Fine Art/Currier and Ives Question
I have a lithograph by Currier and Ives entitled See-Saw, on the right side it says 152 Nassau St, NY. With the frame it is in the piece measures roughly 21X17 and near as I can figure as I did not want to take it out of the frame the litho measure about 15.5 X 11.5 or so. Given I know absolutely nothing about art is this a piece that is valuable or is it simply an ordinary piece of art. I can find nothing on this piece on the internet. Plenty of currier and ives but none with this title. Thanks for your help.
I hope you are doing well. I get a few Currier and Ives questions so please forgive me for any repetition. Currier and Ives released over 7000 images during their printing history. Most were released in small folios (image area about 8" x 10"-12"). Your print See-Saw is indeed difficult to locate information on. There are no previous auction dates or current retail inventory for the print. Either it is very rare; or it was just never popular to begin with and fell into obscurity. I haven’t seen the print so please take no offense. I was able to find out that it was released in small folios and was printed between 1838 and 1872. To qualify your print for the small folio size; measure the image area only and exclude the title area and other writing. This area should fit between the dimensions I listed above. If you believe your print fits in the small folio, you will need to contact a Currier & Ives specialist to give you the exact print size for See-saw. The print size should correspond closely to the one listed in Conningham, the authoritative list of their work. The measurements can vary slightly and should not exceed a difference of 3/8” in the longest measurement.
I have listed below links to websites that buy and sell either exclusively C & I prints, or they specialize in Currier & Ives. They should be able to give you more information on availability and estimated value of your print.
There are other considerations for verification of originality such as if it is a real lithograph. This is done by viewing the print under high magnification for the characteristics of a lithograph and hand coloring. Very few of their color lithographs were not hand painted. There are more steps to verification and most people do not have the knowledge, time, immediate resources, or interest to do it themselves.
My recommendation is to verify the correct size and then take it to a local dealer or museum and have them look at it for you. I hope this is helpful.