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Art Sales Index, Latin American Prices, W.E. Dassonville


The Art Sales Index, 31st Annual Edition, 1998/99 Season edited by Duncan Hislop catalogues 140,000 works of art by 43,500 artists that sold at 3,000 auctions worldwide between August 1998 and August 1999. 10,600 artists are making their first appearance ever in the 2,430 page, sturdily bound, two volume set. Sales coverage includes oil paintings, watercolors, drawings, miniatures, prints, and sculptures by Old Master, 19th Century, Modern, and Contemporary artists of all nationalities.

ASI 1998/99 has greatly improved and expanded its auction coverage in recent years and is now as good or better than any art auction record compendium on the market. Their analyses of the past year's art sales are of particular interest to users. Among other facts, they list all record prices achieved during the past auction year, all million dollar plus sales, and turnover breakdowns by nationality, medium, and price range.

Art Sales Index, 31st Annual Edition, 1998/99 Season edited by Duncan Hislop, Art Sales Index, Surrey, United Kingdom, 1999, hardbound, 2 volumes, 2430 pages, 8 1/2 by 12 inches, $195. Available from Art Sales Index, Ltd., 16 Luddington Ave., Virginia Water, Surry GU25 4DF, United Kingdom or call 011-44-1344-841760. If you prefer to order domestically, you can do so from Gordon's Art Reference, 306 West Coronado Road, Phoenix, AZ 85003.

You can also order directly from the ASI website or by emailing asi@art-sales-index.com. Orders are shipped same day via UPS.


Leonard's Price Index of Latin American Art at Auction is notable as the first price reference to focus exclusively on the Latin American art market as well as the first to combine auction records with a biographical dictionary. It includes over 30,000 sales results of mostly higher end pieces taken from Latin American sales held at American auction houses over the past thirty years. The first part of the book contains several informative essays on the Latin American art market and over 1100 artist biographies, some of which have never before been published in English. Nearly eighty illustrations with extensive captions provide additional insight into the art itself, its market history, and the artists who created it.

One of the more interesting aspects of Latin American Art at Auction is that since it covers such a long period of time and sales results for each artist are listed chronologically, researchers can track general market trends, individual artist price fluctuations, and even single works of art as they appear and then reappear at auction. The most important artists have hundreds of entries and their markets can be studied in substantial detail.

Because of the way the selling prices have been selected, Latin American Art at Auction is more useful as a market overview and historical/biographical reference than as an up-to-the-moment price guide. Only results from American sales have been included and most of those are from art by Latin America's more famous artists. International sales results, especially those from Latin America, are conspicuously absent. Nevertheless, the book is unique in its format and a welcome addition to the body of literature on a segment of the art market that gets far too little coverage in English.

Leonard's Price Index of Latin American Art at Auction edited by Susan Theran, Auction Index, Inc., Newton, MA, 1999, hardbound, dust jacket, 556 pages, 8 3/4 by 11 1/2 inches, $149.95. Available from Auction Index, Inc., 30 Valentine Park, Newton, MA 02465 or call 1-617-964-2876.


In the early part of this century, San Francisco photographer William E. Dassonville (1879-1957) gained considerable recognition for his California landscape and portrait photography. His work hung in exhibitions alongside that of many of the most famous photographers of the time including Stieglitz, Clarence White and Gertrude Kasebier. Active in the Arts and Crafts movement, he exhibited with major California artists like John Gamble and Gottardo Piazzoni. As if that wasn't enough, he also developed and marketed his own line of papers through his firm, Dassonville Co., Ltd. He was widely respected both as an artist and a technician and was quite influential in Northern California artistic circles from 1900-1930.

Although Dassonville's work regularly appeared on the market over the years, he never received the critical attention that he deserved. The recent rediscovery of his estate by San Francisco photography dealers Paul Hertzmann and Susan Hertzig has finally made that possible. The first monograph on the artist, William E. Dassonville, California Photographer (1879-1957), researched by Hertzmann and Hertzig with an essay by noted California photography historian Peter Palmquist, is now available in conjunction with a major traveling museum show of his finest photographs. The book is beautifully illustrated and of particular interest to Northern California history buffs as well as to anyone who deals, collects, or appreciates fine vintage photography in the Pictorialist tradition.

Dassonville; William E. Dassonville, California Photographer (1879-1957) by Peter Palmquist, Carl Mautz Publishing, Nevada City, CA, 1999, paperback or hardbound with dust jacket, 112 pages, oblong, 6 1/4 by 11 inches, $65 hardbound, $35 paperback. Available from Carl Mautz Publishing, 228 Commercial St. #522, Nevada City, CA 95959 or call 1-530-478-1610.

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Articles © Alan Bamberger 1999. All rights reserved.