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Part one of eight:

Everyone who examines a fine art print is looking for certain things. If she doesn’t know much about prints, this may be fairly few things. If she knows a lot, she’ll know more things to look for. So what do I mean by “things”? Clues.

Over the past forty-four years I have employed what I term “art  detective techniques” in my examination of all artworks, including Dali prints. It’s pretty simple really, and there’s no secret. Actually, I consider that there are no secrets in what I do and I always share my process and conclusions with clients. You are welcome to anything that I know, as my former students at George Washington University, Rhode Island School of Deign and several other universities will tell you.

When I put on my Optivisor (magnifying visor) what I am looking for is clues. That’s right, just like good ‘ol Sherlock. In fact, I pretty much follow the Sherlockian methods which are essentially the scientific method. If you use our telephone consultation service for authentications and appraisal (see website), the first clues I get will not be from a personal examination but from the Service Request Form that you fill out and e-mail to me. There will, of course, be things that you don’t know. No worry. I will.

In my research I’ll use not only the few published sources, which are always incomplete and often wrong, but also my files developed over the appraisal of more that 5,700 prints attributed to Dali. I have copyright registrations, contracts between artist and publisher, correspondence and a great deal of additional information. There were times when I served as the expert witness in the prosecution of a publisher that I got a massive amount of information from his files and even, in some cases, access to the printing plates, transparencies and other information not available to anyone else.

The clues will thus tell me where your print falls in what may be a legitimate edition or several illegitimate editions. In the next seven blog postings I’ll tell you about print mediums, papers, signatures, edition numbering systems and lots more.