Fine Art/Dali


Dear Mr.King, i have 2 lithography hand signed by Salvador Dali.The first one is "Babaouo", 312, very rare, the second is handsigned and 34/150.
I would like your opinion and also if you can help me find out the value.Thank you very much, i appreciate your expertise.Kind regards, Edith

Dear Edith,

Thank you for your question.  The first lithograph is from Dali's Divine Comedy suite.  It is usually known as Purgatory 16; I say 'usually' because a German scholar, Wolfgang Everling, has argued that the order of the prints was compromised and that the numbering one generally uses is not accurate.  Dali was commissioned to design these watercolors (later made into woodblock prints) by the Italian government to celebrate the 700th anniversary of Dante's birth.  Dali created 101 Divine Comedy watercolors between 1951 and 1960, then the finished suite was published in Paris by Joseph Foret in a special edition.  A larger edition was then published by Jean Estrade at Les Heures Claires.

The second lithograph is from the Babaouo suite.  Dali wrote a film script titled Babaouo in 1932, though these images date from 1978; there are 9 in the suite.

Again, I am not an appraiser or authenticator, so I am depending wholly on others' opinions to counsel you on value. In this case, I have consulted two books for you: Albert Field's 'The Complete Graphic Works of Salvador Dali', and Bruce Hochman's 2007 'Annual Print Price Guide to the Graphic Works of Salvador Dali'.  According to Hochman, Divine Comedy prints are valued at $4,800 each.  Babaouo prints are $10,500 for the set of 9, so about $1,200 each.  Again, this is a value determined solely from Hochman's annual price guide; the amount will likely vary depending on your source.

If you were buying, I would strongly advise asking that the works be authenticated; as you are already the owner, that step is up to you.  I say this because there is a tremendous proliferation of fake Dali lithographs on the market.  The Divine Comedy prints are especially sticky because about 8534 editions were published between French, German, and Italian editions, and most have been taken apart so the images can be sold separately.  Very few have signatures, so the fact that yours has a signature suggests that it is quite rare or the signature may be forged.  There is some information published online here:

I recommend contacting the Salvador Dali Archives in New York for more information about the authenticity of your prints.  The Archives are run by Frank Hunter, who used to work with graphics expert Albert Field.
They will also be able to tell you more about your Babaouo print.  Another great resource is Bernard Ewell in Santa Fe, NM:

I hope this helps.  Please let me know if you have further questions.

Kind regards,

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Elliott H. King


As a professional art historian, I can answer questions related to the art and life of Salvador Dalí. I am neither an art broker nor an appraiser, so I cannot answer questions regarding a work's value or authenticity; however, I can refer you to individuals who work in the Dali market.


I am an art historian specializing in Salvador Dalí. For over ten years, I have been a pioneer in the critical study of ‘Late Dalí’ (i.e., the artist's work after 1940). I have presented extensively on aspects of Dalí’s production at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Tate Modern, L’Université de Lausanne, Cerisy la Salle, the University of London, and Harvard University, and I have been a guest lecturer at Cambridge University and the University of Chicago. I have published several essays about Dalí in addition to my book, 'Dalí, Surrealism, and Cinema' (Kamera Books, 2007). I have also contributed to major international exhibitions of Dalí's work, including the Dalí Centenary Exhibition (2004-05) and 'Dalí & Film' (2007-08).

BOOKS "Dalí: The Late Work", High Museum of Art, Atlanta in association with Yale UP, 2010. "Dalí, Surrealism and Cinema", Kamera Books, Herts (UK), 2007. ESSAYS, ARTICLES AND CHAPTERS • “Little Black Dress, Little Red Book: Dalí, Mao, and Monarchy (with Special Attention to Trajan’s Glorious Testicles)”, in Michael R. Taylor (ed.), The Dalí Renaissance: New Perspectives on His Life and Art after 1940, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, 2008, pp. 90111. • “The Prodigious Story of the Lacemaker and the Rhinoceros”, in ibid, pp. 190204. • “Crazy Movies That Disappear”, in Matthew Gale (ed.), Dalí and Film, Tate Publishing, London / Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2007, pp. 214229. Published also in Spanish as "Dalí y el cine", Electa, Madrid, 2008. • “Le temps dalínien fait mouche: Réflexions sur les « montres molles »”, in Astrid Ruffa, Philippe Kaenel, Danielle Chaperon (eds.), "Salvador Dalí à la croisée des savoirs", Éditions Desjonquères, Paris, 2007, pp. 3752. • “Winged Fantasy with Lead Feet: The Influence of Llullism and Hiparxiologi on Dalí’s Mysticism”, in Hank Hine, William Jeffett and Kelly Reynolds (eds.), "Persistence & Memory: New Critical Perspectives on Dalí at the Centennial", Bompiani Arte, Milan, 2004, pp. 189193. EXHIBITION CATALOGUES: ENTRIES • Dawn Ades and Michael R. Taylor (eds.), "Dalí", Bompiani Arte, Milan, 2004. EXHIBITION CATALOGUES: BIBLIOGRAPHIES, FILMOGRAPHIES AND CHRONOLOGIES • “Dalí Filmography”, published in Matthew Gale (ed.), "Dalí and Film", op.cit., pp. 230231. • “A Cinematic Chronology of Dalí, 19411989”, in ibid, pp. 160163. • Compiled the most complete bibliography of Dalí resources todate, published in Dawn Ades and Michael R. Taylor (eds.), "Dalí", op.cit., pp. 568598.

Ph.D, Art History and Theory (2010) University of Essex, Colchester, England M.A. with Distinction in Dissertation, History of Art (2001) Courtauld Institute of Art, London, England B.A. summa cum laude, Art History (hons., Phi Beta Kappa) University of Denver, Denver, Colorado

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