Fine Art/Dali print

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Question
I purchased the Dali "Wailing Wall" a couple of years ago for $2000.
It has five figures, is signed and on the bottom left  it has H C 36/65. What does the H C stand for? Also, I see on the internet the "Wailing Wall" print selling for anywhere from $150.00 to thousands of dollars. What are the differences, and how can I tell what I have?

Answer
Dear Sauni,

Thank you for your question, and I'm sorry it took me a few days to respond (I was out of town).  
There are two graphics titled 'Wailing Wall' -- one a single cooperative lithograph, and the other one of the suite 'Aliyah'.  From your description, I suspect you may have the 1978 single graphic, also known as 'Mur des lamentations'.  According to Albert Field's Complete Guide to Dali's Graphic Works, this lithograph was produced by Art Graphique Internationale in Paris in an edition of 300 -- a numbered edition 1-250 on Arches paper, and I-L (Roman numerals) on Lavis Fidelis.
HC stands for 'hors de commerce', or 'outside commerce'.  What this means is that in addition to the numbered edition, a certain number of graphics were made to be used as gifts or to advertise the numbered edition to galleries.  In some cases, HC graphics may be worth less because they are outside the original edition, but in other cases they actually may be worth more because there were fewer made (in this case, possibly 65).  Field's catalogue does not note any HC editions for 'Wailing Wall', though it is feasible that some were made and distributed. Particularly because none are noted in the catalogue, however, you will want to consult a professional appraiser or Dali authenticator to determine the authenticity of your work.

According to Bruce Hochman's 2007 price guide for Dali's graphic works, a genuine lithograph of 'Wailing Wall' can be valued at $5,800. I have found this book's valuations to be generally higher than actual value, but it provides a rough estimate. The $150 graphics are most likely reprints or forgeries, as a signed Dali graphic is invariably priced higher.  Again, for more information, please consult a professional Dali authenticator and/or appraiser.  Options include Bernard Ewell in Santa Fe, NM; The Salvador Dali Society in Los Angeles; and the Dali Archives in New York.  All can be found easily on google.com.

Good luck.
Best,
Elliott  

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Elliott H. King

Expertise

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.

Experience

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).

Publications
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.

Education/Credentials
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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