Topics

A/P vs S/N

Daniel Avrin
 

I recently purchased a signed and numbered (244/250) Playboy 30th Anniversary for $800 framed and matted (asking price was $1200). Today on eBay I see a "signed" one for $6,500, a signed/numbered artist's proof for $6,700 and a s/n artist's proof for $3,125. Without getting into the whole "value is what someone will pay not asking price" discussion, what is going on here? Are these pie-in-the-sky asking prices? Is a A/P mark in the corner THAT much more valuable than a limited s/N ? 

 

Hi Daniel:

The $US6,700 piece is, as usual, listed by Laurent Ashton, who's been listing Nagel pieces WAY OVER market price forever. In fact, I get occasional e-mails from Ashton complaining about my mentioning about the constant overpricing.  Most of them stay up on Ebay for months, if not years. I have no idea if anyone ever buys them.  Safer to just ignore them.

The US$3,125 version says it's an A/P, and maybe it is, but you'd think that if the seller were serious, he'd have included close ups of that designation, as well as a signature. From the photo on the listing, I don't even see the A/P.

Rob Frankel
TheArtistWhoLovedWomen.com

Heather Arender
 

While some people like to collect AP prints they are no more valuable than regular numbered editions. Ap’s were initially designed for the artist to give to friends and family, some having dedications which makes them less valuable (prints with dedications being less valuable).


On Sep 19, 2019, at 4:34 PM, Daniel Avrin <Bestavrin@...> wrote:

I recently purchased a signed and numbered (244/250) Playboy 30th Anniversary for $800 framed and matted (asking price was $1200). Today on eBay I see a "signed" one for $6,500, a signed/numbered artist's proof for $6,700 and a s/n artist's proof for $3,125. Without getting into the whole "value is what someone will pay not asking price" discussion, what is going on here? Are these pie-in-the-sky asking prices? Is a A/P mark in the corner THAT much more valuable than a limited s/N ? 

 

True enough, I suppose.  Don't forget that in addition to A/Ps, Nagel also issued Special Proofs and Printers Proofs.

Rob Frankel
TheArtistWhoLovedWomen.com

Daniel Avrin
 

So you think these eBay Nagels are vastly over-priced?

On Sep 19, 2019, at 3:43 PM, Heather Arender <heather.arender@...> wrote:
While some people like to collect AP prints they are no more valuable than regular numbered editions. Ap’s were initially designed for the artist to give to friends and family, some having dedications which makes them less valuable (prints with dedications being less valuable).


On Sep 19, 2019, at 4:34 PM, Daniel Avrin < Bestavrin@...> wrote:

I recently purchased a signed and numbered (244/250) Playboy 30th Anniversary for $800 framed and matted (asking price was $1200). Today on eBay I see a "signed" one for $6,500, a signed/numbered artist's proof for $6,700 and a s/n artist's proof for $3,125. Without getting into the whole "value is what someone will pay not asking price" discussion, what is going on here? Are these pie-in-the-sky asking prices? Is a A/P mark in the corner THAT much more valuable than a limited s/N ? 

 

I do, but like you, I don't want to get into that "they're worth what someone will pay" silliness.

Rob Frankel
TheArtistWhoLovedWomen.com

Nagelcollector
 

Why is it silliness?

Cooper_Monster
 

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the Playboy 30th Anniversary print have the largest run of any of the lifetime Nagel's? The numbers I see on the S/N and AP appear to be the standard 250 and 40, plus 3 PP, but the unsigned edition is 2500, versus the usual 1000-1200 for virtually all the other lifetime posters that weren't open-ended. In theory, this should make the unsigned worth less, but it's a popular image and doesn't seem to have a depressed price.

That being said, getting a signed S/N or AP is the way to go here. And I'll say it, the OP got a pretty good deal here, if you like the frame. For just the print, it's a slightly good deal, using Rob's $1000 retail benchmark as the standard for a signed print. (Sorry if I'm misquoting you on that.) The others are overpriced, even if one manages to transact at that price. When multiple signed lifetime posters sell for north of $2000, then that becomes market price. Right now, even most of the Limited Editions, which are far harder to find, don't sell for anywhere close to those prices.

 

If you scan our archives, you can find discussions on values and prices.  Regardless of pricing, I think we all agree that there are two factors that figure prominently into a piece's value:

1.  The piece's content:  Some pieces are just more appealing and desirable than others.  At the top of the list (by no means all-inclusive) are Gray Lady, Kristen, Mirage (unlettered), Cleo, Michelle, Heidi and some others we all know and love. Generally speaking, the sensual female content seems more in demand than other content.

2.  The number of pieces which have survived:  By now, you all know my familiar refrain of supply I initially published in the book: By my research, only about 30% of Nagel's collectible limited editions have survived, the rest have been damaged, destroyed or discarded."  This, to me, is why a gorgeous piece like Casa Lupita seems to be more widely traded, with my theory being that its toned-down sexuality led to fewer people tossing it out.  I firmly believe there are more of them out there than the average piece.  Same with Noble Gallery:  Fully clothed usually means the piece made it out of the man cave and into the marriage......so there are more that survived.

So even if a piece had a large numbered run (Karl Bornstein was convinced that Nagel's celebrity portraits like Joan Collins should have had a 750 piece run, but he lost that fight), it's my position that it's the surviving number that matters.
When you link the surviving number with content, you get a fairly predictable indicator of value estimation.  From what I can tell, both Kristen and Gray Lady both numbered at 95 pieces, but Gray Lady is much harder to find and usually commands a premium price.

Rob Frankel
TheArtistWhoLovedWomen.com


 

 

...and for further adventures, note this latest ad on Craigslist, which is offering the piece for US$7,000:

This is a one of a kind piece. If you are a playboy collector, this is a chance to own something unique.
The serigraph is signed and dated by Patrick Nagel. Look him up. He did numerous pictures for the magazine. I have collected his pictures for thirty years but have decided to let them go.
The print was owned by Barry Haun and there is a signed dedication to him by Hugh Hefner on the front in 1983
There is a letter on the back explaining the piece signed by the original owner.
The print is framed in black.


Rob Frankel
TheArtistWhoLovedWomen.com

Daniel Avrin
 

So ... If we go by Rob Frankel's theory this print is worth LESS due to the dedication written on it, not more, except maybe as a curiosity or someone interested in the Hefner connection. He wants $7000 for what I just paid $800. Does anyone here think the Hefner dedication (to someone else) makes this worth $7000?

On Sep 21, 2019, at 11:08 AM, robfrankel <rob@...> wrote:
...and for further adventures, note this latest ad on Craigslist, which is offering the piece for US$7,000:

This is a one of a kind piece. If you are a playboy collector, this is a chance to own something unique.
The serigraph is signed and dated by Patrick Nagel. Look him up. He did numerous pictures for the magazine. I have collected his pictures for thirty years but have decided to let them go.
The print was owned by Barry Haun and there is a signed dedication to him by Hugh Hefner on the front in 1983
There is a letter on the back explaining the piece signed by the original owner.
The print is framed in black.


Rob Frankel
TheArtistWhoLovedWomen.com

Cooper_Monster
 

Does anyone here think the Hefner dedication (to someone else) makes this worth $7000?


At this point in time, no. The little I know about the world of celebrity memorabilia is enough to tell me that it's a really weird market. I mean, it's possible that someday, the combo of provenance, autographs, and celebrity could turn this into something, but not right now, at least in my opinion. The Hefner autograph is not rare, Hefner's prominence may fade over time, Nagel "autographs" on his art works can be had for far less, Nagel is not that well known, it's personalized, although to part of Nagel's circle, which means the combo isn't that premium. He's put it at the "I don't want to sell it" price. Clearly it means more to him than it does to anyone else.

What would it take for it to approach this price? Probably for Nagel's reputation in the art world to climb, which means originals are going to have to enter the seven figure range. Hefner is probably at his peak right now, which means the market for this will be purely driven by the Nagel market.

What's it worth now? Again, I'm not an expert, but to the right person, maybe 50% over what you could get a regular one for. On a really good day. And that person is going to be hard to find. Moving it for quick sale, no premium or even a discount. As an example, a combined Dorothy Stratten/Hugh Hefner autograph sold for $175 on eBay (BuyItNow). A Playboy Magazine with Farrah Fawcett on the cover with her autograph and Hefner's sold for $255 at competitive auction (19 bids). Plain Hefner autographed photos go as low as $25. So there's a market, but it's not a high dollar one right now.

 

The general rule of thumb is that signed pieces are valuable, but personalized autograph pieces actually detract from a piece's value.  Nagel would occasionally show up at a gallery opening, where he would autograph SIS editions with personalized messages.  These pop up on EBay a lot, with sellers advertising them as "rare signed" pieces.

They're actually neither.

When anyone signs something, it's an autograph, period.  When that person personalizes the autograph, it may enhance its value to the recipient to whom it was dedicated, but not to anyone else.

As for Hefner's autograph, I agree that his legacy will likely fade quickly -- especially given the political atmosphere in which we live today.  Nagel's proper signature on collectible pieces, however, will likely continue to rise in value.  As an autograph, not so much.

Rob Frankel
TheArtistWhoLovedWomen.com