Thursday, February 2, 2017

eBay 101: R. O. Blechman Original Sin

A perpetual source of consternation on eBay is the widespread inability of many sellers to distinguish original works of art from common prints. Sometimes this arises out of a seller's natural inclination to make an item appear as rare and desirable as possible. At other times, it is clear that many sellers don't have the basic vocabulary to distinguish original works of art from ordinary prints.

In the following example, what looks like an attractive if unremarkable offset lithograph of R. O. Blechman's October 1, 1979 New Yorker cover depicts New York's illuminated skyline. The poster includes the full magazine logo sans date and price, as well as a printed copyright notice. The work is referred to in the eBay listing's title as "Original New Yorker Cover Art Painting Blechman..." The item description also calls it an "original proto"—presumably prototype—and states that this is signed and original although it appears to be neither. The listing specifically states it is not a reproduction. The seller further goes on to call this piece "an original mock artist's creation"—one hopes this refers to a mock-up rather than a mock artist—with "slight fading of the poster face color." So this one eBay listing refers to the item as a painting, a drawing, a "proto," and a poster too! Offered at $7,599, it not surprisingly received no bids on eBay.

eBay Listing Ended January 24, 2017

eBay Item Description

R. O. Blechman, The New Yorker, October 1, 1979

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