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Dec

23

 It's the holiday season and prime time shopping season for art from retail sources. It's also the perfect time to sell forgeries, fake art goods. Salvador Dali has probably been the most forged artist in history. In fact, probably 300,000 forgeries of his works exist. Here's a good article that discusses the forgery methods, markets,and players. 

According to the aforementioned article, this gallery is the most unscrupulous of the bunch that preys on innocent art buyers, conducting art auctions on cruise ships and other resort venues. As bad as they are, there are many more charlatans out there selling fake Dalis.

When Dali was old and in his dotage, he sold over 300,000 blank signed sheets of paper according to this paper. Since most of his works are forgeries, it would be advisable to avoid purchasing a print, etching, lithograph or even painting with his signature. If reputable houses like Sotheby's and Christie's won't sell Dali's etchings and lithographs, that is a market tell. If you happen to own one, it would be advisable to get an appraisal and verification, which might be difficult as most houses won't even look at a lithograph, etching, or drawing from Dali.

Several years ago, a friend of mine found out I was a serious art collector and wanted to show me his "Fine" art collection. As art patrons tend to be proud of their collections, I felt privileged to be invited to see his collection which he described as a vast collection of a major artist, without revealing any details. Lo and behold, when I got to his house, I was surprised to see about 100 framed Dali lithographs and etchings, all fakes. I didn't have the heart to say anything, and left on a gracious note.

Like bucket shops and forex shops fleece newbie investors, unscrupulous galleries and dealers fleece another type of sheep, the beginning unsophisticated art collector. And just because they're unsophisticated (and not stupid people at all as the best of us get conned), that doesn't mean that they will balk at paying $20,000+ for a worthless fake. It happens every day and is probably happening right now at this very minute, somewhere in this world. If you have an insatiable desire to see a real Dali and are in St. Pete, Fl. there is the excellent Salvador Dali Museum which houses a good selection of his major works, all 100% real. 

Caveat emptor.


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