Thursday, November 7, 2013

"Le Chateau d'Otrante" (Horace Walpole), illustrated by Salvador Dali.

"Le Chateau d'Otrante" by Horace Walpole,
Illustrated by Salvador Dali (1964)

This is another example of my years of collecting/research experience translated into valuable information for you.

This book, published by the French Book Club, and written entirely in French, is quite uncommon in the United States.  Chances are, it's more common in France and across Europe.  Both of my copies recently came from France.

According to the Field catalog, this book was published in a numbered, limited edition of 7000.  The Dali illustrations used for the book are from a suite of engravings (Field 64-5, p. 26). The book illustrations are in a smaller format, 8 x 9.3cm, and are each printed on a single page, with no text on either side.

The book comes with a single bookmark and a clear dust jacket.  The book is machine-numbered at the rear of the book on the tirage page.

I don't read French, so I can't comment on the content of the book, but the rarity of this book makes it a satisfying find for those on the hunt for something new.  You are not likely to see these illustrations reprinted in one place anywhere else.

To get a copy, you will likely need to look for an international seller over in Europe.  With a potential 7000 copies in circulation, there should be plenty of them available at fewer than $50.







A final note on one copy of this book in my collection: it came with what appears to be an original Dali inscription on the title page.  The authenticity of the inscription is dubious.  In my opinion, it appears authentic.  Others will have their own opinion.  We may never know.  Check it out for yourself, and weigh in with your thoughts.




Monday, July 1, 2013

"Crisalida" by Salvador Dali.

"Crisalida"
by Salvador Dali

If you came here looking for one of the most elusive Dali art collectibles in print, you found it with Crisalida.

This appears to be an advertisement commissioned by Wallace Laboratories (New Brunswick, NJ) in which "...Dali was chosen to undertake an experiment--a visualization of the transition from mental turmoil to tranquility."

The cover illustration is dated 1958; it is followed by three full-page color illustrations inside, and a color photo of Dali with a model of the Crisalida exhibit.  It appears that these images are all exclusive to this brochure.  The entire thing is pictured here.

The exhibit apparently advertised a drug called meprobamate.  I found a reference to the exhibit in a book titled The Age of Anxiety (pp.76-8).

Clearly this piece was printed circa 1958 because there is reference to Dali completing Santiago el Grande  (1957) immediately prior to undertaking Crisalida.

It is not known how many of these were printed, but it is extremely rare.  So rare, that most collectors probably don't even know it exists and so there may be a small market for this piece.  With such little competition for it, you should be able to snag it for a bargain of fewer than $20.  But the wait will be long.





Thursday, August 30, 2012

How to spot a fake Salvador Dali fine art print on eBay.

The following are my top three guidelines for spotting a fake Salvador Dali fine art print on eBay, or elsewhere. 
  • Paper type and/or dimensions are either unstated, or are speculative in nature.  Any person familiar with authentic Dali artwork would know that paper type and paper size are important indicators of authentic Dali prints.  These details can be found in The Official Catalog of the Graphic Works of Salvador Dali by Albert Field.  If print details don't line up with the catalog, it's a fake.
  • The print is represented as having been printed after 1980 and it is supposedly hand-signed by Dali.  Since it is known that Dali did not sign prints from 1980 onwards (Field), a signature after 1980 is not authentic, and the work is a forgery.
  • The print is a reproduction of a Salvador Dali oil painting. With rare exception, there are no authentic fine art prints of Salvador Dali paintings. Those are just cheap, or expensive, poster reproductions, and are not considered authentic, original works by the hand of Dali   
Have your own solid tip for those interested in buying Dali prints?  Leave a comment below and it may be included here.  Happy hunting!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Franklin Mint "Sombra Sobre la Playa" (Shadow on the Beach, 1977) by Salvador Dali.

Franklin Mint "Sombra Sobre la Playa"
(Shadow on the Beach, 1977)

by Salvador Dali

It seems that the few extant authentic plaque-style Dali art collectibles are all pretty rare.  Such is the case with this great piece.

Published by the Franklin Mint in 1977, it features an original work by Salvador Dali, etched in solid sterling silver, and issued in a single limited edition.  It comes packaged in an attractive black and silver frame, double-matted with beige over black.  The mat has a blind stamp in the lower right corner.

The brushed silver surface catches the light and reflects it back, changing appearance depending on the angle.  A pretty neat effect that makes it look like its glowing in any kind of light.

This work is sealed in the frame, so I have not inspected the entire plaque.  Therefore, its weight and overall dimensions are unknown.  The visible area of the plaque is about 23.7 cm x 34.1 cm.

It is not known how many of these were published, but it is extremely rare.  It typically sells for fewer than $300, and  I was lucky enough get mine for fewer than half that.  My advise is to patiently wait, and you should be able to get one of these for your collection at a bargain price.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

"Le mythe tragique de l'Angelus de Millet" (Dali/Pauvert, 1963).

Le mythe tragique de l'Angelus de Millet
(Dali/Pauvert, 1963)

Here is an original Dali publication that I had heard about, but never thought that I would lay hands upon in my lifetime.  I don't know how many of these were actually published, but in the U.S., this book is scarce.

I picked this copy up in a lot with a few other Dali books which came from a public library collection.  This book is in decent, almost unread, condition, but is marred by some ink stains on the bottom of the front cover.  Still, the ink stains help complement the authentic schoolbook look Dali was going for with the buckle closure and typed label on the cover.

Inside, one finds the original text (in French!) and layout, with tipped-in plates on just about every other page.  I can't read French, so look elsewhere on this blog for my commentary on the English translation of this book.

For me, the "wow factor" in this book is its rarity combined with the handful of dollars I paid for it.  My copy has a number of flaws, but I value it at about $125 to the average collector.  A book in better condition is likely worth about double that, and maybe much more to a French-speaking collector (to whom the book can be more thoroughly enjoyed).






Monday, August 13, 2012

The Official Catalog of the Graphic Works of Salvador Dali "Deluxe Limited Edition."

The Official Catalog of the Graphic Works of Salvador Dali
Deluxe Limited Edition of 300


This is the rarely seen Deluxe Edition of the Field catalog.  It differs from the Standard Edition in several ways:

  • The dust jacket carries the same ISBN as the Standard Edition, but a small sticker on the rear inside flap distinguishes the Deluxe Edition ($360 price tag vs. $285 for the Standard Edition);
  • The Deluxe Edition cover is brown (leather?);
  • Most notably, the Deluxe Edition is signed by author Albert Field on the front title page.
My copy was purchased from a seller in Hawaii and has a personal inscription to two people.  

The first is Joseph Kealapua Melillo.  I found a July 26, 2006 obituary of a Joseph A.V. Kealapua Melillo of Honolulu in the Honolulu Star Bulletin:
Joseph A.V. Kealapua Melillo, 58, of Honolulu, a chef and entrepreneur, will be remembered in services 11 a.m. Saturday at Borthwick Mortuary. He died in Kaiser Medical Center. He was born in Summit, N.J. He is survived by companion Patrick Kelly Lagon, brother Fred and sister Barbara.
 The second is Patrick Kelly Lagon, presumably the same man mentioned in the obituary above.

It is not clear whether all Deluxe Editions have a personal inscription, but it is likely that they are all signed by Albert Field.

The Deluxe Edition is the rarest version of this already rare book and is likely worth a bit more than the Standard Edition.  I have never seen another available, and I would estimate the value at more than $400.