for Art Fraud
by: Lee Catterall
Salvador Dali' signed thousands of blank
pieces of print paper in dealings with dirty publishers which resulted in an
estimated $12 million a year earnings. The market in Dali' prints was
damaged from this and many fake Dali' prints with forged signatures began to
circulate as well. Lee Catterall chronicled this massive art fraud in his
book The Great Dali' Art Fraud & Other Deceptions, Barricade Books, 1992. A
huge scam that ended in a 1991 raid of a Long Island warehouse, where 50,000
fake Dali' prints were confiscated. 20,000 Miros and over 600 Chagalls were
also seized (all bogus prints). The following information is taken from Mr.
Catterall's web site ( which can be reached via our links page)
and posted with his permission:
Law enforcement brought the massive fraud associated with Dali'
artworks crashing down in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Principles of
Center Art Galleries in Hawaii and New Jersey Publisher Leon Amiel, who were
exposed by Lee Catterall in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin in the 1980s, could
claim ties to Dali' and his entourage, but that did not lessen the fraud.
Which is not to say that all the bogus prints that flooded the Dali' market
in the 1970s and 1980s bore Dali's imprint, at least directly. Without
question, he committed abuses to enrich himself from his fame, and those
abuses opened the way for others to capitalize on the cesspool he had
Dali'; By C.V. Sabba; Fingerprint ink on fingerprint card done in
fingerprints; May 2005
Don't be fooled by Dali's signature on a print. He signed thousands
of blank sheets of paper that later were used to reproduce Dali' images,
usually paintings. More often, his signature was forged on such
reproductions. He signed his name in so many ways that experts are at a loss
in verifying an authentic Dali' signature. Before buying any Dali' print,
also consider Dali's abuses, which constituted overt participation more than
mere facilitation, in the manufacture of hundreds of thousands of "limited
edition" prints bearing his name and his surrealistic images. While many of
the paintings are authentic works of Dali', they have been reproduced in
numerous "limited editions" and sold as "original" lithographs, etchings,
In Dali's mind, the signature may have been the least important
ingredient to determine authenticity. The French art publisher Jean-Paul
Delcourt, a signatory to some controversial Dali' prints, tells about
acquiring a dozen "Dali'" lithographs from an American publisher and
reselling them to an English dealer. The Englishman complained later that
Enrique Sabater had declared them to be fakes, and a customer wanted his
money back. The American publisher refused to do so because he had
certificates of authenticity. Delcourt says he saw Dali' at the Meurice
Hotel and showed the prints to Dali' and Gala.
"Dali whispered into Gala's ear, and Gala repeated his statement to
me: 'Dali' says the
picture is good, the signature is good, but the work is
a fake.'" Delcourt recalls.
"Why is it a fake?" Delcourt asked.
"The answer: 'Dali' has not been paid.'
"This is the guiding thread of the entire affair," Delcourt says.
"In all the contracts signed between Dali' and various publishers, Dali'
any importance either to moral rights or to the authorization
to print. All he wanted