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For real fake

Grab your bear can or camp chair, kick your feet up and chew the fat about anything Sierra Nevada related that doesn't quite fit in any of the other forums. Within reason, (and the HST rules and guidelines) this is also an anything goes forum. Tell stories, discuss wilderness issues, music, or whatever else the High Sierra stirs up in your mind.
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For real fake

Postby balzaccom » Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:04 pm

Many years ago, we were given a really nice old French wine poster—one that fit perfectly into the style of our old house in downtown Napa. But the poster was unframed, and we learned that framing it would cost quite a lot of money.

here's a link to someone selling a similar poster:

https://www.rare-maps.com/postersDetail ... e3e1d71406

That gave us a great reason to scour the local antique stores and thrift shops for suitable frame, and we found one a few weeks later. It had a cheap, funky old Wild West kind of print in it, so we didn’t feel bad about flipping that print around and dropping the French poster into the frame. It’s lived there ever since.

But after the earthquake in Napa, most of our pictures ended up on the floor, along with just about everything else that wasn’t nailed down. The clean-up was a massive job, and it gave us the chance to take a look at almost everything we owned. During the process, M pulled out that poster from a pile of plaster dust and said:

“Hey, Look at this.”

The back of the poster was visible, and that cheap old Wild West print was actually a print of a painting by Albert Bierstadt, the famous western landscape painter. . It still isn’t the style of what we want in our old Victorian…but it was cool, in a different way.

And in meantime, we had bought a small, rustic cabin near Sonora…and this thing would look great hanging in a corner up there.

So I cleaned it up and fixed a few spots that were damaged. And I got curious about this guy Bierstadt. I went online and found out exactly how famous he is (very!) and all sorts of information, including a complete illustrated listing of his works. Great! Now I could even find out where it was painted.

I happily scanned through 20+ pages Bierstadt paintings, anxiously looking for ours. At page ten, I found one that was similar, but not exact. Different foreground, slightly different angle of the mountain. Like this one:

http://www.albertbierstadt.org/Western-Landscape.html

So I kept looking. Pages and pages. I got to page 23—the last page.

The painting wasn’t there.

I looked through them all again. Nope. Then I found another site, with a similar catalog of his work.

Still no luck.

And as I was mentioning this to M, she took a long hard look at the signature on the print we had. It read “Bierstad.” No final t. Not Bierstadt.

Image

We started laughing. We didn’t have a cheap print of a Bierstadt landscape. We had a cheap print of a forgery of a Bierstadt landscape. How many people can say that?

It will look great in the cabin.
Balzaccom

check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/



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Re: For real fake

Postby rlown » Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:40 pm

still a pretty picture.
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Re: For real fake

Postby balzaccom » Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:01 am

Newsflash....sort of...thanks to some crowdsourcing info from another backpacking site:

Turns out that this IS a print of an original Bierstadt, which hangs in the Princeton University art collection. For some reason it isn't listed in the "complete works of Alfred Bierstadt" that we consulted....

http://www.jewelriverart.com/product/MO ... stadt.html

And it still makes me wonder what happened to that last "t" in his signature...
Balzaccom

check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
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Re: For real fake

Postby gary c. » Wed Nov 12, 2014 12:38 pm

What a cool addition to the story. Does it have much value?
"On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude."
-- Lionel Terray
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Re: For real fake

Postby Cross Country » Wed Nov 12, 2014 12:47 pm

I really liked the story. Thanks for writing it.
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Re: For real fake

Postby balzaccom » Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:12 pm

gary c. wrote:What a cool addition to the story. Does it have much value?



No value. It's just a commercial print...with a good story!
Balzaccom

check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
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