Edward Borein Etchings, ca. 1930

Value (2010) | $6,000 Auction$8,700 Auction

They were my father-in-law's. And he had a ranch in Santa Barbara in the '30s and the '40s. I think that's where they came from. He moved to San Diego in the '50s and they hung in his house and he gave them to me in the '80s.

Well, let me tell you a little bit first about the artist. His name is Edward Borein. He was born in 1872 in a small town close to San Francisco. And his dream early on in life was to be a cowboy. He was also a prodigy as an artist and was self-taught, sort of unusual for his day. He was just a prolific sketcher as a kid, and drew and drew and drew and had a real talent for it. And around the turn of the century, the story goes, he sent a few drawings into a magazine and they were bought by the magazine as illustrations, so he thought to himself, after these years of being a cowboy, he thought, "Well, I can make money with my talent drawing pictures." And that led him to a career in the arts. He worked as an illustrator in the early 1900s, and in 1907, to better his career as an artist, he had moved to New York. There he met other artists, took classes and became more popular as an artist, but never really fit in on the East Coast. And by 1921, he had moved back full-time to California and to Santa Barbara, and he lived there until his death in 1945. And it was in that 20-some-odd period that he made most of his etchings. And he made just over a hundred etchings, all of which are these very evocative Western scenes. He basically drew what he saw. As you see in this etching in the center here, it's a great Western scene. It's signed in pencil "Edward Borein." In that etching closest to you, you have a stage coach racing down the hill. And in this etching closest to me, you have a view of several cowboys outside the Cantina de las Palomas. So they really have this great feel of the West in the '20s and the '30s. The really great thing to me about Borein is, as a Western artist, somebody who ranks up there with Charles Russell and Frederic Remington, he was the only one who made etchings. So that's wonderful to have, this body of etched work by such a prominent Western artist. And in that, there lies some of the value of his prints, because you really can't get prints of these subjects by the other great Western artists. So this one, in sort of perfect condition as I can see it in the frame, at auction, that's going to bring around $3,000 to $5,000.


It's just perfect.


This one closest to you, the stagecoach, is a lesser subject-- a smaller, not so Western, not as interesting. With the staining, the foxing, it's going to be about a thousand dollars to $1,200 at auction. This one closest to me is a wonderful, large, scarce print. And, with the staining, is probably on order of about $2,000 to $2,500. That being said, with these two here, you can have these cared for by a paper conservator and they can take the staining out of that one, remove the masking tape from the back on here and, believe it or not, wash the staining out of this one, too. That generally runs around $150 to $200 per print for prints this size. Cleaned up, that would be about a $1,500 to $2,500 print at auction. And this would be about a $3,000 to $5,000 print at auction, so your money is well spent in cleaning these up.


Appraisal Details

Swann Auction Galleries
New York, NY
Appraised value (2010)
$6,000 Auction$8,700 Auction
San Diego, CA (June 12, 2010)

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