I have just spent the better part of a night reading Pablo Picasso: The Lithographs, published by Hatje Cantz. This book is phenomenal and tells you almost everything there is to know about Picasso's lithographs. I checked the price on Amazon for this book and it is expensive, $215 used, but that could be a bargain for the members of Daryle Lambert's Antique and Collectibles Club if it helped you identify a real Picasso.
In the book you will find all the vital information for Picasso's lithographs, from the correct size, editions produced, correct information in the signing and even the type of paper used. The pictures of each lithograph makes it easy to identify the pieces you're looking at to purchase. Until I received this book, I considered all the Picassos that I encountered to be reproductions or outright fakes but no more.
I wish that I had owned this book back when I was at the Chicago Riverfront Antique Mall. You are asking why and this is the reason. A lady approached me with a rather large Picasso lithograph but I wasn't sure whether it was real or not so I passed on it. Later I found out that another dealer did authenticate it and it was purchased for $500, then sold at auction for nearly $10,000. “Oh”, as my wife would say, “just another war story”.
One thing that I feel I must share with you is that if luck smiles on you and a Picasso comes into your possession, don't try to sell it on eBay. To receive the true value of a Picasso lithograph, it must be authenticated and sold through one of the better auction houses such as Christie's, Sotheby's or Shannon's.
You should be very leery of any print or lithograph that has a certificate of authenticity because they usually will have very little value. These certificates are different than appraisals but even with an appraisal, be sure it is by an appraiser who is qualified on Picasso.
Don't be duped because 95% of all the Picassos you see will not pass the test. There are, however, still ones to be found by the person spending time in the field and in the books. You may only find one real Picasso in your lifetime but knowing that there are ones that would sell for over $1,000,000 makes it worthwhile to keep looking.
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