Vladimir Tretchikoff Painting with Inscribed Book
I brought a piece of artwork that was given to my husband and I when my in-laws both passed away, that was given to them many years ago. I know just a little bit about the artist. He actually was in San Jose for an exhibit back in the '50s, and he stayed with my in-laws, and his name is something Tretchikoff is his last name. They always called him "Tretchy."
Well, his name was Vladimir Tretchikoff, and it's true, he was nicknamed Tretchy, and mostly everybody called him that.
He actually was born in Siberia in 1913, I believe. And he was a self-taught artist. He traveled the world. He went to China, Singapore, Indonesia, and he mostly was known for very realistic portraits of the people that were living in these places. He was one of the first artists to make lithographic reproductions of his work. And he sort of had this motto that he went by, which was, "Bring art to the people." So he made lots of reproductions. And here we have one of his most famous paintings, called Chinese Girl, completed in Cape Town, South Africa, where is where he ended up settling. It's actually said that this painting had more copies printed than copies of the Mona Lisa. That's how many of them are out there. So he really was a self-promoter. Art critics kind of disliked this approach. They felt that he was devaluing his original work by putting so many copies out there. They nicknamed him the "King of Kitsch" because they thought that he was really just, you know, now he was making his work something that wasn't that special. However, we found that not to be true. Over time, because people saw his work so much, they really started to love him. And now his paintings are quite desirable. This work that you brought in is an oil-on-canvas painting. We do have his signature on the lower left, "Tretchikoff," and then under that there's an "S.A.," which may be for South Africa. And I believe it says "1954," though it's a little bit hard to discern that date. It's in very good condition. If we were estimating this painting for auction, I would place an auction estimate of $50,000 to $70,000.
That's amazing. It takes my breath away, really. Okay. That's very surprising, to be honest with you. It hung for years in my father-in-law's garage with a thumbtack holding it up.
And this book as well also has some value to it. It has sold at auction. It sells at auction for around $150.
I think yours is probably a little bit more valuable than that because it does have the personal inscription to your in-laws. And this is a limited edition book. There were only 1,500 copies made. I think with the inscription, the book is actually more like $500. But the important thing is that this book adds a provenance to the painting, which we wouldn't have otherwise.
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