Why buy Maxfield Parrish prints when you can buy the originals?

Maxfield Parrish 'Daybreak', Christie's lot 24, May 20, 2010

Maxfield Parrish 'Daybreak', Christie's lot 24, May 20, 2010

Have you been wasting your time buying Maxfield Parrish prints, when you could have been buying the originals? Christie’s New York held their Important American Paintings sale on Thursday, May 20, 2010, with 11 originals by Maxfield Parrish.

If you had a spare $5.2 million, you could have bought the original, penultimate Maxfield Parrish painting “Daybreak”. Mel Gibson and his wife, Robyn, bought it at Christie’s in 2006 for $7.6 million. Now that they’re divorcing, the new buyer got a bargain. The pre-sale estimate was $4-7 million.

In 1922, Daybreak was the first painting commissioned by The House of Art, specifically to be reproduced as a print. It was an instant success. Parrish became so famous in the 1920s that it’s estimated that 1 in 4 households in the United States had a Parrish print on display in their homes. He became the highest paid artist in the country.

Maxfield Parrish 'Sing a Song of Sixpence', Christie's lot 28, May 20, 2010

Maxfield Parrish 'Sing a Song of Sixpence', Christie's lot 28, May 20, 2010

The second highest Parrish painting of Christie’s sale was lot 27, “Sing a Song of Sixpence”. The huge painting, over 13′ wide, was originally commissioned as a mural for the Sherman House Hotel in Chicago, Illinois. It sold for $2,210,500, below the pre-sale estimate of $2.5-3.5 million.

Maxfield Parrish 'End Papers for The Arabian Nights', Christie's lot 106, May 20, 2010

Maxfield Parrish 'End Papers for The Arabian Nights', Christie's lot 106, May 20, 2010

You didn’t have to be a millionaire to buy an original Parrish at this auction. Lot 106 was the end papers for “The Arabian Nights”. Done in ink, gouache and pencil on paper, and measuring 10″ x 14¼”, they sold for $6,250, against an estimate of $6-8,000.

For the complete results to the Christie’s Important American Paintings sale, click on this link. Christie’s results.

In the next few days and weeks, I’ll be adding my new acquisitions to my website as they come in. Please take a look. Click on this link chasenantiques.com.

Please send me your suggestions or questions about art glass, lamps, Louis Icart, shows, auctions, etc. If it’s interesting, I’ll answer your question in a future blog.

47 thoughts on “Why buy Maxfield Parrish prints when you can buy the originals?

  1. Maxfield Parrish originals are generally oil paintings. The odds that you have one is less than one in a million. You probably have a print.

  2. Hi, What are prints going for from the 20’s my dad has one from his mother from the 20’s large print

    any info will help him out

  3. Sorry, Kim. Prints are too vague a category for me to answer. You would have to know the artist. Also prints are much less valuable than original etchings or lithographs.

  4. Phillip, sorry I thought I listed the artist. It is called Daybreak by Maxfield Parrish.


  5. There is a good market for framed Parrish prints in original frames. Daybreak isn’t rare, but it’s desirable. Sorry, but I don’t keep up with values for Parrish prints. You should check eBay results. I’m sure there are plenty.

  6. Phillip, Thanks for your help. I realize you are knowledgeable on art. I am dealing with an 85 year old who thinks this stuff is worth something, not a fortune but , my guess just above garage sale items here. My Mother collected Tiffin Black Satin Glass, and has boxes of this stuff. I guess they thought it might be worth something down the road, what ever that may be. This is not my bag. As I have been nice to my Dad, No Originals here! (max parrish) I try to let him down softly.Just a print from the 20’s. People seem to think because it’s from the 20’s-30’s it’s worth money.Am I on the right track?

  7. I have a large original oil painting by MP of a child at a birdbath. Any idea on the value?

  8. We have a Maxfield Parrish Daybreak. It is in a frame. On the back there is a label that says

    Frame: #3155

    What does that mean?

  9. I’m no expert on Maxfield Parrish prints, but I imagine it means there were different frame options for each print and you have frame #3155.

  10. I have a Maxfield Parrish print in the original frame. However I have never seen this print anywhere on the Internet. It is primarily in blue with a blond woman/girl laying on a cliff resting on her hands legs back out flight looking up to the sky (heavens) Have you seen this print? Went to art show in Reno of Parrish prints and couldn’t find it either.

  11. Patrice, I don’t buy or sell prints by Maxfield Parrish, so I’m not the person to ask. Best of luck. Philip

  12. Hi Patrice it’s called “Wild Geese”. The print was probably reproduced by a print house called Reinthal & Newman (1905-1928)
    New York, NY

    When Albert E. Reinthal arrived in New York in 1896 he formed the publishing company of Reinthal & Gross. After this business dissolved he formed a new company to publish lithographic prints and postcards with Stephen L. Newman.

    About the model: Ruth “Kitty” Owen, the granddaughter of Williams Jennings Bryan, also posed for Daybreak (1922, reclining figure), Morning (1922), and The Canyon (1924).

    I own this print also and love it!!! I hope this information helps. More info can be found on http://www.maxfieldparrish.info .

    Enjoy your prints!!!


  14. Sounds like you have a print of Daybreak. The original is an oil painting that is worth more than a million dollars. Enjoy it.

  15. I have the original study for the Old King Cole Mural, (St. Regis Hotel), with all certificates of authenticity and letters of origination.Am interested in selling it. Any interest?

  16. Hello – I have a print of Maxfield Parrish Daybreak that says “Litho in USA”
    and “C Portal Publications Sausalito, CA 94965”. Does that mean it is newer than Reinthal & Newman NY – and therefore, no monetary value?

  17. Sorry, Gail. You’re barking up the wrong tree. Don’t know much about Parrish prints. Try contacting Bill Holland, hollandarts.com.

  18. I purchased a Maxfield Parrish o9il painting at an estate sale on last Saturday.
    it is in a gold flaked frame It is the painting called Daybreak, I have researched it on line and they are worth a lot can anyone tell me where I can go to find out more about this painting sincerely Deborah Prairie.

  19. Deborah, there is no way you bought the original Maxfield Parrish Daybreak oil painting, which is worth millions. You either bought a print or a copy. Best. Philip

  20. I have a large collection of 53 Maxfield Parrish Prints and Collier’s Magazine Cover, and a collection of 20 7 3/4″ by 5″folio plates. What do I do with this? All the prints are framed and excellent condition. Thank you

  21. Have original MP print in oringinal of the Russin women perfect condition need to sell oringinal frame

  22. I found a Maxfield Parrish framed while cleaning out my attic it is not original frame however the back has a label reading “Maxfield Parrish American 1870-1966 then reads ……Panel 1934 Maxfield Parrish Estate…where could I bring this to have it appraised the size is 29×23..Tranquility..I live on the South Shore of Boston

  23. I purchased a very large framed maxwell Parrish piece , it’s the Morning, it’s on a canvas? What do I have?

  24. Hi very one
    I have a framed print of a Maxwell Parrish
    I purchased at a antique shop in california
    It cost me 100 dollers then.
    I have since moved to England and have this beautiful piece on my wall after yrs of being in my attic.
    I would love to find out how much it’s realy worth unless it’s minted I’m keeping it on my wall it is beautiful.
    Thanks for all the information on here.

  25. Six days ago we launched our Maxfield Parrish site and I thought that it may be of great interest to you. For the collector who has everything. You may know someone who would be very interested in this. Enjoy the read and thank you for your time. maxfieldparrishmovie.com

  26. I just came across a picture from Parrish Day Break.
    It was purchased 100 years ago from the House of Art in New York.
    How can I tell if its worth anything? The back says picture number 1674

  27. I have a MAJOR art find and am always looking for advice, this is big. Twenty years ago I filmed the senseless demise of the estate art studio of American artist, Maxfield Parrish. George Lucas said that it was the art work of Maxfield Parrish that directly inspired his Star Wars films, page 282, The Lucas Effect. I own that world on film plus I own rare artifacts and photography and more. I have uncovered historic info in art and Star Wars history. I even created a movie, long story. I always wondered of it’s value and where it belongs ?? maxfieldparrishmotif.com and maxfieldparrishmovie.com The force is truly here

  28. I have good clients for original works by Maxfield Parrish, but no idea of anything related to Star Wars.

  29. I don’t deal in prints by Maxfield Parrish, only original works. Sorry I can’t be of any help.

  30. The largest Parrish Art Museum is in Newport, TO. None of you have the originals because they are all there and privately owned.

  31. Dear Phillip, what a patient man you are.

    Is there a record of how many times you’ve told people the same thing in a single forum?

  32. LOL! There are a couple of blog posts where I repeat the same information again and again.

  33. For years I have had people tell me I have a Parrish. It came from my late husband who already had it when we met in 74. I have always enjoyed it. Yesterday I carefully took it apart. The frame is old, the paper is very old. I am thinking it is a old reproduction print. In lower right hand corner it says “sunland”…but no name. I am curious if you have any info about “sunland”. Some sites I have explored just the word “missing” when I search it. Thank you for your input.

  34. Sorry, but I don’t deal with Parrish prints, only original oil paintings. I’m not the right person to ask.

  35. Oh that would be so cool to own the original Daybreak! I’d almost be willing to marry Mel Gibson for that, if i was a woman, or a Republican, or a Christian. $5million sounds cheap, I would have bought it in a flash, sight unseen, if i were a billionaire.

    And for everybody asking about what their framed Maxfield Parrish prints from the 1920’s are worth… I sold one on ebay for $200.

  36. Only one person in the world, with very deep pockets, gets to own the original Daybreak. (And I don’t know who that is!)

  37. If you are not the person to ask about M.P. prints, then who is? There must be a market for Artist’s proofs,signed, or numbered prints. As many times you have been asked, I’m sure you are aware of some sources of information. Many of us have a real love for M.P., but do not have the resources to purchase originals.

  38. Artist proofs are few and far between. I think I’ve seen one in 30 years of collecting, and that one was for a children’s bookplate from 1910. Parrish prints were mass produced and generally AP’s, signed or numbered prints don’t exist, unlike modern artists. If he hand signed a print, it was for family, close friend or special occasion.

    There are a few experts out there. Those that have published price guides, a biography etc. For the most part though, you’ll need to rely on local collectors as your source. dreamgardener.com is a long time collector – seller of parrish and you’ll find only the best examples on his site. Other sites, the prints will vary greatly in price and condition.

  39. i have a max field parrish print copyright 1927 16 by 27 2 woman sitting on rocks grang canyon? what could be worth? and what is the painting called’

  40. I am Robin Lee.
    I own the last documentary film evidence of the historic Parrish estste art studio – it has been destroyed. I was allowed to salvage a beautiful art panel that was inside his studio – pics and story are on this site – maxfieldparrishmovie.com
    Click on – The Maxfield Parrish Motif; Evidence and Evolution.
    I wonder what is this all worth and who would love to own that art panel ? The film footage is detailed even showing the columns in Daybreak – they were destroyed. The entire art studio was used as the back drop for the masterpieces. I own it all – plus another artifact. The film footage shows the inside and out of the studio – it is very rare film footage.

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