Basan Rembrandt Etching, ca. 1780
Appraised Value: $4,000 - $6,000 (1998)
$8,000 - $12,000 (2011)
IMAGE: 1 of 4
Appraisal Video: (1:53)
Prints & Posters
Director, Works of Art on Paper
Swann Auction Galleries
GUEST: I got the etching from my mother. It was one of the things that we had after she died, and it came along with some of my father's paintings and some books on art and so forth. She was quite interested in art.
APPRAISER: And do you know that the print is by Rembrandt?
GUEST: Uh, that's what it says.
APPRAISER: Rembrandt, the 17th-century Dutch etcher.
GUEST: Right, yeah.
APPRAISER: The title of the print is written in French and English combined-- "Little la Tombe." In French it's actually la petite tombe. It's one of Rembrandt's many Biblical prints.
GUEST: I see.
APPRAISER: And this print he made around 1652.
GUEST: Oh, that old?
APPRAISER: By the paper, however, we can tell that the print was made later.
APPRAISER: Probably by the printmaker Basan in the late 18th century by the paper that it's printed on and by the quality of impression. The lightness of the printing-- it's not as black as the early lifetime prints are that would have been made around 1652 or before Rembrandt's death.
GUEST: I see.
APPRAISER: Rembrandt actually sold many of his plates before he died in order to... he was in debt, and in order to settle his debt his sold his plates to enterprising publishers, so this is how it later turned up in the hands of Basan.
GUEST: Oh, I see.
APPRAISER: Earliest impressions of this print, the lifetime impressions would probably run about $20,000 to $30,000 at auction. This particular impression, being somewhat later-- 125 years or so later-- would bring between $4,000 to $6,000 at auction.
GUEST: Well, that's still pretty impressive at that, yeah.
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