1964 Agustin Fernandez Etching Portfolio

Value (2010) | $4,000 Auction$6,000 Auction

We've got a set of prints by Agustin Fernandez, who was a Cuban artist. And I'm addicted to estate sales, and this is just one of my finds, actually.

It's a fantastic group of prints. He's a very important 20th century Cuban artist. He was born in Havana, and he moved to New York and attended the Art Students League in the late '40s. And from there ended up in Paris for about a ten-year stint in the '60s. And then eventually came back to New York in 1972, and ended up staying there until his death recently in 2006.


He was a painter, a drawer, a sculptor. Do you know the technique that's used here?

I thought they were etchings, but is that correct?

Yeah, you're right. What really attracted me to these was just this sculptural quality. These objects, they look three-dimensional. And I think he also had a beautiful use of inks where these etchings, with a little bit of dry point, the intaglio techniques that he used, you almost see the radiance. It's like he's used a metallic ink.


But it's just black and white.

And some of them are actually raised too, you know?

Exactly. As you can see on this piece here and this one, up close from the side you see a real tendency. It's called an embossing. And it's when he's using the plates with the intaglio, when he's making the etching, they're raised areas. They're all individually signed. And the year is 1964. And they're numbered. It's a typical artist proof. It says "ex," meaning example, "d'artist," one out of five. So that was the small edition that was printed for his use. And these were inscribed to someone as a gift.

They were a presentation, yes.

They were actually printed when he was in Paris at one of the master printers that Picasso used. The print shop is called FrÈlaut and Baudier. And so they were really some of the best print makers working in Europe. How much did you pay for them at the time?

I paid $2,500 for them.

The beauty is that they're all hand-printed, they're all original. He's had a more extensive auction history with his paintings and unique works.

Yes, right.

But for his prints, it was really hard to find many things. One set of these came up recently at a French auction house and sold for about $2,000. However, I really think if you were to sell them at auction in the states, being a little closer to Cuba, and there's a real interest in Latin American artists these days, and artwork, I think the estimate is more in the $4,000 to $6,000 range. And I really think it could sell for a bit more than that.


Appraisal Details

New York, NY
Appraised value (2010)
$4,000 Auction$6,000 Auction
Biloxi, MS (July 24, 2010)
20th Century
Etching, Print

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