Pablo Picasso is without doubt the most widely collected artist of the 20th century. The prices of Picasso Madoura Ceramics have been on fire lately (no pun intended). The major auction houses – Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips – have now been regularly holding Picasso Madoura Ceramic auctions. Pieces that sold for $2,000 fifteen years ago are going for $8,000 and more now. A collector should consider several factors when deciding from whom to purchase Picasso Madoura Ceramics: When one buys from a foreign seller, one also has to consider the problems of getting the piece through Customs. There are often delays and considerable fees to pay in order to import the item. When purchasing from us, we ship the same day and you receive it via FedEx the next day, no problems or hassles. When one purchases from an auction house, one pays a buyer’s premium of anywhere from 23% to 28% over the “hammer price”. So when one “wins” an auction for $20,000, the actual price paid is more like $25,000. By contrast, when purchasing from us, the price agreed to is the price paid by the buyer, no hidden fees. Secondly, when one purchases from an auction house, the buyer pays the packing and shipping fee, which are usually exorbitant. By contrast, when purchasing from us, the price includes packing and shipping. Thirdly, when one purchases from an auction house, the sale is final. If one receives the piece and is not 100% satisfied with it, there is nothing the buyer can do about it. They are stuck with it. By contrast, when purchasing from us, the buyer has sixty days to determine if they want to keep it. If not, the buyer returns to piece to us for full refund, and we pay the shipping both ways! Fun fact: no one has ever returned a piece to us! Please note also that many Picasso Madoura Ceramics are auctioned at foreign auction houses. When purchasing at one of these auctions, not only are the factors listed above magnified, but one also has to consider the problems of getting the piece through Customs. There are often delays and considerable fees to pay in order to import the item. When purchasing from us, we ship the same day and you receive it via FedEx the next day, no problems or hassles. Many people have asked about a Certificate of Authenticity. Note that the Picasso Estate never has, and does not, issue Certificates of Authenticity. Any Certificates of Authenticity for Picasso Madoura Ceramics are issued by private, independent dealers, including us. We issue a Certificate of Authenticity with each piece we sell. Having said that, to date, there has not been a surfacing of fakes Picasso Madoura Ceramics like there have been with works by other artists such as Rodin, Chagall and Dali. Many people have also asked if we can provide the provenance for a given piece. Unfortunately, we cannot. We are constantly buying Picasso Madoura Ceramics from auctions, estates, private collectors and deaccessioning museums. Most of the time, the seller has no history of ownership. This particular piece is a pristine: there are no nicks, bruises or scratches of any kind. It is really a good value at this price. Please do not hesitate to ask us questions. We love talking about these pieces! Reference: Alan Ramie “Picasso: Catalogue of the edited ceramic works 1947/1971 (Catalogue Raisonee) reference number 540, Bloch 182 Size: 105 x 165 mms Note: In a 6 month period in 1968 the artist created 347 etchings – sometimes doing several in the course of a single day. All are dated, signed and numbered. This was a great feat for a man of his age! At the same time Picasso continued to work at Madoura making ceramics. Many of the etchings depict scenes from “La Celestine” which was a 15th century Spanish Classic work and this is one of the few ceramic works which also dwells on this famous production. “La Celestine” was a dramatised novel in 21 acts, attributed to Fernando de Rojas who published it in Burgos in 1499. The plot is a simple one: Calisto is in love with Melebea who spurns him. His butler, Sempronio, suggests he pays an elderly lady called Celestina to act as a go-between and matchmaker. Celestine is a very devious person who does contrive to approach Melebea and create a relationship between the two lovers. Sempronio, however, wants a share of the bribe money and in a quarrel with Celestina, kills her. Calisto falls from a ladder and dies – finally Melebea throws herself from a tower in her fathers house. The grief stricken parent is left alone then to bewail his sadness and misfortune. Picasso was fascinated by the story and when commissioned to create a series of etchings for it worked round the clock to complete them. The finished group of “La Celestine” etchings consisted of 66 pieces. The La Celestine works were a large and important section from the 347 series. In our ceramic work we can see the Calisto and his groom, Melebea and La Celestine”. It is a scene extremely similar to what you will find in the etched 347 series. Manufactured by: Madoura Potteries, Vallauris, France Edition: of 500 (Numbered verso) Condition: In pristine condition.