Welcome to "Valuing Darley's Works ... Today..."$'s"; A non-professional's opinions!
We get many questions from persons wanting to know "how much is my xxxx by Darley worth?"
First, we must say that something is only worth what another is willing to pay. And whether it's a dealer buying (who must have a profit margin for resale)...or whether it's a private collector, or even a museum. Also, remember, Darley was very prolific and MANY books and prints are still out there.
The best way to have an item evaluated is to go to an 'expert' ... we, who do this page, are NOT experts, although we have bought many Darley items. A local art museum or art / book seller is a good place to try to find out ... they can "look" at your item, and they have experience, usually.
Even auction houses like Sotherbys and Christy's (spl?) will 'estimate'...for a price.
Having said that, we will give you OUR experience and findings:
Is it an original work or a print?
If it's a book, is it a 'first edition' or later?
Is it 'rare' (not many 'copies' in existence)?
What is the condition?
Is the seller 'private' or a 'store'?
What is it worth to YOU?
Remember: many "Darley's" you see in books and prints do not have a signature or "D"
CHECK THE INTERNET !!
We have paid $8 - $20 for 'many'; up to $125 for a "Bells" by Poe (2nd 1, pd less)
Truly rare books (ie., an original Washington Irving, for example, sells for $200 - $350 or more)
$25 - $75 is "average"
Ink wash, large photogravure: Shops sell them for $100 to abt. $500,
depending on condition, size, and rarety
Large, rare print could be over $500
Small prints, particularily those "in supply" (ie., "Lassoing a Bear" for example), we've bought for as little as $7
The 'average' small print, say civil war, will sell for $15 - $35, with many up to $75, again, condition, and 'rareity'
I 'proudly' paid $55 to a dealer for a print, only to buy a 2nd copy later for abt. $25 from an internet book dealer
Reminder: Most "colored" prints were NOT colored by Darley; some feel that that actually hurts the value (personally, I like the colors and am willing to pay more for it. To "exhibit" however, I would have a black & white "original" along side a colored version.)
ORIGINAL ART BY DARLEY
ROUGH SKETCHES: Preliminary drawings, $400 to $1,000
WATERCOLOR: $1,500 - $5,000
OIL: $4,000 - $37,000 ("Washington's Entry into New York" sold for
$37,000 sometime in the 1980's, according to a book we have.
There ARE people out there who highly value a Darley "original."
I hope this helps; please do not send requests for "appraisals" to us ... we are just not in that business. Frankly, we would not want to be in a position of telling you something, then have you find different. We simply are not experts, and are not trying to be (on "what's it worth").
Also, please do not 'argue' with our statements ... as I said, these are OUR experience and opinions. You, particularily dealers, are entitled to yours. We simply will not argue about this.
Perhaps someday we will add a "forum" to this site for "3-way" chatting and learning. (Let us know IF you would be interested in 'posting' and 'reading' via a forum...email below.)
IF you have something that you KNOW the value and would like to offer it to us for a specific price, we "MAY" be interested.