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Tiki Central Forums Collecting Tiki Who painted Davis Gallery Leeteg paintings?
Who painted Davis Gallery Leeteg paintings?
ukutiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 25, 2009
Posts: 267
From: Michigan
Posted: 2017-02-26 3:48 pm   Permalink

I picked up this small "Leeteg" this morning at an antique market. It is not in good condition (needs cleaning and has some scratches. No tears in the velvet. It measures 11" by 14" and appears to be mounted on a hard surface and the velvet is not soft.

It is signed Leeteg Tahiti and possibly a copyright symbol as well. It has the standard Davis Gallery on the back identifying it as number 195-2292 and titled MATA. There are also numbers on the brown paper #195-2292 and 5593-B. I know it is not an original but my question is how un-original is it? Did Leeteg paint it as a copy? Did an assistant paint it? Somebody else? Is it velvet or not?

Thanks for any help you can give me. ukutiki
PS: Sorry about the fuzzy pics




 
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Otto
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: Mar 29, 2002
Posts: 936
From: NorCal
Posted: 2017-02-27 5:46 pm   Permalink

Ukutiki
What a coincidence, I am also trying to figure this out. The label notes that Leeteg had passed which means the painting is after 1953 and due to the smaller size it is definitely painted by a hired copy artist.

See the image of my label which has the same text but the price has been raised to $2000 (note it is in a different typeface than the rest of the label) and that is somewhat shocking because it is documented that Leeteg paintings were selling for up to $10,000 at his death and up to $20,000 by 1969!?!
My painting is the standard Leeteg size of 22x32 and has a different numbering system.

From John Turner's 1999 Leeteg book I know that Leeteg and Barney had a numbering system because Leeteg painted multiples of his most popular paintings, but this is obviously a different numbering system. I believe my number includes the initials of the copy artist "DG"

Until someone sheds more light on the numbering system I cannot be 100% sure that my painting is by a copy artist rather than Leeteg himself because it is possible that original Leeteg paintings existed for sale after his death (though unlikely)

See my painting and label here
http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=51964&forum=12&hilite=Leeteg

[quote]
On 2017-02-26 15:48, ukutiki wrote:
I picked up this small "Leeteg" this morning at an antique market. It is not in good condition (needs cleaning and has some scratches. No tears in the velvet. It measures 11" by 14" and appears to be mounted on a hard surface and the velvet is not soft.

It is signed Leeteg Tahiti and possibly a copyright symbol as well. It has the standard Davis Gallery on the back identifying it as number 195-2292 and titled MATA. There are also numbers on the brown paper #195-2292 and 5593-B. I know it is not an original but my question is how un-original is it? Did Leeteg paint it as a copy? Did an assistant paint it? Somebody else? Is it velvet or not?

Thanks for any help you can give me. ukutiki

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ukutiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 25, 2009
Posts: 267
From: Michigan
Posted: 2017-02-28 08:35 am   Permalink

Otto, Thanks for your information. I agree that the $info on the label is a different typeface although they did a pretty good job on the insertion. As far as the identity of who copied mine is concerned could the 5593-B on the back of mine be an indication of who painted it?

Also, is the surface of your painting soft and fuzzy velvet or does it feel hard like mine?

If I happen to come up with more info down the road I'll let you know.

Mahalo, ukutiki


 
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HopeChest
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 19, 2015
Posts: 245
From: East Bay, CA
Posted: 2017-03-01 12:56 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2017-02-27 17:46, Otto wrote:

See the image of my label which has the same text but the price has been raised to $2000 (note it is in a different typeface than the rest of the label)...




Quote:

On 2017-02-28 08:35, ukutiki wrote:

Otto, Thanks for your information. I agree that the $info on the label is a different typeface although they did a pretty good job on the insertion.



Actually, I disagree with this. The zeros on Otto's label for the "$2,000" are typographically consistent with the other zeros in the 3rd and 4th paragraphs. Furthermore, these are obviously entirely different labels. The main difference is that ukutiki's label is missing the "Copyrighted. No copying permitted." legend above the painting number that Otto's has. The other differences are in the 4th paragraph of the bio - the beginning of the first sentence is different and ukutiki's label has one additional sentence at the end of the paragraph.

The numbers of the paintings are interesting, as part of them corresponds to common old serial dating techniques. For example Otto's begins with "4196-" and ukutiki's with "195-". I have seen similar things in the past where this would indicate that Otto's was created sometime in the 1960s and ukutiki's sometime in the 1950s, with the rest of the numbering scheme used to specify whatever else was needed for the records. However, it's very possible that those aren't date indicative because this brochure:



...shows that it's possible that the 196 and 195 were actually painting number indicative. Sorry it's so hard to see but I've underlined in red the numbers for two paintings, No. 194 and No. 198. It would fit the numbering scheme perfectly.

And just to keep the confusion intact, here's the only other label with serial number that I've seen (because everyone takes photos of the front!):



...which could certainly be a good argument for the beginning being date-centric, with "64" being the year of production. An example of how to read 64-12151-8-L given the parameters I described above could be:

64- = 1964
121 = Painting Number
51 = Reproduction Number (i.e. this is the 51st copy made)
8 = Month
L = Artist

I wish there were more photos of labels to help suss this out.


 
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ukutiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 25, 2009
Posts: 267
From: Michigan
Posted: 2017-03-01 1:39 pm   Permalink

HC, Thanks for your input. Hopefully more info will come along to give answers to all of this. ukutiki

 
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tikilongbeach
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 05, 2011
Posts: 1615
From: Long Beach, CA via Dallas, TX
Posted: 2017-03-03 09:50 am   Permalink

Why don't you ask Greg Escalate or John Frayn Turner? They wrote the book, "Leeteg of Tahiti."
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Bay Park Buzzy
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Joined: Apr 07, 2006
Posts: 3027
From: West Bay Park, San Diego, CA
Posted: 2017-03-03 9:43 pm   Permalink

Here is another catalog number run to complicate things and throw you further off course:


From a 1965 Paradise of the Pacific advertisement

Buzzy Out!
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Otto
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: Mar 29, 2002
Posts: 936
From: NorCal
Posted: 2017-03-04 10:31 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2017-03-03 09:50, tikilongbeach wrote:
Why don't you ask Greg Escalate or John Frayn Turner? They wrote the book, "Leeteg of Tahiti."




I'm friends with both of them and they don't have a precise answer either.
As noted by this thread the numbering system changed over the years
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Otto
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: Mar 29, 2002
Posts: 936
From: NorCal
Posted: 2017-03-04 10:36 am   Permalink

Hope Chest, thanks for reviewing this. Upon further review of the label you are correct. If you look at my label you can see that the words "ing on BLACK VELVET..." are darker than the line below. I had thought that the line below was in a lighter typeface that was spliced in later in order to change the price but it seems to just be a printing variation/uneven printing of the label causing darker, heavier ink on one line and lighter ink coverage on the line below containing the "$2,000"

Quote:

On 2017-03-01 12:56, HopeChest wrote:
Quote:

On 2017-02-27 17:46, Otto wrote:

See the image of my label which has the same text but the price has been raised to $2000 (note it is in a different typeface than the rest of the label)...




Quote:

On 2017-02-28 08:35, ukutiki wrote:

Otto, Thanks for your information. I agree that the $info on the label is a different typeface although they did a pretty good job on the insertion.



Actually, I disagree with this. The zeros on Otto's label for the "$2,000" are typographically consistent with the other zeros in the 3rd and 4th paragraphs. Furthermore, these are obviously entirely different labels. The main difference is that ukutiki's label is missing the "Copyrighted. No copying permitted." legend above the painting number that Otto's has. The other differences are in the 4th paragraph of the bio - the beginning of the first sentence is different and ukutiki's label has one additional sentence at the end of the paragraph.



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Otto
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: Mar 29, 2002
Posts: 936
From: NorCal
Posted: 2017-03-04 10:38 am   Permalink

Wow, the COPIES were selling for only $37.50!?!?

Whereas original copies (by Leeteg) were selling for $2000 - 10,000 20 years earlier

That really puts the value into perspective

Quote:

On 2017-03-03 21:43, Bay Park Buzzy wrote:
Here is another catalog number run to complicate things and throw you further off course:

From a 1965 Paradise of the Pacific advertisement
Buzzy Out!


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tikicoma
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Jan 16, 2010
Posts: 706
From: wakinekona
Posted: 2017-03-04 1:41 pm   Permalink

ukutiki, 1961surf in a different thread posted about his Hina Rapa velvet copy and his 1957 authorized print on special paper.

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=34099&forum=12&vpost=486513&hilite=leeteg%20print

I ran into one once, it was a print but I had to look at it hard to tell. It had really faded or was printed monotone on a thick paper whose surface texture felt slightly velvety (more like fuzzy) and was around the same dimentions as yours.

Otto, I have the same 1965 magazine ad that Buzzy posted and below the $37.50 price for copies it says "Originals available. Priced from $5000. Details on request"


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Otto
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: Mar 29, 2002
Posts: 936
From: NorCal
Posted: 2017-03-04 4:03 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2017-03-04 13:41, tikicoma wrote:

Otto, I have the same 1965 magazine ad that Buzzy posted and below the $37.50 price for copies it says "Originals available. Priced from $5000. Details on request"



Well that's interesting that ORIGINALS were still on sale 12 years after his death?
Like I stated on my thread, you should only buy art if you truly like it and it has value for you, not as an investment.


 
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