Tuesday, 18 July 2017


On July 9, David Hockney was eighty years old. To celebrate the occasion, Belgian television channel Canvas broadcast a long documentary and online auction Catawiki had the luminous idea of starting their Sunday photography auction with this fine portrait taken in 2012 by British photographer John Angerson, one from an edition of twenty-five.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017


One of the strange things in the antiquarian book business is the vague sense of loss you feel when a very special book or catalogue that you have been offering for sale for quite some time is effectively sold. Booksellers with a more pragmatic turn of mind might remind you that was why you offered it in the first place, but nevertheless the awareness that the chances of ever coming across another copy are virtually none makes the sale a sort of mixed blessing.

Perhaps it would have been more logical to write about this extraordinary catalogue when I first acquired it, over a year ago, but now that it is about to be sent to its new owner in Paris, it would be a pity to let it go without presenting it to a larger audience first. I did my best to give a full description and together with the pictures it will speak for itself.


The International Surrealist Exhibition – New Burlington Gardens, London, 1936

The original catalogue, printed by The Women’s Printing Society, Ltd.

Pap., stapled, 24 x 14.5 cm, 31p. Text only. Cover by Max Ernst. Preface by AndrĂ© Breton (translated by David Gascoyne). List of participating artists. Introduction by Herbert Read.
Catalogue, including 392 nrs, including works by Arp, Bellmer, Brancusi, De Chirico, Dali , Duchamp, Ernst, Gascoyne, Giacometti, Klee, Magritte, Masson, Miro, Moore, Nash, Penrose, Picabia, Picasso, Man Ray, Tanguy, a.o. + Oceanian & African objects.
Overall in good condition, worn, but without serious damage. Cover discoloured. The previous owner has added some surrealist comments of his own. On the front cover he notes (with some changes and words crossed out) a comments that roughly reads:
‘this catalogue does not belong to [name unindentified]. But it doesn’t belong to anybody else either. It belongs to poached eggs in a bath with knobs on’ [my transcription, DS]
The catalogue part has some markings in pencil at particular numbers, and on the blank page ‘Addenda’  the note ‘Man Ray, A l’heure de l’observation’, suggesting that the note was contemporary.
The back of the cover shows  three caricature portraits, sadly unidentified, as is the artist.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017


Taschen has just published a truly magnificent (and huge) volume on album covers by artists. More than 400 pages, profusely illustrated, make it a feast for the eyes and a must-have for all collectors. Run off to your local bookshop!

And while you're at it, check out the special page on 'Records and covers' on the Prentwerk website (see under 'Multiples')

And so much more ...

Monday, 30 January 2017


It is one of the main problems for all bookshops all over the world: how to persuade customers to leave the endless lists of titles on Amazon, Abebooks, Biblio etc, alone for a moment and check out individual websites of specialist booksellers, where they can find quality selections in their particular field of interest, with better descriptions and more pictures.

So here is a new way to keep up with all Prentwerk acquisitions on modern and contemporary art, rare catalogues, artist books, photos & photobooks and so much more.

Follow us on Pinterest: https://nl.pinterest.com/prentwerk/whats-new/


Friday, 27 January 2017


As self-confessed human sculptures, Gilbert and George have probably been photographed more extensively than any other artist, with the possible exception of Picasso.

Here are just some examples from the Prentwerk files:

Sunday, 26 June 2016


This is just to let you know that last Thursday saw Prentwerk's debut at Instagram, with daily selections of interesting new acquisitions.

Check us out at 'prentwerkartbooks'!

Thursday, 23 June 2016


Dear auctioneer,

Over the past months your auctions have featured prints by various artists published by 'Suc. Salerno & Hijos'. They are all prints by prominent artists, including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Pierre Alechinsky. They all bear printed signatures,  are published in large editions (mostly 300), numbered by hand and accompanied by impressive looking COA’s, with blindstamps, publisher’s signatures and registration numbers.

Let me point out, however, that there is nothing 'authentic' about these prints. Although presented as ‘lithographs’, they are simply reproductions of existing works of art, sold quite cheaply. 'Suc. Salerno & Hijos' is a highly dubious firm. I have not been able to find a website, which is in itself a bad sign. In their descriptions, however, both the publishers and the sellers, at various auctions, try to create the impression that they are in fact selling original prints. Needless to say that this is highly misleading, if not downright criminal.

It is, of course, up to the auctioneers to decide whether they want to include such material, but if they are at all serious about the quality of their auctions, I believe they would do well to reject any such prints offered to them. Also, the general public should be informed about these practices in order to prevent them from spending their money on worthless reproductions.

Best regards,