Friday, July 29, 2011

Springbok Puzzle by Salvador Dali: "Double Image/Apparition of Voltaire" (1965).

Springbok Puzzle by Salvador Dali:
"Double Image/Apparition of Voltaire" (1965)

When I first received my Dali Springbok puzzle, I was surprized at how big the box is.  Having only seen pictures on the internet, I realized that the pictures don't give you a feel for the size of this item.
2nd Edition puzzle with box.

The box has a 14.25" dimater and the puzzle has a whopping 20.5" diameter (box incorrectly states 20.25").  The box says that there are over 500 pieces.  I didn't count them, but with a puzzle this size and with this many pieces, you need a large table to do it right.

I am not an experienced puzzler, but the puzzle was not too difficult to assemble.  I estimate that it took me fewer than 10 hours to complete over the course of a week.

If you are looking to add one of these puzzles to your collection, you should know that there are two editions which can be primarily distinguished by the bottom of the box.

1st Edition puzzle box bottom.
2nd Edition puzzle box bottom.
The two editions can also be distinguished by the puzzle pieces which are not identical.  In other words, the puzzle editions are unique, so the pieces are not interchangeable.  You should be able to use the outer pieces of the 2nd Edition puzzle pictured at the top, or the 1st Edition puzzle pictured at the bottom, if you need an identification.

If you really want to get crazy, you can also distinguish the box top of each edition.  The copyright notice is at about the 7 o'clock position on the 1st Edition box whereas the copyright notice is at about the 6 o'clock position on the 2nd Edition box.
1st Edition box top.
2nd Edition box top.
1st Edition puzzle.
Both editions of this puzzle are typically quite rare.  Auction prices tend to run higher for the 1st Edition puzzle, and incomplete puzzles generally go unsold at any price.

A 1st Edition puzzle will likely cost you about $75, and a 2nd Edition puzzle will likely cost you about $45.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pair of Vintage Dali Medallions: "Dionysos et Pallas Athena" and "Unicorn Dionysiaque" (1967).

Pair of Vintage Dali Medallions (1967):
"Dionysos et Pallas Athena" and "Unicorn Dionysiaque"

When I first saw these medallions, I just knew they had to join my collection.  Now that I have them,  I can see just how phenomenal they are.

The first thing to notice is that they are huge--both are 80mm in diameter.  They each weigh more than 300g (Unicorn 310g; Athena 309g).  They are easily the largest and heaviest medallions in my growing collection.

The reverse of each medallion has a statement in French that reads:
Cette oeuvre de salvador dali a ete frappee dans les ateliers de la monnaie de paris au mois de mars 1967 pour le compte du club francais de la medaille ce tirage etant limite a cent cinquante exemplaires d'argent au premier titre numerotes de 1 a 150
I don't speak French, so I used an online translator to assemble this translation:
This work of Salvador Dalí was struck in the workshops of the Paris Mint in March 1967 on behalf of the French medal club.  This run is limited to one hundred and fifty copies in silver as the first edition numbered 1 to 150.
It appears that these medallions are struck in silver.  Normally, a silver medallion is stamped with a silver hallmark (usually on the rim).  The rim of each medallion is stamped "1967" with a hallmark that looks like a mouse followed by a "1."

It turns out that the hallmark is a Paris Mint (Monnaie de Paris) standard hallmark used on objects of silver to indicate 95% silver content.  The hallmark is actually a "corne d'abondance" or a cornucopia symbol.  This web site proved helpful in the hallmark identification.

Both medallions are limited to 150 of each; the Dionysos is number 40 of 150, and the Unicorn is number 37 of 150.

I wish I knew more about these medallions, but I can find no information about them in cyberspace.  I have collected Dali for years and I have never seen these before.  I may be the very first person to provide this much information about them.

The value is difficult to assess.  It appears that these are extremely rare, and they are vintage, which is a good feature.  The silver content of each is worth about $350 at current market value (~$36/troy oz).  Any collector value will only add to that.

I estimate that each medallion is worth a minimum of $400.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Dali Original Intaglio Restrike: "Don Quixote."

Dali Original Intaglio Restrike
"Don Quixote"

This image comes from the suite of 5 original etchings titled Five Spanish Immortals (Field catalog #65-7(D), pp. 28-29).  The one in my collection is a Collector's Guild unlimited edition restrike characterized by the black ink and Dali's signature in the lower right corner of the plate (Restrike information in Field catalog on p. 236).

The etching seems to have been released in a wood frame with silver accents (pictured here) and a white or off-white matte.  On the back of the frame is a Collector's Guild COA.  This original frame and matte combination makes for an attractive package.

There is no definitive information about how many of these unlimited restrikes were made, but they are very easy to find.  They generally sell for between $50 and $100 depending on the condition.

I was able to get this one in beautiful condition for around $60.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Official Catalog of the Graphic Works of Salvador Dali by Albert Field.

The Official Catalog of the Graphic Works of Salvador Dali
by Albert Field.

There was a time when I denounced this book because of its horrible image quality, numerous typos/mistakes, incomplete indexing, and poor organization.  That was then.

Over the years, as my tastes and interests regarding Dali have changed, I have developed an appreciation for this publication.  I now regard this book as an indispensible part of my research and collecting of Salvador Dali prints.

Everything you need to know about an authorized Dali print is in there.  You get the title, publishing date, medium, paper and image size, paper type, publisher, tirage, numbering system, pictures of every print, signed/unsigned, and many other details, including plenty of information about unauthorized Dali prints.

If the print is not in this catalog, then it's generally assumed to not be authentic.

I am glad I bought this book years ago, because when I was finally ready to transition my Dali art appreciation into the realm of Dali art collecting, this book was there to safely guide me.

The book is quite rare, and commands a premium wherever it turns up.  The original price on the dust jacket is $285.  At auction, you can expect to pay as much as $200-$250.  Elsewhere in cyberspace, you can pick up a copy for upwards of $300.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Dali's Teatro Museo Figueras Inauguration Lithograph Poster (1974).

Dali's Teatro Museo Figueras
Inauguration Lithograph Poster (1974).

The search is on!  It appears that there were at least 20 different designs used to produce the lithograph posters for the Teatro Museo Figueras inauguration in September, 1974.  I now have two of them in my collection.

The first features an image from the Twelve Tribes of Israel print suite (Field catalog #72-6, pp. 78-79) titled "Issachar" (Isacar). 

The colors on the large lithographic image are vivid, and frame the piece nicely.  An attractive poster to add to your collection.

Field notes that there were 3000 of these posters produced for the inauguration of the Teatre-Museu Dali de Figueras, making this poster relatively common. 

You can expect to pay about $25 for this poster on the low end.

This next poster features an image from the After 50 Years of Surrealism print suite (Field catalog #74-8, pp. 94-95) titled "Le Grand Inquisiteur chasse le serviteur" (The Grand Inquisitor expels the Savior).

The colors on the large lithographic image are more subdued than the one above, but it is still a captivating image.

Field notes that there were 300 of these posters produced for Teatro-Museu in Figueras, making this poster far more rare than the one above.

You can expect to pay about $45 for this poster.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Conquest of the Irrational by Salvador Dali (1935).

Conquest of the Irrational
by Salvador Dali.

On July 20, 1935 in Paris, one thousand copies of this book were printed in English.  Seventy-six years later, this rare historical artifact finds its way into my hands.

What can one say about this original Dali manifesto, written in the dawn of his career? 

Since its publication, Conquest of the Irrational has been a popular source of quotes for those attempting to summarize Dali's artistic style and motivation.

The book is about 5"x6", has about 18 pages of text, followed by b&w illustrations on heavy card stock.  There are 35 reproductions including the back cover and a color plate (also on heavy card stock) opposite the title page.  I have included a list of the titles of the plates and a few examples of the plates.


This little book is extremely rare, so your hunt for this may be a long one.  The book is worth about $200-$300 for a copy in good condition.  Happy hunting!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Salvador Dali Original Engraving: "Autumn" (1970).

Salvador Dali Original Engraving:
"Autumn" (1970)

Autumn (1970)
This second edition engraving is listed in the Field catalog as #70-2 and is limited to 1000 prints (first ed.: 150 in colors and signed, second ed.: 1000 in sanguine and signed in plate, total: 1150).

As with most art, it helps to see it in person to get the full effect.  This print is densely etched and the lines are crisp, giving it a really sharp appearance.  It looks beautiful in sanguine.

My print is on BFK Rives paper (with watermark) that measures about 11.5" x 13.75".  The image itself measures about 8" x 10.5".

Notice that the image is not centered vertically on the paper.  It is set about 1" below the top paper edge and about 2" above the bottom paper edge.  This seems to be typical of examples of this print.  However, a previous owner may have trimmed off the top edge to remove mounting tape.

I have mounted it on acid-free backing with acid-free matting in this fine wood frame for fewer than $20.  The matting was a pre-cut size I found at the local craft store.  The color of the matting really complements the sanguine in the print.  It looks incredible!

This engraving is fairly easy to obtain in sanguine.  It typically sells for between $50-$90, as do most of the second edition or restrike etchings of Dali's.  It is rare to see a first edition in colors.  If you do, the sky's the limit on the price.  If authentic, it's very rare and signed by Dali himself.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Lincoln Mint 1972 Annual Easter Plate: "Easter Christ" by Salvador Dali.

The Lincoln Mint 1972 Annual Easter Plate
"Easter Christ"
by Salvador Dali.

The card that comes with this plate boasts that it is Dali's first work created especially for reproduction in a precious metal plate.

This sterling silver plate measures almost 9" across, reportedly weighs about 325 g, and is numbered on the reverse side with a 4-digit serial number (a larger number of digits has not been observed).  It is reported that this is a limited edition of 20,000.

Of the three Lincoln Mint Dali plates, this one is the most common, yet typically sells for closest to the actual value of the silver (~$348) at today's market price (~$36 / troy ounce).  So, expect to pay just under $350 for this one.

Though this plate is common, there are many for sale at outrageous prices far in excess of the aforementioned estimate.  So, considering the number of plates for sale at a reasonable market price may make this among the less common of the three Lincoln Mint Dali plates.

Also note that this plate has been made in sterling vermeil (sterling silver plated in gold).  These are far less common, but still sell for the same price as the sterling silver version.

Both come in a sturdy white presentation box with a purple silk interior.  The information card accompanying the plate is also pictured here.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Lincoln Mint 1972 Annual Plate: "Dionysos et Pallas Athena" by Salvador Dali.

The Lincoln Mint 1972 Annual Plate:
"Dionysos et Pallas Athena"
by Salvador Dali.

In my opinion, this is the best of the three sterling silver Lincoln Mint plates by Dali.

The plate measures about 8" across, weighs about 282 g, and is numbered on the reverse side with a 4-digit serial number.

It is attractively packaged in a recessed presentation case within a tan slipcase covered in a velvet material.  A trifold information card has the plate's artwork embossed on the front.  This plate is a limited edition of 10,000.

Of the three Lincoln Mint Dali plates, this one is the least common.  However, it still tends to sell for less than the value of the silver (~$300) at today's market price (~$36 / troy ounce).  You can expect to pay about $290.