Picasso Etching, ca. 1956

Value (2013) | $1,500 Retail

I brought in a line etching by Picasso. I'm not sure exactly whether this is a restrike after he died. I've had it since the '70s. I acquired it from a gallery in Baltimore. I spent, I think, if I remember right, somewhere around $135, $125, $135.

It's an etching by Picasso. You have Picasso's signature, which is actually an etched signature in the plate, as well as the date here, 1956. All that's in reverse because he would have written that correctly, free-hand, on the etching plate, and then it would print in reverse. It's classic 1950s Picasso look. Now, the big question here is when was this printed, what's the edition? Picasso would have printed from this plate, or his printers would have printed this from this plate, in 1956 in Paris. And he would have hand-signed them and numbered them. Typically, his editions were between 50 and 150. This Picasso is an etching that was published by the Collector's Guild. And the Collector's Guild was an outfit that was in operation in America in the 1960s, primarily. And they were sort of like a book-of-the-month club. After the artist had used the plates and made their edition, the Collector's Guild in America would buy the plate and the rights to print from that plate.


And they would basically make as many impressions as they could sell. And this is something that we see quite a bit of on Antiques Roadshow. But, that being said, they are by prominent artists, and they are from the original plates. So therefore, this is a genuine original Picasso etching. It's just not done by Picasso anymore. It's sort of out of his hands, if you will. It would be safe to say that you have something in the retail neighborhood of around $1,500.


So it's definitely appreciated.

Well, I guess it has, hasn't it?

Appraisal Details

Swann Auction Galleries
New York, NY
Appraised value (2013)
$1,500 Retail
Rapid City, SD (July 14, 2012)
20th Century
Etching, Print

Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.

Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."

Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.

Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.

Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.

Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.

Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.