So there’s this little estate sale storefront type place we like to stop at every few weeks or so. Awhile back they got in some nice art including a cool signed Peter Max print (hand-dated 1971 next to his signature). They had it priced around $400.
We stopped in on Saturday, and I noticed the Max print was still there and had cracked glass on the front of the frame. I asked if the glass had recently been cracked and apparently a customer accidentally put their knee into it (it wasn’t hung up, it was propped against a wall or something on the floor). They didn’t make that customer buy it because the print itself was left undamaged, but they did lower the price a bit to $300 after it happened.
Here’s a photo of the print, and you can see the cracked glass. Here’s a photo of his signature, which is hard to see depending on the light but is in the lower right. I put the tape on myself to try and keep it together better while transporting it.
The lady working the shop that day told me that if I was interested in it she could knock some more off, and bring it down to $240. I didn’t show much interest and mentioned how I’d have to replace the glass, so she brought it down again to $200. After some quick research on signed Max prints from the same era, they seemed to sell easily in the $400-500 range, minimum, so I decided to go ahead and pull the trigger on buying it.
After getting it home, I wanted to find out the name of the print to see if I could find more accurate sales history on this specific piece. After a bit of Googling, I found that it’s titled “Rhythmic Man” and I found one for sale on an art gallery’s website for $12,000(!!!).
Now, I’m no spring chicken when it comes to estate sales and figuring out the value of things so I looked closer and saw that this $12k print is numbered out of 100. Ok, I thought… No chance in hell I have one of these. I just have some other lamer version. Took a closer look at the print and HOLY SHIT IT’S NUMBER 26/100!!!
Further research tells me that this is one of Max’s rarest works and besides the $12k one, there’s one other gallery that has one for sale and they are asking $9,500 for it. I also found an old eBay auction that appears to have sold for around $7k a few years ago.
So needless to say I was freaking out over this all weekend. First order of business, of course, is to get the glass replaced. After that I think it’s just going to get hung on our wall for awhile. Peter Max is still alive, but seeing as he’s 76 now, I figure I can be patient and see how long he stays with us and wait to look into selling it until after he passes. At some point I need to pay a legit art appraiser to give a value for insurance purposes.
Definitely the best find I’ve ever made. And I’m a big fan of the piece anyway (or wouldn’t have bought it), so it’s win-win.