AUTHENTICATION OF SALVADOR DALI PRINTS
As you probably know, we get a huge number of requests for the appraisal of Salvador Dali prints. This is only natural as I have spent thirty-three years doing it as a certified appraiser and a totally independent (disinterested) Dali expert. I not only have far more experience that anyone else who claims to be a Dali expert, but I have actually examined and given opinions on over 56,000 prints attributed to Dali. How do I do it?
The answer, of course, is that I have done so many, researched and known so many publishers and distributors, developed such effective art detective techniques, and have such extensive files that I have everything I need to do the job better than anyone else. The files are the real key today–along with everything I have learned.
It is not necessary for me to personally examine a print attributed to Salvador Dali if I have a photograph and a filled-out Service Request Form from our website (www.bernardewell.com). The clues that the picture and form provide permit me to place an individual print within (or without) the context of what it should be.
People love that they don’t have to send a print to me in Santa Fe or fly me to their location. I receive their information, fill out anything missing from the form, do the research in my files and call the art owner with a Telephone Consultation. I tell them everything we know about the origin of the image, its publication, print workshop, medium (with explanation) and paper and size of the edition. I usually also have a story or two about the people involved in its production. I give an opinion of authenticity and either a fair market value for resale or donation or a replacement value for insurance.
It is always our intention to treat people well, give them a lot of information, make sure they understand what I have said and give them good value for their money. People invariably believe the service was worth the $150 they paid. If they then want a written report, which is undoubtedly the most complete they can receive from anyone, we charge $350, but credit the $150 already paid so the ultimate service costs only $200 more, but by then they know if it is worth it. I also tell then that now they are our client, they should not hesitate to call with questions.
I love doing those telephone calls because I am providing an excellent service at a reasonable cost, we always have a good conversation, and clients always trust me. I have never had a telephone consultation appraisal or a written appraisal challenged and certainly never been proved wrong! In the process of working with over 56,000 prints, I believe that’s remarkable and worth being very proud of.