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CATCHING UP and Du NOYER SALE


So whatever happened to that Bernard Ewell, anyway? He has been almost absent from his blog. The answer lies more than anything else in some technical problems that he was finally able to figure out when others did not. Now we’re back in the blog business.

I have just returned from Seattle, but that trip was not about Dali business so I won’t talk about it. Two days before going, however, I returned from Ft. Lauderdale and the amazing experience of the opening of the exhibition and sale of the Dali collection of Baron Philippe du Noyer de Lescheraine.

Baron Philippe (died May 31st) was a very dear friend and he and his wife, Baronne Ghislaine, came to our wedding in Colorado Springs in 2000, visited us in Santa Fe and the three of us traveled together in Europe. I have visited the sources of Philippe’s impressive collection of Dali artworks, done extensive research and written authentications of every piece.

The owner of New River Fine Art in Ft. Lauderdale is a very sharp and dedicated woman named Lisa Burgess. She has been in the business of selling the Master’s art for many years and she has the distinction of always selling only the best and always being totally honest and above board. She is a dealer to be trusted, and I do.

Lisa brought me in for a celebrity appearance, a lecture and two days of offering Dali authentications. OMG! What a high energy, exciting and exhausting time. The opening reception was packed with about 300 enthusiastic people and the gallery was full from opening at 10 AM to closing at 10 PM. It is a very good thing that Lisa has such an outstanding staff and that I had the energy to meet and talk with all the people who came to see me, and that was a lot.

New River published an impressive catalog of the collection which should be in the library of every Dali collector and ¬†institution (www.newriverfineart.com). The wall signage was excellent and the whole tone of the event was¬†full authenticity; full disclosure; full transparency. That’s why I was there.

The collection of unique works and graphics was built during the years that Philippe was the exclusive North American representative for publisher Pierre Argillet and the Albaretto Collection of Turin. I have visited both sources, examined extensive documentation, seen hundreds of photographs and carefully examined all of the original artworks. Believe me, it’s all good stuff.

The sale, of course, was designed (as Philippe intended) to support Philippe’s widow. The sales were impressive prior to the opening and held strong throughout the week end. There were red sales dots all over the beautiful gallery and my dear friend Ghislaine will be the beneficiary. I am so glad. She is a lovely, loving lady.

On my last visit to New River Fine Art I was harassed by then “appraiser” and gallery owner Jerome Bengis of Coral Springs who has always taken exception to my dedication to truth in the Dali market. He even threatened to have his lawyer wife sue me. This time, however, he didn’t show up. I wonder if it was because he had just been sentenced to a year in prison and $300,000 in fines and forfeiture. Nice to know there will be one fewer con men selling fake Dalis, for a while at least.