Salvador Dali Artist Proof Etchings & Copper Plates, ca. 1965
Appraised Value: $80,000
IMAGE: 1 of 8
Appraisal Video: (4:09)
Prints & Posters
Director, Works of Art on Paper
Swann Auction Galleries
GUEST: This collection comes from Charles Orengo, the publisher of Salvador Dalì.
APPRAISER: And you indicated to me before that you had some involvement in the publication. Is that correct?
GUEST: Yes. From the publishing house, the owner-- Editeuropa.
APPRAISER: Now, we're showing just... these are six etchings right here by Salvador Dalì . You have the complete set of 18 etchings from the portfolio that was commissioned in the early '60s called “La Vida es Sueno,” or "Life Is a Dream." And this set of 18 etchings by Dalì was actually never published. It never came to fruition. There was a published set in 1975 of these subjects, but they were produced by another printmaker based on Dalì 's designs. They weren't original Dalì’s. They were made from smaller plates taken from these subjects. And as somebody who was involved in the process of the publication of this portfolio, you have all artist proofs. They're very likely unique. Normally, working proofs weren't saved. They were sometimes just thrown away. You have these two subjects here, and this is just a straight etching printed in two colors, the black and the dark brownish green. And then you have this impression here, which has this white gouache, or opaque watercolor, on top of the etching. And you were saying that that's something that you saw Dalì ...
GUEST: Dalì did it.
APPRAISER: ...add to the print, so he was not satisfied and added what looks to me like a religious figure or a soldier, perhaps? And then you have this etching closest to you, which is also printed in two colors-- the light brown and the black. And for that, you have the two original etched copper plates. And I love the proofy aspect of this print, where you have these very crisp plate marks with inky edges. On this print, it's printed in two colors, the brown and the black. But in red, Dalì has added coloring, from his hand. And then again on this print, the etching here, you have this green stripe, again in hand, with a pencil rectangular and this inscription up here, which almost seems to me like it's French "détruit," or "destroy" or "remove," basically. And we know from looking at the Catalogue Raisonné of the prints that the strip was removed in the final version. It's nice to have earlier prints like this from the '60s, because by the mid-'70s, there are so many fakes out there.
GUEST: Fakes, yeah.
APPRAISER: And it's so nice having these from you-- you were directly involved in the publication-- because most of the time when people bring Dalì s in to the show, they're problematic. They're from the mid-'70s or later, and we can't authenticate them often. Starting with just the etchings themselves without the hand coloring, you have 15 of those. I would say a replacement value for each of those is $3,000. So for the set of 15, the total replacement value would be $45,000. Now, for the two with more of the hand coloring and that one with the note, I would say that the replacement value on these would be $10,000 each. And on this one, with the slighter hand-coloring in red, I would say $5,000. And on the two plates, people are always saying, "Why aren't plates more valuable? The artist actually worked on them." Well, because they're harder to appreciate on the wall. They have less wall presence. So the value on these I would put at $5,000 each. Overall collection, $80,000 for replacement value.
GUEST: (laughing) This is... it's a surprise for archive value.
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