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Blue Lady?
Blue Lady?  

Green Lady?
Green Lady?  
Hello,

My name is Glenn and I inherited some paintings from my mother when she passed away last year.  Many of them have the "Catalda Fine Arts, Inc.", New York, NY.  Two of them are of particular interest, and they have no artist name listed.  The title of each painting is Oriental Ladies, and the artist is listed as Gold Silk Mat, with frame no. 6225/10.  They were acquired by my mother from Catalda in the mid to late-1960's.

Now, I've done some research into these painting because they're very nice looking and small, and something I might consider keeping.  But then I found out that the artist's name is Mai Thu Trung and that his paintings sell for a considerable amount of money, usually only through Christies or Sotheby's auction sites, it seems.  They also often sell for much more than the expected value.  

I've read a lot of the articles of this site regarding Catalda Fine Arts and how they're famous for making reproductions and lithographs, but if that were the case with my paintings, wouldn't the artist at least be named?  Also, they're definitely painted on silk, which can be seen by using my iPhone and some magnification apps and apps that work with a kind of blue light and reveal unseen characters.  This doesn't appear to be a print, but an actual painting on silk fabric.  There are also several markings the appear to be drawn in pencil on various parts of the paintings.  The Mai Thu signature looks genuine and not a print, but how could I tell for sure?

That's my question, how can I determine whether these paintings are authentic Mai Thu Trung originals and not prints, or reproductions?  I don't know the exact history of Mai Thu's work, but I don't think he was famous painter at the end of the sixties.  He was just starting to get discovered during that period, it seems.

I'll attach a photo of one of my paintings.  There is one of a lady in blue, and one of a lady in green.  I have seen the green one when I googled Mai Thu and looked at the image page.  That led me to believe that perhaps my painting wasn't an original because how could anybody have an image of it posted on the internet?

Unfortunately, my economic situation has changed and it is imperative for me to find out if these are authentic and originals because I then need to find a way to sell them for what they are actually worth and get the most I can from them.  If they're real, that should be quite substantial, however, i have no idea about how to sell valuable works of art.  So, any help that can be provided will be greatly appreciated.  

Thank you for your assistance with this matter.

Sincerely,

Glenn B.

Answer
Thu book
Thu book  
Dear Glen,

I was not able to locate an image of the blue lady, but the "green lady" is an illustration from "A Poem on Silk"; a book of poems written by the Vietnamese author Pham Van Ky. The books eight color lithographic prints on silk is by Mai Thu, (seen variously as Trung Thu Mai or Mai Trung Thu).

Since the lithographs were printed on silk adhered to paper, you may have lithographs from that book. If original; the print size should be 7 1/4 by 4 3/4 inches. It is possible someone has taken the prints from the book and separated them from the lacquer box that once held them. They are original lithographs and have substantial value.

The entire book of eight lithographs was printed in 1961. The latest auction price for the entire book with all eight prints was over $19,000. I have seen a couple of lithographs of the size from this book and could represent others taken from the book sell in the $800-1000 range at auction. I have included a photo of the lacquer box the prints were released in.

If your lithographs are the right size, you may want to contact a major auction house for information on authenticating them for sale at their auction.

Catalda also carried fine art not printed by them. I hope this is helpful.

Best regards,
Dolly  

Fine Art

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Dolly D Headley

Expertise

I can assist with identification, acquisition, sell representation, and care of fine art prints and original paintings. Some of my artist specialties include Henri Toulouse Lautrec, California Artists, and the Modern Masters. I can also assist with information on getting professional appraisals and authentication.

Experience

Dolly D. Headley, owner of Headley Fine Art, LLC, has provided consultative art services to retail gallery clients in Sausalito, CA, and at www.headleyfineart.com since 1998. With over 14 years experience as a Senior Art Consultant, Gallery Director, and an extensive art research library; Ms. Headley has provided hundreds of people with her high quality personalized consultation services and solid guarantee of satisfaction. Dolly is a volunteer at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

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Member of the Association of Online Appraisers.

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The Fine Art Collectors News

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Science; Self taught with thousands of hours research and retail gallery consulting. Personalized mentorship from various experts in the industry.

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