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Fine Art/Value of Prints

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Question
Alan,
Can you help me with this question?  I recently visited a gallery in Ft. Lauderdale where a former gallery owner was selling some of her old prints, they were beautifully framed. Some of the pieces were hand-signed engravings by Dali, from The Divine Comedy, but they are not numbered. Likewise, she is offering some hand-signed Picasso engravings from Teriade and Draeger Freres, that are not numbered.  The pieces are offered framed for between $750 and $950.  The owner had a poster store in Great Neck, NY called "Posters Now and Then," and she claims she purchased these engravings in Paris many years ago but is now retired.  She also offers some hand signed lithographs from Miro and Chagall in the same range, and stone signed engravings by Matisse (not numbered)(Derier la Miroir, Maeght Demy, Dragoph Freres) also in the same price range.  What is your opinion please, would these be a good purchase?  Will stone signed have the same value as hand signed?

Answer
Brian--pretty involved question.  Some pieces are berrer than others.  Some Divine Comedy pieces were signed; most were not.  Many were signed, but not by Dali.  How can I know which is which?  Tough question.  The 'signed' Picasso engravings not numbered:  Also tough to know.  Most of his signed pieces were numbered.  Real Picasso engravings should sell in the thousands, and she could get such prices at auction, so why would she 'give them away?'  Hand-signed lithos by Miro and Chagall are, at best, 'autographed' pieces, not listed in catalog raisonees, and I would like to know if she saw Joan and Marc sign them.  If not, how does she know they did?  Pieces from Derriere La Miroire are from editions of thousands, MAYBE worth the price you mention.  And, finally, stone signed will never appreciate the same as hand signed.  A good purchase?  Hard to say.  Certainly not a great one, and, for me, at least, there are some unanswered relevant questions.  I always ask myself why somebody would sell me something for less than its value, regardless of the 'back story.'  Alan Klevit

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Alan Klevit

Expertise

I can provide sound advice on buying, collecting & understanding fine art, especially original works by 20th century masters and leading contemporary artists. I can also explain techniques used to create original works and offer tips on how to tell whether or not a piece is an original work of art.

Experience

I have been active in the art world for twenty-seven years. I owned and operated four galleries and a wholesale showroom on both coasts. We specialized in original works by 20th century masters and emerging artists. I have been an art consultant, artist's representative, lecturer, auctioneer, and curator. I had a radio show for two years, "Today's Art World with Alan Klevit" [Washington, D.C.]; hosted two television shows on the arts for six years [Los Angeles Area]; have written for numerous local papers and international art magazines; and currently write a syndicated column, "The Art Beat." I conduct art auctions for charities throughout the United States, and am a frequent speaker/auctioneer on upscale cruise ships, and at civic organizations and local television shows.







Publications
ART NEWS, ART IN AMERICA, FORECAST MAGAZINE, MALIBU MAGAZINE, PANTARBE.COM, MALIBU CHRONICLE, POTOMAC ALMANAC, GAITHERSBURG GAZETTE, ART DECOR, REGARDIES MAGAZINE.

Education/Credentials
Undergraduate and graduate degrees from Georgetown University and The American University

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