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.

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.