Print and Photograph Study

Pack Secrets: In This Issue

1) Identifying Original 1930s-40s VOGUE PHOTOS: Just Read the Back

2) CARL HORNER: The Man Who Shot Honus Wagner

3) Looking to Buy an Authentic SALVADOR DALI? Look for the Albert Field LOA











Cycleback's Art & Collectable Authenticity Newsletter
May 19 2004
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Coco Chanel, 1937 Paris, by Horst P. Horst


Identifying Original 1930s-40s VOGUE Photos: Just Read the Back

Like many picture magazines, from Baseball Magazine to Time, the legendary Paris-based Vogue hired full-time photographers to create the images for the covers and inside pages. In the 1930s-40s, many of the stylish Vogue images were shot in the magazine's own Paris studio by famous photographers like Cecil Beaton, Horst P. Horst (see above) and Richard Avedon. Today, the vintage original photos shot for Vogue are scarce and desirable.

Luckily for collectors, many of these vintage 1930s-40s Vogue photos are a snap to identify and date. This is because Vogue typically used stamping on the photos' backs that is comprehensive and easy to intepret.

The collector should look for the stamp of 'Vogue' and/or 'Conde Nast.' Conde Nast was the magazine's publisher. The photographer's name and the date is commonly stamped. Just as with many AP or UPI wirephotos, there may be a paper caption tag describing the image. The photos may have production and cataloging notes and marks in pencil, grease pen (looks like crayon) or ink pen.

The above shows the desirable dated Vogue photo studio & Conde Naste stamps on the back of a photo, along with the stamp of famed German photographer Horst P. Horst.

The below is a link to another Vogue photo back with a large variety of stamping

Image of Vogue Photo back #2



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Looking at the Rare Baseball Photos of Carl Horner

Though Carl Horner will never be a household name, at least one of his baseball images is recognized around the world. Horner was the photographer of the portrait reproduced on the most expensive and famous trading card in the world, the 1909 T206 Honus Wagner. Horner photographed portraits of other baseball players used for the T206, other card sets, magazines, newspapers, scorecards, books and board games. While his images were reproduced countless times, Horner's original studio photographs rank amongst the rarest and most expensive photographs in the baseball hobby, with special examples worth more than $10,000. All of his known baseball photographs date to a brief period at the turn of the 20th century.

This brief article groups and describes the four common types of Horner baseball photographs.

1) Carl Horner 'T206' Cabinet Cards. These cabinet cards are easy to identify as they have the well known portraits in the T206 set. Horner's name is clearly embossed into the bottom of the mount. The mounts are commonly light colored, and it appears that each photo was issued in a glassine-like envelope. These T206 cabinets are exceptionally rare and desirable.

2) Carl Horner 'Full Body' Cabinet Cards. These cabinets show New York Highlanders (Yankees) players in full body studio poses at Horner's studio. Horner's name is on the bottom of the mount, making them easy to identify as Horner's. The mounts are usually light colored, but dark versions exist. These are rare, but not as rare and expensive as the T206 Cabinets. Examples of common players in decent shape are typically valued at about $1,000 or more.

Horner's 'Full Body' cabinets with Horner's name on the mount. Images courtesy of Tom Mills

3) Carl Horner Mammoth Multi-Player Photos. These unique monster-sized mounted photographs, with Horner's name in the image, show vignetted images of many players from a team or an entire league (Yes, an entire league) in interesting designs. These are about as rare as the T206 Cabinet Cards and are extremely expensive. The largest versions showing all the players from an entire league are worthy of a small admission charge. Due to their large size which made them more prone to damage over the years, these are more likely to have restoration.

4) 'Horner' Premiums. These premiums (or similarly-issued commercial cards) likely were not made by Horner but some company that used his images. The are like cabinet cards, but larger (about 8x10" or 8x11") and have mechanical prints (photoengravings to be exact) instead of actual photos pasted to the mount. The mount is dark, the prints have a white border and Horner's name does not appear anywhere. As collector Tom Mills pointed out to me, a few of the images are by another photographer named BJ Falk. Falk, prominent in his own right, photographed many of the images for the 1890s Newsboy tobacco cabinets and was particularly well known as a photographer of theatre actors and actresses. These Horner Premiums are collectable and often fetch a few hundred dollars in auction, but are more plentiful than Horner's genuine photos #1-3.



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Look for the Albert Field/ Dali Archives Seal of Approval

Salvador Dali was one of the most famous and forged 20th century artists. Trying to figure out what Dali is real and what is fake can be maddening even for the experienced collector.

Luckily for collectors, advanced or novice, there was a man who spent his life cataloging Dali's authentic prints and forgeries. Albert Field, who died in 2003 at 86 years, was Dali's personal choice to catalog his works. Forming the 'The Salvador Dali Archives' in New York City, Field spent decades researching Dali's art and fakes. His book, The Official Catalog of the Graphic Works of Salvador Dali is regularly referenced by Sotheby's and Christies. Field advised museums and was an expert witness in art forgery trials. He also offered opinions to the general public, issuing a LOA and/or Dali Archives stamp and his signature for a work he judged authentic.

Field continued his work into his 80s

Beginning Dali prints collectors concerned about authenticity, can look for prints with the Albert Field Dali Archives LOA or stamp. Not only will this approval give you confidence when buying, but, due to Field's reputation, it will make your life easier when selling.



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