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Treasure: Salvador Dali known for hooded girl on a pony

Khristi Zimmeth
Special to The Detroit News

Salvador Dali is an artist well-known for his eccentricity and individuality. The print that Dave Woodsum and his sister Diane Woodsum McBain inherited was part of their uncle’s collection. An artist himself, he lived in Pittsburgh and had an extensive collection of art in all mediums.

The pair wasn’t sure of the print’s history or provenance, just that it came by way of their uncle. “This was found at his home after he moved to assisted living,” they wrote in their original email asking for advice. They gave appraiser Brian Thomczek a little more history at a recent Trash or Treasure session held at Judy Frankel Antiques in Troy. “He did travel the world, but unfortunately now he can’t tell us any of its history or where it came from,” said Dave.

Thomczek attempted to give them some answers, at least as many as he could. “No doubt you’ve heard some of the Dali stories,” he said.

Quirky and controversial, “Salvador Dali is among the most versatile and prolific artists of the twentieth century,” according to artstory.org/artist-dali-salvador. “Though chiefly remembered for his painterly output, in the course of his long career he successfully turned to sculpture, printmaking, fashion, advertising, writing, and, perhaps most famously, filmmaking in his collaborations with Luis Bunuel and Alfred Hitchcock. Dali was renowned for his flamboyant personality as much as for his undeniable technical virtuosity. In his early use of organic morphology, his work bears the stamp of fellow Spaniards Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró. His paintings also evince a fascination for Classical and Renaissance art, clearly visible through his hyper-realistic style and religious symbolism of his later work. Dali is most often associated with the Surrealist movement, despite his formal expulsion from the group in 1934 for his reactionary political views.”

Signed in the lower right in pencil and issue 20 of 300, Thomczek was familiar with the Woodsums’ work, one of many that Dali did in his lifetime. “I’ve seen this one before,” he told them.” It’s often described as a hooded girl on a pony.” His main question, however, was whether or not the signature is right. “To be sure, he recommended that the pair authenticate the piece with a Dali specialist.

“It looks OK to me but I’m not really an expert on his work,” he told the brother and sister. “Unfortunately, there has been some deflation in the market for Dali’s work since the early 2000s, but the market is slowly starting to recover, which is good news for you.”

In its current condition, he appraised the print at $300-$500 at auction if authentic. He also recommended that the pair take it to a good conservator, where the foxing could be cleaned up and it could be framed appropriately.

The siblings don’t intend to sell – at least for now, they said. “It belongs to the family. Now that we know the value, we will get it framed and hang it in someone’s home.”

Do you have an object you would like to know more about? Send a photo and description that includes how you acquired the object to: The Detroit News, Trash or Treasure?, 160 W. Fort St., Detroit, MI 48226. Include your name and daytime telephone number. You may also send your photo and description to trashortreas@aol.com. If chosen you’ll need to bring the items to an appraisal session. Letters are edited for style and clarity. Photos cannot be returned.

About this item

Item : Salvador Dali print

Owner : Dave Woodsum and Diane Woodsum McBain

Appraised by : Brian Thomczek

Estimated value: $300-$500 at auction with authentication