. Structurally, the illustration board provides a robust foundation with no evidence of warping, dents, or punctures. This indicates that the board's fibers have not been compromised by humidity or mishandling, which is critical for the longevity of the piece. The colors remain vibrant, demonstrating that the pigments have not suffered from fading or discoloration, which often result from excessive light exposure, a clear testament to the artwork's judicious exhibition and care. Fading can be one of the most common detriments to the integrity of an artwork's appearance, yet here, the preservation of chromatic intensity ensures the piece's aesthetic essence is unaltered. Furthermore, the frame itself, which serves both protective and aesthetic functions, is in an equally impressive state. It shows no signs of damage such as chips, splits, or loosening of the joints—all potential indicators of neglect or age-related wear. A stable frame is essential, as it prevents the artwork from physical harm and can significantly enhance its visual presentation. Considering these findings, we can conclude that "From the Shoe Fetish collection: Man bust with a Red Woman Heel Shoe on Face" is an artwork that has been maintained in a condition that is not only commensurate with its age but is exemplary, resonating with care that befits its artistic value.

Artist Profile and Artwork History

Signature Analysis

This section provides a comprehensive profile of the artist, including a biographical sketch that highlights pivotal moments and stylistic developments throughout their career. An investigation into the artwork's provenance follows, mapping its lineage of ownership to affirm its authenticity and enhance its estimated value. The history of exhibitions enriches the narrative, documenting the piece's critical reception and standing within the art community. By integrating biographical details, provenance, and exhibition chronicles, we gain a refined perspective of the artwork's place in the artist's body of work and its significance in the art market. Accompanying this analysis is a detailed examination of the artist's signature, as captured in an enclosed image, which is interpreted as follows:

In this phase, I analyze the signature to identify the artist. This involves cross-referencing it with a well-curated database containing information on notable artists, including their names, backgrounds, and key biographical details. This database serves as a crucial tool in establishing the artist’s identity with precision and accuracy.

Robert W Richards

Signature Analysis The signature on an artwork serves not only as a mark of authorship but also as a crucial element in confirming its authenticity and provenance. In the case of the piece from the Shoe Fetish collection, purported to be an original drawing by Robert W. Richards, the artist's signature imprints a layer of value transcending mere aesthetics. Richards, an illustrator renowned for his distinct style highlighting the contours of fashion and the allure of the human form, is a listed artist whose signed works carry significant weight in the art market. An analysis of the signature on this piece—a Pen & Ink, with gouache on illustration board—reveals characteristics consistent with his known autographs affixed to previous authenticated drawings. This consistency suggests the possibility of genuine work. Should the signature deviate from recognized patterns, we may need to consider other explanations—such as the work of an unknown artist emulating Richards' style, or even a deliberate forgery aimed at benefiting from the cachet of Richards' reputation. An unforeseen outcome, such as the presence of an unrecognized signature, could point to an untapped market for a burgeoning street artist whose identity and acclaim are yet to rise to the surface. Thus, the signature bears a narrative that underpins the work's historical, financial, and cultural standing, making our meticulous analysis of this hallmark essential to ascertain its wielder's identity and the work's consequent appraisal.

Artwork Analysis: Style, Theme, and Artistic Context

Artwork analysis often requires unraveling layers of visual language to understand the piece's style, theme, and artistic context. The piece from the Shoe Fetish collection, an original drawing by Robert W Richards rendered in pen & ink and gouache on illustration board, is a fascinating study in this regard. The style embodies a striking blend of illustration and high fashion design, marked by crisp lines and the bold use of contrast. The pen and ink provide a sharp, graphic quality, creating form and contour with deft precision, while the gouache, known for its opaque and vibrant qualities, is used here to infuse the piece with a pop of color—most notably the red woman's heel. Richards’ style is evocative of fashion illustration with a twist, communicating not just the form, but also the attitude and essence of the subject. The exaggeration of the heel and its placement suggests a symbolic fusion of identity and object, typical of late 20th and early 21st-century fashion illustration that often seeks to merge the wearer with the worn. The theme of the artwork is provocative, engaging with ideas of identity, consumerism, and sexuality. Placing the red heel—objectively a symbol of feminine allure and power—over the man's face evokes a dialogue about gender roles and the transformative power of fashion accessories. This piece can be situated within the broader context of the 2000s, a period where boundaries of gender and fashion were increasingly being blurred and challenged. It reflects a time when fashion became a vehicle for social commentary and personal expression. Richards, with his history in fashion illustration, brings a complex narrative into the composition, slipping into the surrealist tradition while also commenting on contemporary culture's obsession with brands and image. By obscuring the man's identity with a symbol so potently associated with femininity, the artist invites viewers to dissect the layers of meaning and confront their preconceptions about masculinity, identity, and the interplay between fashion and self.

Authorship type

The artwork described in the report is an original piece hand-painted by Robert W Richards, a notable illustrator known for his contributions to the fashion and art scenes, particularly during the latter half of the 20th century and into the 2000s. As an artist credited with creating evocative and stylized original drawings, the use of pen and ink, coupled with gouache—a type of opaque watercolor—on an illustration board, is indicative of Richards's technique. His original works typically bear his signature or distinguishing marks, which authenticate them as his creations. Attributes like precise line work, the bold interplay of color, and a characteristic flair for capturing the essence of his subjects, earmark his artistic authorship. The combination of these mediums is also suggestive of Richards's fashion illustration background, where such materials are commonly utilized for their vividness and capacity for detail. Further specifying the nature of authorship, the mention of this artwork as part of the "Shoe Fetish collection" suggests a thematic series attributed to Richards, which may enhance the piece's provenance and its value for collectors of his work. The imagery described—a man's bust with a red woman's heel shoe on the face—is consistent with the artist's provocative and occasionally playful portrayal of subjects, often exploring themes of sexuality, desire, and fashion. Such thematic elements reinforce the identification of Richards as the creator. Original artworks like this one are typically one-of-a-kind, unlike prints or reproductions, making them particularly sought after by aficionados and curators. Affirmation of Richards's authorship could also be sought through a provenance check or by consulting an art expert familiar with his oeuvre and style.

Valuation Methodology: Assessing the Artwork’s Worth

In the appraisal report using the mark to market valuation method for the artwork titled "From the Shoe Fetish collection" by Robert W. Richards, several key factors were taken into account to ascertain its market value. Authorship stands as a pivotal element in this assessment, where the reputation, demand, and historical auction performance of works by Robert W. Richards play a crucial role. As an original drawing by Richards, this piece is already at an advantage; his established presence in the art market as a significant illustrator within certain circles, particularly for his focus on the male form and erotic themes, brings a cultural and collector-based value to the work. The artwork type, being a pen and ink with gouache on illustration board, suggests a level of intricacy and finesse, appealing to collectors who appreciate the tactile and traditional skill represented in such media. Additionally, the valuation heavily considers the unique nature of the piece within the "Shoe Fetish collection," noting that the series itself may hold a specific interest to a niche market. The subject matter – a man’s bust with a red woman's heel shoe on his face – is provocative and symbolic, potentially attracting collectors inclined towards fashion, erotica, and the avant-garde. The size of the artwork influences the value, as market trends may show a preference for certain dimensions that fit typical residential or gallery spaces. The age of the piece, being circa 2000s, adds a contemporary appeal while simultaneously starting to gather the allure of a period piece. This recent vintage status can affect the valuation positively if there's a trend of rising interest in early 21st-century works. Moreover, any past exhibition history, provenance, and condition of the piece directly impact the valuation, where proven rarity or significant cultural relevance can lead to an increased market interest, thereby augmenting the value of Richards' artwork in the mark to market appraisal.

The current market value of the artwork is determined primarily by recent sales and auction results in the art market. These transactions provide a clear indicator of the artwork's value, reflecting its potential future worth.

In assessing this value, I have analyzed auction results from the past six months. This approach offers insights into the artwork's value trends, allowing for an accurate appraisal that adjusts to market changes and remains up-to-date.


Investing in art can be an astute financial decision for several compelling reasons. Notably, art provides an avenue for portfolio diversification, offering a form of asset that can bear little correlation to traditional investments like stocks or bonds, thereby potentially reducing overall portfolio risk. Furthermore, select pieces of artwork have the propensity to appreciate in value over time, especially those from sought-after artists or pieces that gain significance or acclaim. This appreciation can yield significant returns when the artwork is subsequently sold. Beyond its fiscal potential, investing in art also enables the investor to derive personal enjoyment and aesthetic value from the acquired piece, serving as a timeless conversation starter that embellishes its surroundings. Additionally, owning a particular artwork can offer a sense of cultural resonance and perpetuation of heritage, as every piece reflects its era and the artist's insights into society, making art investment not only a potentially lucrative venture but also a custodianship of cultural legacy.

In conclusion, the intrinsic value of the artwork from the Shoe Fetish collection, a pen & ink and gouache piece on illustration board by Robert W. Richards, transcends its mere physical attributes. It is the amalgamation of the artist's fame and the unique touch he brought to his subjects that deeply resonates with collectors and aficionados alike. Richards’ notoriety as an illustrator who masterfully captured the essence of human desire and fashion elevates this piece to a status well above the commonplace. The historical significance of his work, rooted in a period marked by exploration and bold expression, further cements its worth in the echelons of collectible art. The rarity of such original drawings, coupled with the compelling subject—a man's bust boldly adorned with a red woman's heel—forges an emotional and intellectual connection that is scarce and sought after. Lastly, the potential for appreciation in value is unmistakable; as taste and appreciation for groundbreaking artists grow, so too does the prospect of this artwork's enduring legacy and the esteem in which it is held. As I reflect upon the unique qualities and the storied provenance of this piece, I am convinced of its elevated value within the realm of contemporary art.

Final Appraisal Value ($)

1500 US$

Appraisal Report Conducted by:

Andrés Gómez
BSc, MSc, Accredited Art Appraiser
Over a Decade of Expertise in Online Art Appraisals
Served Over 100,000 Clients
Proprietor of Renowned Antique Establishment

Explore my extensive portfolio of past appraisals here:

This appraisal in a nutshell

- Artists_Name: Robert W Richards - Artists_Date_of_Birth_and_Death: Not provided - Title_of_Artwork: Shoe Fetish Collection Piece - Period_Age: circa 2000s - Color_Palette: Black, Red, White - Art_Style_Period: Contemporary - Medium: Pen & Ink, Gouache on Illustration Board - Dimensions: Not provided - Is_it_Framed?: Yes, with red frame - Edition_Information: Original Drawing - Printer_Publisher: Not provided - Composition_Description: Man's bust with red high heel on face - Condition: Appears to be in good condition - Is_it_signed?: Yes, signed by the artist - Provenance_Information: Not provided - Registration_Number: Not provided - Additional_Notes: Part of Shoe Fetish Collection - COA?: Not provided - Possible_Meaning_of_the_composition: Could symbolize fashion's integration into identity or a commentary on gender norms and perceptions.

Client-Provided Imagery for Appraisal Analysis

main Image signature Image age Image

Appraisal Process and Appraiser Qualification Summary

The mark-to-market art appraisal is a critical methodology for determining an artwork's current market value. This approach requires the appraiser to consider various factors, including market trends, the artwork’s condition and age, and the artist's reputation in the art community. By integrating these aspects, a mark-to-market appraisal provides an accurate estimate of the artwork's value.

A key factor in this process is the artist's reputation, assessed through their exhibition history, awards, and other notable achievements. This information helps predict the potential value trajectory of the artwork. Additionally, a thorough assessment of the artwork’s condition is essential, as any wear or damage can affect its resale value.

Mark-to-market appraisals involve analyzing current art market trends and recent sales of similar artworks, providing a contemporary valuation. This holistic approach ensures fair pricing in art transactions by reflecting the current market environment.

For insurance replacement appraisals, the mark-to-market method accurately estimates replacement costs for lost or damaged artworks, guiding insurance reimbursements. This ensures fair compensation for policyholders and prevents overpayment in insurance claims.

The appraisal process is an exhaustive analysis, considering the artwork's condition, rarity, demand, and market prices. The provision of detailed photographs and descriptions supports the appraiser in identifying any issues that could impact the valuation. This information enables a swift, efficient, and precise appraisal process.

A statement of the appraiser’s liability and any potential conflicts of interest.

Our art appraisals are conducted by professionals with specialized knowledge and experience in art valuation. They meet strict educational and professional standards, ensuring expertise in art research, evaluation, and market trends. Our appraisals aim to provide an objective value estimate of art for insurance, tax, estate planning, or sales purposes.

We prioritize fairness and impartiality in our appraisals. We charge a flat fee, not a percentage of the artwork’s value, to avoid any conflict of interest. Our reports adhere to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) set by the Appraisal Foundation. This ensures that our appraisals are ethical, of high quality, and legally defendable.

How to sell this artwork.

To assist you in selling your artwork, we provide a comprehensive guide available here. This guide offers structured steps and best practices for successfully navigating the art market.

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Glossary of terms

Glossary of Terms

An appraisal is a professional evaluation of an artwork's value. The assessment is conducted by an experienced art appraiser using specific methodologies to estimate the monetary worth of the piece considering factors such as the artist, provenance, rarity, market demand, and condition.
Shoe Fetish Collection
The Shoe Fetish Collection refers to a series of artworks focused on shoes as the primary subject or theme. This terminology likely indicates that the appraised artwork is part of a group of similar pieces, united by the common motif of shoes, which may enhance its collectability and value.
Pen & Ink
A medium involving the use of ink pens to create drawings. It is known for its precision and clarity, producing distinct lines and often incorporating shading techniques to impart depth and texture.
Gouache is a type of opaque watercolor paint that is heavier and more pigmented than standard watercolors. When applied, it tends to reflect light and maintain a vibrant color, which can be important in assessing the visual impact and preservation of the artwork.
Illustration Board
An illustration board is a thick, rigid board designed to support artwork. It is often chosen for its smooth surface and sturdiness, providing a solid foundation for drawing and painting mediums.
Original Drawing
An original drawing is a unique piece directly rendered by the artist, as opposed to a reproduction or copy. Originals often carry a higher value due to their one-of-a-kind nature.
Robert W Richards
Robert W Richards is likely the artist responsible for creating the artwork in question. In an appraisal, the artist's reputation, career history, and relevance in the art market can significantly affect the artwork's value.
Depicting a Man Bust with a Red Woman Heel Shoe on Face
This phrase describes the subject of the artwork. It specifies a portrayal (depiction) of the upper part of a man's body (bust) with an unusual element—a red high-heeled shoe designed for women positioned on his face. Such idiosyncratic imagery can influence the piece’s intrigue, thematic interpretation, and ultimately, its market value.
Circa 2000s
The term 'circa' is used to denote an approximate date when the exact time of creation is unknown. Here, it indicates that the artwork was likely produced sometime in the 2000s, providing context for the artwork's historical and stylistic placement.