“It’s Just a Print”

August 7, 2012 Blog Post

“It’s just a print.” As an art dealer, when I first started hearing this phrase it would irritate me. A possible response might be, “Do you know what went into making this original print? Have you witnessed the print making process? This is not a poster, it is authentic artwork released to a limited number of possible collectors.”

Now that I have been around the art market for over 5 years, when I hear the phrase, “It’s just a print,” I chuckle to myself, and calmly ask the viewer/collector to explain to me what they believe a print to be. From there, I help guide them with an educational approach as to the value of prints such as, lithographs, serigraphs, etchings, woodcuts, linocuts, giclees, stencilling, mixed media etc. and explain why a print may be the best way to acquire a work by an artist that they truly love.

It also helps to have a little information ammunition when discussing value. For that, I resort to recent auction records. Below are some works that have recently sold at a Christie’s Auction on April 24-25, 2012 at the Rockefeller Plaza in New York.

PABLO PICASSO
Auction Estimate: $80,000 – $120,000
Auction Result: $104,500

Info: Portrait de Jacqueline de Face II (B. 1063; Ba. 1280) linocut in colors, 1962, on Arches, signed in pencil, numbered 20/50 (there were also approximately 20 artist’s proofs), published by Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris, 1963, with full margins, generally in very good condition B. 25¼ x 20¾ in. (641 x 527 mm.) S. 29 5/8 x 24 3/8 in. (753 x 619 mm.)

PABLO PICASSO
Auction Estimate: $60,000 – $80,000
Auction Result: $80,500

Info: Grande Tête de Femme au Chapeau (B. 1078; Ba. 1293) linocut in colors, 1962, on Arches, signed in pencil, dedicated ‘pour Arnera fils’ (presumably one of the approximately 20 artist’s proofs aside from the edition of 50), published by Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris, 1963, with full margins, generally in very good condition B. 25 1/8 x 20¾ in. (638 x 527 mm.) S. 29½ x 24¼ in. (749 x 616 mm.)

JASPER JOHNS
Auction Estimate: $25,000 – $35,000
Auction Result: $37,500
Info: Target with Four Faces (ULAE 203) etching and aquatint in colors, 1979, on Rives BFK, signed and dated in pencil, numbered 19/88 (there were also 13 artist’s proofs), published by Petersburg Press, New York, with full margins, generally in very good condition, framed P. 23½ x 18¼ in. (597 x 463 mm.) S. 30 x 22 1/8 in. (762 x 562 mm.)

ROY LICHTENSTEIN
Auction Estimate: $80,000 – $120,000
Auction Result: $206,500
Info: Two Nudes, from Nudes Series (C. 284) relief print in colors, 1994, on Rives BFK, signed and dated in pencil, numbered 24/40 (there were also 12 artist’s proofs), published by Tyler Graphics Ltd., Mount Kisco, New York, with their blindstamp, with full margins, in very good condition, framed L. 41½ x 35 in. (1054 x 890 mm.) S. 48 x 41 in. (1219 x 1041 mm.)

ANDY WARHOL
Auction Estimate: $150,000 – $250,000
Auction Result: $218,500
Info: Marilyn: one plate (F. & S. II.24) screenprint in colors, 1967, on wove paper, signed in pencil on the reverse, stamp-numbered 163/250 (there were also 26 artist’s proofs lettered A-Z), published by Factory Additions, New York, the full sheet, generally in very good condition, framed S. 35 7/8 x 36 in. (911 x 914 mm.)

ANDY WARHOL
Auction Estimate: $60,000 – $80,000
Auction Result: $92,500
Info: Marilyn: one plate (F. & S. II.29) screenprint in colors, 1967, on wove paper, signed in pencil on the reverse, stamp-numbered 112/250 (there were also 26 artist’s proofs lettered A-Z), published by Factory Additions, New York, the full sheet, generally in very good condition, framed S. 35 7/8 x 36 in. (911 x 914 mm.)

ANDY WARHOL
Auction Estimate: $70,000 – $100,000
Auction Result: $122,500
Info: Mickey Mouse, from Myths (F. & S. II.265) screenprint in colors with diamond dust, 1981, on Lenox Museum Board, signed in pencil, numbered ‘AP 3/30’ (an artist’s proof, the edition was 250), published by Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, Inc., New York, with the artist’s and publisher’s copyright inkstamps on the reverse, the full sheet, generally in very good condition, framed S. 37 7/8 X 37 7/8 in. (962 x 962 mm.)

ANDY WARHOL
Auction Estimate: $60,000 – $80,000
Auction Result: $98,500
Info: $ (Quadrant) (see F. & S. II.283) unique screenprint in colors, 1982, on Lenox Museum Board, signed in pencil, numbered 24/60 (there were also 10 artist’s proofs), published by the artist, with the artist’s copyright inkstamp on the reverse, the full sheet, generally in very good condition, framed S. 40 x 32 in. (1016 x 813 mm.)

As you can see, “It’s never just a print!”

Cheers,

Paul Erik Becker
love your collection – evolve your collection