1965 Andy Warhol “Flowers” Lithograph
A friend in Sacramento was a collector of Pop art in the '60s, and she acquired some lithographs of Warhol and asked me if I'd like to buy one, and I said yes, and I don't think I paid a great deal for it at the time.
What would "not a great deal" be? Do you think it's... would you have spent more than a few hundred dollars on this, do you think?
Oh, $25 to $30.
Okay, and this was back in the late '60s?
'65, somewhere there.
It's a print by Warhol, and you can see the signature in ink down here and the date, '65, for 1965. This is one of his classic early images, produced as an announcement for an exhibition at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York. It was an exhibition of his flower paintings, larger-sized canvas paintings. This announcement, as an offset color lithograph, was used in the gallery for clients, people coming into the exhibition, and it was issued two ways, both hand-signed by him and unsigned. And unsigned, oftentimes it was folded into four and used as a mailer. There were only about 300 of these that were hand-signed by the artist. Warhol was known for appropriating popular images and turning them into art. You might think of the soup cans, the Brillo boxes, all these everyday things that he made into fine art. And this is some of the earliest example of that. What you have is one of the real classic Warhol images from the earliest part of his career as a Pop artist. It's a photograph that he found in Popular Photography of hibiscus flowers, which he then added the color to, and it's very sort of 1960s colors. Yours happens to be in very good shape. The colors are as impeccable as I've ever seen them. You have a little bit of staining down here, which shows best on the orange flower. But the water staining is entirely reversible. And the signature is a wonderful, strong signature. Sometimes that's faded too, because it's a ballpoint pen and ink. All in all, if I had to rate this conditionwise out of ten, ten being the best, you're at, like, nine and a half.
For what we normally see on the market. A conservative replacement value on this, if you were to go out and buy it now, would be in the neighborhood of about $30,000 to $40,000.
Oh, my God.
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