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    Rufino Tamayo Color Lithograph, ca. 1975

    Appraised Value:

    $4,000 - $10,000

    Appraised on: July 14, 2007

    Appraised in: San Antonio, Texas

    Appraised by: Todd Weyman

    Category: Prints & Posters

    Episode Info: San Antonio, Hour 1 (#1207)

    Originally Aired: February 18, 2008

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 2 Next 

    More Like This:

    Form: Lithograph
    Material: Paper
    Period / Style: 20th Century
    Value Range: $4,000 - $10,000

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    Appraisal Video: (2:34)


    Appraised By:

    Todd Weyman
    Prints & Posters
    Director, Works of Art on Paper
    Swann Auction Galleries

    Appraisal Transcript:
    GUEST: I bought this from an antique dealer about ten years ago in Houston. I know it's a Rufino Tamayo, and after I bought it, Tamayo died.

    APPRAISER: Right.

    GUEST: And I really never had it appraised and don't know much more than I knew when I bought it.

    APPRAISER: Okay, you know it's a color lithograph by Rufino Tamayo,

    GUEST: Yes, sir.

    APPRAISER: who was born in 1899 and he died in 1991. He's an artist who came to fame, like his contemporaries, Diego Rivera and José Orozco, as a painter, more specifically as a muralist. He did these murals in the 1930s in Mexico City. And then he moved on to New York and Paris, and it wasn't until the end of his career, in the '70s and '80s, that he produced his body of prints, which is more than 100 prints, including color lithographs and etchings. And this is pretty typical for a Tamayo print, this size, very large. We would say in the business, "It has a lot of wall presence."

    GUEST: Yes, sir.

    APPRAISER: Now, you see this from afar. Just like his murals, he was very much into replicating that look.

    GUEST: Mm-hmm.

    APPRAISER: And it is signed in the lower right here, "Rufino Tamayo," and numbered in the lower left, "X over X," or ten of ten. Now, how much did you pay for it?

    GUEST: I paid $2,500 for it.

    APPRAISER: It looks to me it's in great shape. You definitely want to keep this out of the sunlight, because the colors are fugitive, and they'll fade quickly if exposed to light. And it looks like you've been taking good care of it to me.

    GUEST: Yes, sir, I've tried to.

    APPRAISER: The colors seem very strong here. Nothing incorrect with the paper. Now, you bought it framed or was it unframed?

    GUEST: Bought it framed, just like you see here.

    APPRAISER: Bought it framed. Okay, explain to me how that got in there.

    GUEST: Well, you know, that's one of life's mysteries.

    APPRAISER: It looks like the top of a beer can. I don't think I had too much beer the day I bought it, but I don't know. And it just showed up there one day?

    GUEST: It just showed up there and I didn't want to take it apart to get it out.

    APPRAISER: Well, Tamayo's market has shot up fairly strongly in the last five years. There's been a resurgence in collecting his work, and an interest in general with Mexican Muralist prints. At auction, I'd put a value at around $4,000 to $6,000.

    GUEST: Yes, sir.

    APPRAISER: Now, a retail price would be roughly double that, or about $8,000 to $10,000.

    GUEST: Okay.

    APPRAISER: This is what I would expect to happen to a well-known artist over the ten years you've had it. You've more than doubled your value, and that's what, frankly, what good art should do.

    GUEST: Yes, sir.

    APPRAISER: I understand you have more than one Tamayo. Do they all have the beer caps in them?

    GUEST: They're not there yet.

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