Appraisal Video: (2:36)
Prints & Posters
Swann Auction Galleries
GUEST: Back in 1975, I was a graduate student at the University of Michigan. The art school had invited Andy Warhol to give a presentation. That day that he was going to give his presentation, he set up shop, if you will, on the back of a flatbed truck and said, "Come on, if you want me to sign your soup cans, here I am." Well, I didn't have any soup cans, but a friend of mine and I said, "Let's go into the center book store and buy a couple posters for him to sign." She got the Marilyn Monroe and I wound up with the Brillo Pad. I would have preferred to have Marilyn. And so we got in line and he introduced himself and I said, "Mr. Warhol, I'm also from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania," and he said, "Oh, well, I'm going to give you the best signature," and so he signed my poster, "Andy Warhol, 1975," and I've had it ever since.
APPRAISER: My question to you is, wouldn't it have been easier to go to the grocery store and get a can of Campbell's soup?
GUEST: (laughs) Oh, but then I couldn't hang it on the wall, you know.
APPRAISER: It's really a great poster, and the poster was done in 1970 for an exhibition at a museum in California, in Pasadena. It's one of the images he took from everyday life, like the Campbell's soup can, and he turned it into an emblematic, iconic image of the pop art era. Brillo soap pads, something that we use every day that we would never think of as art, yet Andy Warhol was able to sort of transform it into this really great image with bright colors. The poster is a silkscreen. The condition is great. Any expectations as to what the price might be?
GUEST: All over the place. I remember way back when, somebody said $3,000. I said, "Oh, get real, I don't think so." You know what I paid for it?
APPRAISER: Ten bucks, maybe?
GUEST: Ten bucks.
APPRAISER: Ten bucks in the campus bookstore. The poster itself has come up for auction several times over the past couple of years. The poster is not that rare. And when it comes up for auction, it sells for between about $500 and $750.
APPRAISER: With the signature, at auction, we feel that it would be worth between $3,000 and $4,000.
GUEST: Oh, wonderful.
APPRAISER: And furthermore, when I was talking to my colleagues, they said it's very unusual that Andy Warhol signed it with a ballpoint pen, which is something he'd predominantly been doing in the 1960s, then moved on to a felt tip. So the fact that here in 1975, he was signing with a ballpoint makes it just that much more special, so it might bring even slightly more.
GUEST: Oh, wonderful! Thank you. I'm gonna probably keep it on my wall for a good bit longer.
APPRAISER: Had you gone out and bought a can of Campbell's soup and had him sign that, it probably would have been worth about $15,000.