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Fine Art/Salvadore DAli Alice in Wonderland Portfolio

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Question
I have recently purchased the Alice in Wonderland Portfolio, with drawings by Salvador Dali.  I have heard that there are fraudulently copies of the portfolio.  The one that I purchased comes with the original shipping box and book cover and is number 1471. Dali has signed the frontispiece and it has the original etching of alice.

It appears to be correct in every way, is there anything that I should look for.  It would seem to be a lot of trouble for someone to reproduce this book in such detail.  Thank you

Answer
Dear Jimmy,

Thank you for your question. I am not an appraiser or authenticator, so for a clearer idea of your portfolio's legitimacy, you would want to consult with a professional authenticator such as the Dali Archives in New York or Bernard Ewell in Santa Fe, NM. As far as particulars about this suite, I can tell you that according to Albert Field's book, 'The Official Catalogue of Graphic Works of Salvador Dali', there were 2800 copies of this series printed, plus artist proofs: #I-CC on Rives + a suite of 13 on Japon nacre, 1-2500 on Mandeure, and 1/100-100/100 on Rives.  There were also several EA "epreuve d'artiste/artist proof". You noted that yours is number 1471, so it seems to be from the Mandeure edition.

In most cases of fraudulent graphics, graphics are sold individually rather than in complete sets.  This is not always true, of course, but if you have the shipping box and the whole suite is in a book, it is less likely to be fake than if you just had one or two lithographs, per se.  The best would be to consult a professional, though there are some easy things you can look for to build a case for authenticity:
1. The first is the numbering.  Yours does at least *appear* to be numbered as one would expect.  
2. You can also check paper: Mandeure is a commercial brand of paper that should have a watermark that reads along the lines of 'Chiffon Mandeure'.  
3. You can also measure size, since sometimes fraudulent graphics are printed on different sized paper from the original.  The engraving of Alice should be about 15 1/4" x 10" on 22 5/8" x 16 7/8" paper, while lithos are usually 15 5/8" x 10 1/2", though there are some variations.  Field describes an edition of known counterfeits of Alice in Wonderland produced by Collectors Guild from 1980 that are 23 1/8" x 15 3/4" on 29 1/2" x 21 3/8" paper. These are numbered /300 and produced on Infinity paper.  Dali did not supervise the production of this larger size nor, according to Field, did he sign them.

If your suite does not match all these criteria, don't despair, but do contact a professional. If yours seems 'correct in every way', it is likely to be authentic, though only a certified specialist would be able to confirm that and possibly issue a certificate of authenticity.

I hope this is helpful -- good luck!
All 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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