1979 Alighiero Boetti "Nove Quadrati" Prints

Value (2017) | $5,000 Auction$8,000 Auction

These are a couple of prints. They're watercolors that I found at a book sale, and I bought them for the frame.

May I ask how much you paid?

Uh, five dollars apiece.

They're by an Italian artist by the name of Alighiero Boetti. Born in 1940, originally, in his early part of his career, associated with the Arte Povera movement in the 1960s. But as he moved into the 1970s he began to distance himself a bit from that group, actually spent a good amount of time in Kabul, where he was introduced to the traditional craft of embroidery. And that complemented and coincided with his interest in patterns and recurring themes and structures, which you can see here in his use of repeated letters.


And part of his interest in patterns had to do with the tension and the relationship between order and disorder, and what was left up to chance and what was purposeful. So you see sometimes that the configuration of the letters or the numbers in certain cases don't necessarily spell something or say something. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. These are pochoirs, which is a printing process that allows for a certain degree of unique hand-coloring in each print. They're numbered 14 out of 40. They are from a larger set of nine. And for the two prints, I would put an auction estimate of $5,000 to $8,000 on these prints.

Really? Wow.

So quite a return on a $10 investment.


If you had the entire set of nine prints, the complete set sells for $30,000 to $40,000 at auction.

Wow. Guess I've got to go back to the book sale. (laughs)

Appraisal Details

Freeman's Auctioneers
Philadelphia, PA
Appraised value (2017)
$5,000 Auction$8,000 Auction
Harrisburg, PA (June 03, 2017)

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