1965 Roy Lichtenstein "The Melody Haunts My Reverie" Screenprint
It was a gift from my parents. They bought it here in Kansas City from the Halls Department Store I think probably in the mid-'60s. They had seen it and it reminded them of the fact that I used to enjoy playing the piano late at night. (laughing) The title says "The Melody Haunts My Reverie," which I think is their way of saying I was keeping them up.
Many sleepless nights listening to you play piano, is that it?
Right, just coincidentally.
Tell me, what do you know about it?
Well, I know it's by Roy Lichtenstein and it's a numbered print. I know Lichtenstein is considered to be an American master and has this style that is derived from comic books, but I don't know a lot about it.
Do you have a sense of what it might be worth?
I'm guessing it's over $50,000 now, but I have no idea.
It is by Roy Lichtenstein. You can see his signature down here in pencil, lower right. And next to you there, there's Roman numerals. That is "47" in Roman numerals. Now, this is one of Lichtenstein's earliest pop art prints, when he adopted this style. He was working in the '40s and '50s in a more abstract style, a style that was more common in America at that time, and it wasn't until the early '60s when he'd come back to New York that he developed into this comic book style using this dot pattern, which is known as a Benday dot, to create his scenes. The story goes that in 1961, his son pointed to a Mickey Mouse comic book and said to him, "Dad, I bet you can't draw as well as this," and that was sort of what spurred him into appropriating images from comic books and using the whole Benday dot system to do that. It is actually the second print he made for one of three pop art portfolios which were issued in New York in 1965, and these were group portfolios with 11 different pop artists including Warhol, who is arguably the most famous pop artist along with Lichtenstein, the two of them head and head. There was an edition of 200 of each of these in Arabic numbers, an edition of 50 with Roman numerals, so you have one of the 50. They're color screenprints, which is a very popular technique for the pop artists and one in which the colors are inked one on top of the other so if you look at this very closely, you can see this real thick application of ink on the sheet. That's also a technique that is very susceptible to wear and scuffing and scratches, and the surface of this is just pristine. You've taken very good care of this, your parents have taken very good care of it. At this time, these artists were still being ridiculed and derided, not taken seriously, so it's pretty remarkable to see something come down to us in this beautiful condition. It's actually his first most important pop art print, so you have a real watershed image here by one of the most famous pop artists of the time. I've taken a close look at it, I've spent time looking at it, and it ranks among the best examples of any of these I've ever seen. And I would suggest that you have a replacement value on this of $300,000.
It's definitely going to remain in the family.
Great. I'm glad you have it and it's a wonderful work. I'm glad you brought it in.
Well, thank you, and thank you for the good news.
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.