This painting by H. Melville, The Lone Boat, suffered from smoke stains across the surface that were likely due to cigarettes. Its old varnish had yellowed and surface contaminates were also detracting from the natural color tones. The painting was removed from its frame and carefully cleaned which had a dramatic effect. The canvas had been placed on a masonite board that contains acids. Normally we would remove this, but due to the size of the painting (36″x24″) it was decided that it would be better not to disturb it.
The back of the frame contained information that helped us identify the artist as H. Melville, but unfortunately there is very little information available. However, and just as importantly, it allowed us to dissociate the painting with a very similar artist in terms of style, subject matter, date, and last name: Harden Sydney Melville.