Gray Lady Saturday auction Clark's Fine Art
For bidders who hope to win "Gray Lady" and would like her in your collection, I live in Los Angeles and will from time to time preview Clark's Fine Art & Auctioneers, where I have had wonderful winning luck as you may know (always live in person). I do not have a "Gray Lady" and wanted to see this one for myself and help a couple curious cats that reached out to me. I am only the messenger as a helpful resource about the condition of the piece ONLY. I am not here to make commentary about the auction house itself.
The condition online states:
Toning and speckles in margins, lips gray rather than pink, otherwise in apparently good condition.
I have decided to pass and my bail-out is your benefit if you move forward. :-) Local pick up probably save $200 in shipping this large piece, but it is still not enough savings for me on this one. I am attaching the photos I took and you can decide for yourself. There is foxing throughout the white borders, although its hard to see if its come through the gray areas under glass. Around the border is a solid fairly thick brown outline border. I did not measure it but it may be 1/2" or so. The gallery called it "mat burn." I am not a restorer of any kind, so I will just reference ArtCareInc.com for description. "Mat burn is caused by an acidic window mat. It is the cut edge of the mat board which is mostly acidic and damaging to a work on paper. It isn't always visible on matted and framed works. But, an acidic mat is a slow fire which burns paper, marring its appearance and reducing its value."
It will need full restoration by a true screen print professional, which can be hard to find. I left a message for one of gallery recommended restorers two days ago with details, but as of today, I did not hear back. I do not know how much restoration will cost, but my last restoration estimate from Restoration By Heart in Los Angeles was approximately $800 for a smaller piece, a "Kristen" AP on Chairish, which I sent back. (BTW: Beware of the "Kristen" AP on Chairish, note some pics for future as these prints tend to move around. You probably shouldn't buy (foxing, discoloration on back and front, warping in paper and so on). I have more info on it if anyone wants copy of the estimate or detailed pics.
Anyway back to "Gray Lady" ... There is one bid on Clark's "Gray Lady", currently at $625.00 including premium. Hopefully, one of you out there has deep enough pockets to save the GL, but I am going to hold off for one in better condition and not end up with a piece that is destined to be called "restored."
Oh, one more thing!! Clark's mention of Gray Lips. I have always known gray lip color to be the way the piece was intended on the s/n editions; but, Clark insists the AP which he sold in July had pink lips. I did check the old photos and sure enough that appears to be correct. If some of you recall that AP sold for $2500 gavel down before premium. A very high number this summer. I was there and honestly didn't even notice the difference. Bad me but it wasn't clean enough for me! Somebody else out there must have and maybe was part of the hype this past summer on that particular AP. Or maybe printed as an AP it was different and it was just one like that? If anyone out there knows if all the "Gray Lady" AP editions happen to be different color on theirs, please let me know!! I want to see another one now! Thank you.
Good luck to anyone bidding!!! Somebody save number 86!