Question: My 12 1/2 -inch wide, 5-inch high picture, bought at a house sale in 2005, was tagged "Penland Jetty painting." I paid $15 for it. The painting and frame are in very good condition, but the art's backing is missing. Please tell me what you can about the picture, its artist, age and value. - G.R., Lambertville

Answer: Your circa 1999 art is one of 100 limited-edition prints of the original "Jetty" oil painting by well-known South Jersey artist James Penland (1931-2011). Enhanced by him with hand-applied, colored varnishes the art's surface texture closely resembles that of the original oil.

A native of Lakeland, Fla., Penland studied art at Florida Southern College and Phila-delphia's Tyler School of Fine Art and was an accomplished painter, teacher, musician and entrepreneur.

His Ocean City Connoisseur and Penland Place shops, filled with unique, colorful, quality merchandise, offered stunning jewelry and other fashion accessories, eclectic home decor and hand-crafted items, sparkling Christmas baubles, just-for-fun pieces and art expressed through myriad media.

Always engaged in the development of fine arts appreciation wherever he resided, Penland was a moving force in the founding, creation and support of the Atlantic City Art Center and its masquerade ball, the Ocean City Art Center and Ocean City Fine Arts League, Ocean City Boardwalk Art and Flower Shows and the Annual Arts, Music & Antiques Festival in Millville where his J.B. & M.E. Gallery on North High Street, across from the restored Levoy Theater, continues to showcase the works of local artists.

Penland's longtime friend, watercolorist Sue Rau, who teaches at the Ocean City Fine Arts League "Art on Asbury" gallery, has ascertained an enhanced Penland "Jetty" print in mint condition with original easel back panel on which Penland's signature, a date and limited-edition information appear, is valued at $200. However, because your picture's removable panel is missing, the art's worth is reduced to what an interested buyer is willing to pay for it "as is."

Question: Attached are photos of a small book owned by my mother titled "Kateri Tekakwitha The Lily of the Mohawks." Information about the book and its value are appreciated. - D.C., Vero Beach

Answer: Your soft-cover book is a biography of Saint Kateri (Catherine) Tekakwitha (1656-1680) a Native American woman. Daughter of a Mo-hawk Chief and Algonquin Christian mother, Kateri was born in upstate New York, orphaned when she was 4 and removed to Quebec by an uncle who disliked Christians. Deeply spiritual, she was converted to Christianity by Jesuit missionaries in 1676, became a nun who worked tirelessly with the sick and died of tuberculosis in 1680. After centuries of gathering and substantiating information concerning re-ported healing miracles, Kateri Tekakwitha the first Native American Saint - was canonized by the Catholic Church in 2012.

Your book, published in 1927 by Canada's Montreal Press, was written by Edouard Lecompte (1856-1929) a Jesuit priest and Canadian historian. Originally published in French, your edition's English translation was provided by Laurence Drummond. The book sells for $8 to $12, when in very good to excellent condition.

Alyce Hand Benham is an antiques broker, appraiser and estate-liquidation specialist. Send questions to: Alyce Benham, Life section, The Press of Atlantic City, 11 Devins Lane, Pleasantville, N.J. 08232. Email:

Letters may be used in future columns but cannot be answered individually, and photos cannot be returned.