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Art Appraising and it's Lunacy

 
 
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2004 03:29 pm
I recently aquired a Picasso Lithograph and have been trying to find out information on its origin so I can perhaps appraise it or sell it...but i'm being led to believe that either all these people who say they know something, really know nothing..or they know something..and they just refuse to let anyone else in on it....
In a way I feel like someone cut the lights out on me and I'm left wandering aimlessly in the dark with a painting that may or may not be my salvation...and alot of these dealer/appraisers/experts that I've talked to over the last few weeks don't seem to have any straight answers..or even a flipp'n match to guide me towards the light...I've gotten nowhere in 3 three weeks and I guess my biggest problem is..what now? what can i do with this painting? do I leave it in an attic so it collects dust and insects? or do i actually pay hundred's of dollars to an appraiser so they can actually give me a straight answer? Any suggestions?
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Portal Star
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2004 03:40 pm
Where did you get it and how do you know it is a Picasso? Because the people you bought it from should have it properly appraised. Please tell me you did not buy it off of ebay. You should have an appraisal certificate when you buy it. If you inherited it or it was a gift, that is a different matter.

It is more likely it is a real Picasso than it being a real work by some other famous artist, because Picasso put out a mass of work and things with his signature on it. That also makes his work difficult to identify. Signatures can be easy to forge, and it is hard to tell the difference between a "real" and a "fake" because there is so much work out there.

Do you like this arwork? Would you still like it if it were not a Picasso? Or are you looking to sell? (And, out of total curiosity, do you have the image scanned/posted somewhere on the net where I could see it?)
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2004 04:34 pm
I looked in my Picasso Retrospective Book , his lithos are said to have begun in the studio of Fr Mourlot (Nov 2 1945 is the first litho produced by Picasso), he then embarks on a journey of lithos that count in the several hundreds because he likes to print the"stages " of an artwork. His Charnel House (the second of his antiwar paintings after Guernica) made about the same time that Germany was defeated , was made as a morphing work that Picasso started to have his friend photo as his work progressed, so the photos are as important as his painting.

Enough of the "how to make a watch" answer, I see many Picasso lithos. I wonder whether he, like Dali, signed many sheets of white paper and someone printed whatever. His Don Quixote lithos can be bought for a few hundred dollars. If you have one of his earliest lithhos of his 3rd wife Francoise, Id say this is important because he was involved with the aspects of production and , thjhey say, every Francoise litho is slightly different. Later, he detatched himself from the prining and post production. He only involved himself with drawing on the stones and scrapers and gum.Two a2k guys whod know are Lightwizardor Ossobuco, both are or were gallery operators and ,I know that Wizard has some real strong ideas about prints in general.
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coluber2001
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2004 04:58 pm
There are websites that list all the paintings and other art that were auctioned off throughout the world. Most likely you will find your print or something similar, so you can get an idea of its value. I don't know the sites now, because they were all on my old defunct computer. You'll have to get on a search engine. As I recall there is a charge to view the listings.

If you live in a big city, you can go to an auction house and maybe get a free apraisal. Of course, the more valuable the print the more they'll be interested, because they get a commision if they sell it. If you agree to auction, read the contract to see exactly the commission they charge. Don't believe what they tell you. Read it.

I have a friend who inherited a reputed Clouet, a 16th century artist. He had an expert come to his house to check it, and he said it wasn't a Clouet. So my friend, who still thought it was Clouet, took it to a big auction house in Houston and they agreed to put it up for auction, but only on the condition that it be listed in the catalogue as "attributed to Clouet." That means "let the buyer beware" or "it's not a Clouet, but we thought it was." The painting sold for about $3,000. If it were a real Clouet, it would have sold for $100,000.
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pebblz26
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Apr, 2004 08:58 am
Thanks for the replies guys...This particular litho is actually 2 sketches (# III & IV) of picasso's Guernica...the litho came with a certificate of authenticity but no appraisel or insurance info.
It says it's pub. date is Paris, France 1971, which I came to find out Picasso was in France that year for the entire year. I do like the work, you get to see the beginnings of Guernica in the sketches and some of Picasso's notes are also on the sketches, which make it even more interesting. I got this piece from an auction I went to sometime ago and wanted to research it's origins, but I haven't been so successful.
I have pics if anyone is interested, just let me know & i'll email them to you.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Apr, 2004 10:46 am
are these retrospective studies done by Picasso on the 25th anniversary of Guernica?
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pebblz26
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Apr, 2004 12:18 pm
Farmerman...i wish I knew where exactly they were from...I believe they are sketches made before Guernica because you can see bits of the final composition within these sketches...they are also numbered and have notes in French on the sketches which I haven't been able to decipher...Do you know if there is any literature about the making of Guernica? that may be a way to tell
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Apr, 2004 01:38 pm
You really have no choice but to have an expert look at the lithograph. You can't, unfortunately, obtain this for free -- no more so than you could get a doctor to informally diagnose you. The American Society of Appraisers is online and will give you an appraser in your area. Be prepared to pay at least $300. to $500. for an appraisal. This is researched insofar as the lithographs have been documented as genuine and not some reproduction that someone produced signed or unsigned "Certificate of Authenticity." If someone is going to fake a work of art, they will also fake the document. Was it a highly reputable auction house? Even Sotheby and Christies does not insure that a work is authentic. You have to be the expert or have access to an expert. Buying art for investment is not for the layman -- it's for the wealthy who make art collecting an avocation. It's the reputation of the dealer, auction house or gallery that has a lot to do with the reliability of the art they are selling. Incidentally, there are as many fake Picasso lithographs out there as there are Dali's and Chagall's even with the late 80's FBI "clean up" of the fake art industry. A telling criteria is also how much you paid for the artwork. If the auction house didn't have any idea what they were selling and sold it cheap, there's your answer pretty much right there.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Apr, 2004 01:43 pm
BTW, because of the fake art scandals of the 80's, the laws now read that the entity who sells the art cannot appraise the art. Makes sense, doesn't it? The real value of the art unless an expert says it is an authentic work is what one actually paid for it insofar as the insurance companies and the IRS is concerned (when donating the art as a tax write off).
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JoanneDorel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Apr, 2004 01:56 pm
You can contact the IRS Art Advisory Panel at IRS.gov for further information. But as LW states because of all the print scams of tghe 80s prints are very suspect. While at the IRS sited you might try a search of IRS Revenue Rullings on ligitmate tax shelters and tax deduction rules for donating art. You can find that information in the IRS reading room.

Fundamentally the value of any art is its fair market value, i.e., what ever you can get for it.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Apr, 2004 02:01 pm
be aware, Picassos journals say thha he only discovered the process of lithography in 1945 with his prtraits of Francoise. So if thhese are before Guernica, and they are real, I would venture to say that they would be important> But as Lightwizard always tells us. BEWARE, BEWARE , fakes everywhere
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Apr, 2004 02:04 pm
Exactly, Joanne, and an expert documentation of the value of an art piece is not necessarily what you can actually get for the art. You're going to pay from 20% TO 50% to sell the art through a reputable dealer or auction house. Selling on E Bay is risky because one has no idea how to represent the art and could be risking a ban to sell anything more on E Bay. This is policed to some degree but unfortunatly a lot slips through the cracks. I have seen more fakes in the last thirty years offered for sale by unsuspecting buyers than I care to enumerate. Most of them are Dali's, Chagall's and Picasso's.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Apr, 2004 02:43 pm
An appraiser Website:

http://www.jonesgallery.com/jonesappraise.htm

and The American Society of Appraisers:

http://www.appraisers.org/
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 10:13 am
BTW, if they sold you the art as "hand signed and numbered" by Picasso and the signature is suspect, you can get your money back simply by going to the auction house and complaining you've been unable to find any substantiation that the signature is real. You can also threaten to turn the print over to the local DA. This depends on if you really paid a lot of money for something that has been misrepresented.
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artinbc
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 May, 2004 03:14 pm
Re: Art Appraising and it's Lunacy
pebblz26 wrote:
I recently aquired a Picasso Lithograph and have been trying to find out information on its origin so I can perhaps appraise it or sell it...but i'm being led to believe that either all these people who say they know something, really know nothing..or they know something..and they just refuse to let anyone else in on it....
In a way I feel like someone cut the lights out on me and I'm left wandering aimlessly in the dark with a painting that may or may not be my salvation...and alot of these dealer/appraisers/experts that I've talked to over the last few weeks don't seem to have any straight answers..or even a flipp'n match to guide me towards the light...I've gotten nowhere in 3 three weeks and I guess my biggest problem is..what now? what can i do with this painting? do I leave it in an attic so it collects dust and insects? or do i actually pay hundred's of dollars to an appraiser so they can actually give me a straight answer? Any suggestions?



I know how you feel finding info can be very difficult especially when your dealing with an Artist who has more then 17,000 works to his credit. I also
have two Picasso prints and trying to determine when and where is very difficult as I haven't found the same size issue to compare. Most of my fine art are originals and the few prints I do have I use a magnifying glass and expect to see: xxxx or dots which are not visible in mine so it may be closer to a serigraph. Both of mine are on watermarked Arches paper and have no other markings except the 1955 Don Quizote which measures 15 X 20 has an embossed "edition copyr" bottom right corner on the length. The other is Dance for Peace which measure 18 X 24 and has no othr identifying marks excpet the Arches watermark. Some actually told me they may be proofs based on the original sizes and were resized for limited edtion releases. I laughed at that suggestion.

I also have a Henri Matisse that I have had no luck finding info on as I have never seen the image reproduced. It is definately done with real paint and has this info on back:

Matisse/Le Cygne/gouache decoupee/1953/serigraphie/M16/Editions des Nouvelles Images/45200 Lombreuil/France/SPADEM/Printed in France

The image is titled The Swan in English and was done in 1953, the area code for Lombreuil changed along time ago to 45700 and every other work I have seen associated to Nouvelles Images has the 45700 reference. It was definately a very limited issue as to the best of my knowledge the image has never really been reproduced.

That's why I prefer originals much less headache, some of my collection includes Ken Tolmie X 2(Canada) Alf Codallo X 2 who's one of the top folklore painters of Trinidad(died in NY in 1970) and Joyce Clark(American) who's a popular seaside landscape painter of Maui Hawaii.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 May, 2004 03:36 pm
Same story -- where did you purchase the works? Is the dealer still in business? If an auction house, is it a reputable house and are they still in business? Art collecting is a dangerous hobby and a dangerous business -- the very wealthy have art dealers who are also art experts and if they cannot establish authenticity and value from their expertise they know an expert who can. The rest of us are wading around in an ocean of some ligitimate limited edition art but also some dubious and generally nearly valueless manufactured art.
It always helps to deal with a gallery who has shows with the artist and you can show up and shake hands with the person who has created the art. Originals can also be merely reproductions and also forgeries. It's unlikely that someone will forge an artist's work who is only well known because of marketing promotion but it's happened.
Don't mean to sound cynical but caveat emptor.

Welcome to A2K, artinbc.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 May, 2004 03:37 pm
BTW, a good rule of thumb is not to buy any art on vacation in tourist trap galleries.
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artinbc
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 May, 2004 07:29 pm
Lightwizard wrote:
Same story -- where did you purchase the works? Is the dealer still in business? If an auction house, is it a reputable house and are they still in business?
Welcome to A2K, artinbc.


It was an auction house(Picasso prints) with minimal experience valuating these kinds of works so I took a gamble mainly based on the size and not finding other issues of the same work issued in that size so I thought it was more unique. Most limited editions have some way of identifying it like the Matisse however getting any info from the maker has resulted in 0 info. The matisse has a period frame of black wood with a inner metal border. I am assuming the M-16 would be a way to identify it however without the assistance of Nouvelled Images I may never know. I'm not even sure if the current Nouvelled Images is the same producer based on not finding other works with the same area refernce number.

As for all my originals that have significant value I have either proffesional
appraisals or documentation from the artist.

Thanks for the adice lightwizard.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 May, 2004 07:46 pm
Glight, first of all, thank you for you handy links... I favorited the appraisers link. On the first one, though, I can't get it to work. Does it show up when you click it on the post?
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 May, 2004 08:17 am
Both links work fine -- be sure the end of your arrow is directly on the link or it can give you a page not found result.

You did take a gamble as the publishing practice of copying work as a serigraphed (screenprint) limited edition is not uncommon and likely not worth very much. The publishers I would guess have gone South. Your only recourse is to have them appraised by a professional which may cost more than you paid for them ($300.00 and more). Many auction houses do know exactly what they have and start the bidding very low or they can also start out unrealistically high and still sell them. It all hangs on the reputation of the auction house, the gallery or the dealer. If they are hand-signed, you can go to the library and look through the book of artists signatures. If they didn't sell them as authentic hand-signed prints, I'd just hang them up and enjoy them. They are likely not worth much more than what you paid for them (depending, of course, on how much you did pay). If they sold them as hand-signed and they are fakes (to my knowledge, Picasso did not produced any screenprints and Matisse did a small amount of screeprinting). They designation on the back only says it is a serigraph from a gouche painting. Have you tried searching for this Nouvelled Editions on line?

By professional appraisal -- are they accredited appraiser and not the gallery who sold the work? If it's a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist, that's adquate. However, both works are worth only what you paid for them from an invoice from the entity who sold them unless they are appraised by an entity that the insurance company approves of. I've had direct experience in insurance claims and the new art laws. The IRS will also not allow a deduction as a donation for anything more than the original invoice amount.
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