How can you tell if an etching is authentic?

For the foreseeable future, I will publish once a week on Monday.


There isn’t much going on in the summer, so I’ve decided to reprint one of my most popular blogs, How can you tell if an etching is authentic?, published originally on 7/29/2009.

Louis Icart pulling a proof of Joy of Life from the etching press

Louis Icart pulling a proof of Joy of Life from the etching press

First one has to understand the process of producing an etching. The artist does his work on a copper plate, so the “original” is a copper plate that’s rarely for sale. To produce the image, the plate first is hand-inked. Then the paper is laid down on top and the two pass together through the etching press, under tremendous pressure. The pressure transfers the image to the paper. Since the copper plate has thickness, it “dents” the paper around the edge of the image. This “dent” is called a plate impression. You can see it and feel it around the edge of the plate. So #1. A real etching has a plate impression.

Since the process is not photographic and there is no printing press, there are no dots in the image. If you use a magnifying glass to look at a photograph in a newspaper, you can see the entire image is made up of dots. Use a magnifying glass with an original etching and there are no dots. So #2. An authentic etching does not have any dots in the image.

An authentic pencil signature of Louis Icart

After the edition is printed by the master printer, it is given back to the artist for hand-signing. Prints or other fakes have copies of the signature. So #3. Authentic etchings are hand-signed by the artist, usually in pencil.

The blindstamp of the Louis Icart Society

In the case of Louis Icart, a raised seal called a blindstamp, was created in mid-1926, and was usually found in the lower left corner, just below the image. Most Icart images produced after this time have the blindstamp, but don’t use this information as a crutch. There are some fake etchings that have fake blindstamps. And conversely, there are many authentic Icart etchings that do not have blindstamps. Supposedly the etchings without blindstamps were not for export from France, but personally I’ve found too many instances where this rule doesn’t pertain. If you’re still not sure, you need a professional appraisal.

Because of this post I have received many requests over the years for authentication of etchings by artists other than Louis Icart. I am only an expert in the works of Louis Icart, not other artists. So please, if you have questions about your etching, don’t send them to me. I really can’t help unless the artist is Louis Icart. And remember, there is a fee of $125 for authentications and/or appraisals.


The Baltimore Art, Antique & Jewelry Show is now only four weeks away, at the end of the summer, August 30 – September 2, 2018. We were forced to give up shows like Denver. Unfortunately the Baltimore show promoter has moved the show one week later than usual, to the Labor Day weekend. The show used to be held over the Labor Day weekend, but that was many years ago. The show is wonderful, so we’ll continue to exhibit there regardless of the change of dates.

We’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. I recently listed some of the new items on my website and will list more every week. Click Philip Chasen Antiques to take a look. I will make every effort to actively list new items as often as time permits. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Louis Icart oil paintings sell well at Heritage’s Art Nouveau & Art Deco auction, November 23, 2015

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.


Heritage Auctions held their Art Nouveau & Art Deco auction on November 23, 2015, with total sales of $1,244,618. Included in the sale were three original oil paintings by Louis Icart. As many of you probably know, the market in Louis Icart etchings has been soft for quite a few years. What you may not know is that the market for his oil paintings has fared better. The prices are nowhere near the peak of the late 1980s, when the Japanese were spending heavily on Icart, but otherwise the market has been relatively firm. Although Icart was a prolific artist, there are far fewer oil paintings in existence than etchings.

Louis Icart oil painting of his wife, Fanny Volmers, Heritage lot #60121

Louis Icart oil painting of his wife, Fanny Volmers, Heritage lot #60121

Top lot of the three was #60121, a Red Period oil of his wife Fanny, signed and dated 1919. It sold for $16,250, including buyer’s premium, against a pre-sale estimate of $12,000 — $18,000.

Louis Icart oil painting, Heritage lot #60133

Louis Icart oil painting, Heritage lot #60133

Second best of the three was a beautiful 1930s painting of two beautiful women with borzois, 19″ x 23½”. It sold above its high estimate of $9,000, realizing $12,500, including buyer’s premium.

For the complete results of the sale, including the top four lots by Tiffany Studios, click here. You will have to sign in (free) to see the prices realized.


I’ve been quite busy buying and selling recently, partly because I’ve listed many new items on my website. I will continue to list more daily. Please click here to take a look.

We’re still very much in business between shows, especially since there are fewer shows nowadays. Please don’t hesitate to email or call. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Louis Icart oil paintings sell well at DuMouchelle’s, May 17, 2015

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.


Icart oil painting Devant Le Feu, Dumouchelle lot #2051

Icart oil painting Devant Le Feu, Dumouchelle lot #2051

The market for Louis Icart etchings has been weak for years, but that weakness did not extend to the sale of three Louis Icart oil paintings in DuMouchelle’s three-day general auction, May 15-17, 2015. The first of the three paintings, lot #2051, entitled Devant Le Feu (In Front of the Fire), came to the auction block with a fair estimate of $7,000 – $10,000. It almost doubled its low estimate, selling for $14,400, including buyer’s premium.

Icart oil painting Satyre, Satyr, DuMouchelle lot #2052

Icart oil painting Satyre, Satyr, DuMouchelle lot #2052

The next lot was the second Icart oil painting, entitled Satyre, Satyr (sp?), with a strong estimate of $15,000 – $20,000 (but it was the largest at 32″ x 25½”). It sold at the low estimate, yielding $18,000, including buyer’s premium.

Icart oil painting, untitled, DuMouchelle lot #2053

Icart oil painting, untitled, DuMouchelle lot #2053

The best result came from the third Icart oil painting, of ballerinas (the best in my opinion). It doubled its low estimate of $7,000, to sell for $16,800, including buyer’s premium.

DuMouchelle’s is one of the few auction galleries that doesn’t post the results of previous sales, so there will be no link to the results of the sale.


In the meantime, we’re still in Paris looking for more treasures. I will do my best to find some time to post some of these purchases on my website, but so far it’s been difficult.

No shows until July, when we’ll be in Denver for the Denver World Wide Antique Show, at the Denver Mart, EXPO Building, 451 East 58th Avenue, July 24-26, 2015. I’ll always be in touch, even while we’re in Europe, so please don’t hesitate to email or call.

Click here to check my website for the latest items and to look around. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Christie’s South Kensington Interiors sale breathes new life into works by Louis Icart, February 19, 2013

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.

Christie’s South Kensington held an Interiors sale on February 19, 2013, with good results for works by Louis Icart. The auction house sold a diverse group of 33 items, including original works on canvas and paper, as well as etchings.

Louis Icart oil painting of Fanny, Christie's lot #465

Louis Icart oil painting of Fanny, Christie’s lot #465

Top lot of the group was #465, an original 1919 oil painting on canvas of Icart’s wife, Fanny. Even though the canvas was unstretched and in fairly poor condition, it tripled its pre-sale estimate of £3,000 – £5,000, to sell for £15,000 ($23,205) — an impressive result.

This Icart drawing was one of two in Christie's lot #479

This Icart drawing was one of two in Christie’s lot #479

Original, one-of-a-kind, works by Icart, including quick charcoal sketches, did very well at the sale. Three separate lots, that each included 2-3 drawings, all sold for the identical price of £6,875 ($10,636), for a range of $3,500 – $4,000 each. In each case, the result was many times the pre-sale estimate of £700 – £900.

Icart Femme Voilée, Christie's lot #473

Icart Femme Voilée, Christie’s lot #473

One of the most interesting lots of the sale was a signed, 17″ x 12″, pastel, charcoal and pencil drawing on paper, entitled Femme Voilée (Veiled Woman). The model is Icart’s wife, Fanny. To the best of my knowledge, this image was never made into an etching or a painting. Selling as lot #473, it realized £2,375 ($3,674), against a pre-sale estimate of £500 – £700.

Icart oil painting of the Flatiron Building in New York, Christie's lot #464

Icart oil painting of the Flatiron Building in New York, Christie’s lot #464

Another fascinating lot was #464, a Red Period, oil on canvas from 1923, depicting the famous Flatiron Building in New York. This would have been a great lot for any New Yorker who collected Icart. The canvas was unstretched and in only fair condition, but it still did OK, selling within the estimate of £3,000 – £5,000, realizing a final price of £3,250 ($5,028). It’s likely the painting would have fared much better if it had a pretty woman in the foreground.

For the complete results of the sale, click on the following link. Christie’s Interiors results.

Incredible Tiffany Favrile Cypriote vase, for sale at the show

Incredible Tiffany Favrile Cypriote vase, for sale at the show

Click this link to view some of the new objects I recently purchased and listed. Tiffany glass for sale. We always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on our website and at every show.

Fabulous, rare, Tiffany Favrile lamp with intaglio-carved insect

Fabulous, rare, Tiffany Favrile lamp with intaglio-carved insect

Look around my website. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. I regularly add Tiffany vases, lamps and desk accessories, as well as French cameo glass by Galle and Daum Nancy and etchings by Louis Icart. Here’s the link. Philip Chasen Antiques.

The Palm Springs Modernism Show opens to the public this Saturday, February 16, 2013

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday. This Monday’s blog will be postponed until Tuesday, as the Palm Beach Modernism show ends on Monday.

The Palm Springs Modernism Show will run from February 16-18, 2013

The Palm Springs Modernism Show will run from February 16-18, 2013

The Palm Springs Modernism Show opens to the public this Saturday, February 16, 2013, at 10 AM and continues until Monday at 4 PM. Don’t understand why the show ends on a Monday, but it is what it is. I prefer a show to end on a Sunday, but I don’t have much say in the matter.

The Palm Springs Convention Center is a beautiful building

The Palm Springs Convention Center is a beautiful building

We decided to exhibit in Palm Springs, CA, this year. We had a choice of three shows that run the same week — one in Palm Beach, FL, one in Asheville, NC, and the one we chose, in Palm Springs, CA. We exhibited previously in Palm Beach and Asheville, both with mixed results. So we gambled that a show in Palm Springs might be the right choice. Don’t have a clue if it will go well or not, so tune in on Tuesday for the results. If the results are fair to moderate, we won’t be back, as the expenses to cross the country are considerable. If the show goes really well, we’ll be back. If you’re from Southern California, you can directly affect our decision. Please visit the show and consider a purchase. I’d much prefer to write a glowing review, than not.

This Tiffany Dragonfly lamp is sold, but I'll have three others at the show

This Tiffany Dragonfly lamp is sold, but I’ll have three others at the show

I’m bringing a fantastic selection of Tiffany lamps and glass, French cameo glass by Gallé and Daum, and a great selection of original Louis Icart etchings. My large selection of original Tiffany Studios lamps includes three Dragonfly lamps.

I will be posting videos on YouTube of my lecture on French Cameo Glass to the Metropolitan Glass Club. I need some time to edit the videos. When they’re ready, I’ll put the link on my website and here in my blog.

Incredible Tiffany Favrile Cypriote vase, for sale at the show

Incredible Tiffany Favrile Cypriote vase, for sale at the show

Click this link to view some of the new objects I recently purchased and listed. Tiffany glass for sale. We always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on our website and at every show.

Fabulous, rare, Tiffany Favrile lamp with intaglio-carved insect

Fabulous, rare, Tiffany Favrile lamp with intaglio-carved insect

Look around my website. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. I regularly add Tiffany vases, lamps and desk accessories, as well as French cameo glass by Galle and Daum Nancy and etchings by Louis Icart. Here’s the link. Philip Chasen Antiques.

The Chicago Summer Antiques Show begins this Friday, August 17, 2012

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.

A view of the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center looking northeast, also showing Gibson’s Steakhouse

The summer antique show schedule is half over, with the stronger half about to come. The Chicago Summer Antiques Show will begin this Friday, August 17th, at noon, and continue until Sunday, August 19th, at 5 PM. It’s a show I look forward to for a few reasons. First is to see all of my many clients and friends in the greater Chicago area. Next is the convenience of a show in the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois, very close to the airport. The convention center allows vehicles to drive into their booths, making setup and breakdown easier than many shows. The hotel is across the street and comfortable, with very good restaurants in walking distance. And last, but not least, is that business is usually very good in Chicago.

I will have a very fine selection of Martin Brothers stoneware at the shows

The show has gotten smaller over the years, but has managed to maintain a nice level of quality, with good exhibitors. Many of these same exhibitors will continue on to the big Baltimore show the following weekend, so this is a very good opportunity to get first crack at their offerings. Many antique shows are struggling, so it’s important to attend your favorite ones and consider making a purchase. The success and survival of your local antique show depends on your participation. That doesn’t mean your friend or neighbor, it means you! (AND your friend or neighbor) :>)

A fabulous, rare Schneider Art Deco vase with padded and wheel-carved poppies — one of several very fine examples

Personally, I will be bringing a very strong assortment of American and French glass and lamps. I’ve been very successful in making great purchases in the off-season of May to mid-July. Rarities in Daum, Gallé, Le Verre Francais, Schneider and Tiffany will be part of my display, as well as a strong selection of original Louis Icart etchings. I guarantee you’ll like what you see.

A view of a small part of the Baltimore Summer Antiques Show

Immediately following the Chicago show will be the important Baltimore Summer Antiques Show. It will start on Thursday, August 23rd, at noon and continue for four days until Sunday, August 26th, at 6 PM. This show is one of the best of the year, second only to the Original Miami Beach Antiques Show at the Miami Beach Convention Center in January. It’s big, with some of the world’s best exhibitors, and worth a trip from anywhere. Buyers fly in from Europe, Japan, South America, Canada, and all over the United States. The selection of hotels and restaurants is diverse and first-class. If you’ve never visited this show, I strongly recommend it. You’ll thank me.

Look around my website. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. I regularly add Tiffany vases, lamps and desk accessories, as well as French cameo glass by Galle and Daum Nancy and Louis Icart etchings. Just recently, I added about 15 new items. Here’s the link. chasenantiques.com

Goodbye, Los Angeles

Sorry for the posting delay until Tuesday, but my laptop computer blue-screened, so I had to wait to return to New York to finish the post on my desktop computer.

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.

Saturday afternoon at my booth

It’s 5:30 PM on Saturday afternoon, as I compose my preliminary draft of Monday’s blog post. As of this minute, the title is Goodbye, Los Angeles. That could change by the end of the day on Sunday, and I hope it does. The Pasadena Antiques Show has been busier than last week’s Redondo Beach Antiques Show — more people, more questions, more sales, but not enough to warrant returning to Southern California. The total of all sales, as of this minute, is not enough to cover our expenses, let alone make a profit. If this were a local show, it would be fine, but the expenses of transporting our inventory from the East Coast to the West Coast are such that we need to do more business.

Defense of the Homeland, one of several Louis Icart etchings sold at the show

I’m writing this paragraph on Monday night and unfortunately the results did not allow me to change the title. We did some business on Sunday, but not enough to come back to Southern California in the foreseeable future, and that’s a shame. It was fun going for vacation for a week prior to the two shows in Southern California, with its glorious weather, but it wasn’t meant to be. Next summer we may return to do a show in the Midwest in July and also Birchwood Manor in New Jersey. Every year I have to adjust the calendar by deleting some shows and adding others. C’est la vie.

I tried to convince this visitor to the show to make a purchase, but had no luck

We’ll be back in New York for a week before we head to Chicago to exhibit at the Chicago Summer Antiques Show in Rosemont, IL. We’ve got so many clients and friends in Chicago, that it’s always a pleasure. The following week, we’ll be in Baltimore for the big, important Baltimore Summer Antiques Show. That’s one you shouldn’t miss. It’s huge and filled with some of the best exhibitors in the country (and the world). It’s worth a trip from anywhere. Visitors fly in from Japan, Europe and South America, as well as every part of the US. Baltimore is a fun city in the summer, so make your plans to visit. You’ll thank me.

Look around my website. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. I regularly add Tiffany vases, lamps and desk accessories, as well as French cameo glass by Galle and Daum Nancy and Louis Icart etchings. Just recently, I added about 15 new items. Here’s the link. chasenantiques.com

The results of The Chicago Merchandise Mart International Antiques Fair, April 27-30, 2012

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.

The Merchandise Mart show didn’t end until Monday, so this week’s blog was postponed until Tuesday so I could report final results. Consequently, there will be no Thursday post this week.

Tiffany 20-inch diameter Lily Pad table lamp, sold at the show

This was an interesting show. There were substantial differences between my expectations and the results. A few weeks ago at the NYC Pier Show there were lots of new people and real action that I thought would carry over to the Chicago Mart show. But it didn’t. New York seems to have recovered from the recession sooner than Chicago. There were fewer people attending than some past years and many dealers saw less business. Here are a few results.

Our booth

Personally, my show was superb — the best show I’ve had at the Mart. Sales were best in Tiffany lamps and glass, Daum Nancy French cameo glass, Icart etchings and illustrator paintings. American art pottery was slow, as well as some of the other usual suspects, like art glass shades. Most of my business came from my very loyal clients (thank you, thank you, thank you). I was gratified to see some interest and sales coming from new blood.

Lia's got a few minutes to knit during a slow period at the show

In asking around, I heard results from “poor” to “great”. What I did notice is that many of the dealers who did well are good business people. They know what to buy and how to sell. The merchandise doesn’t jump off the shelves into the client’s hands — it has to be sold. That doesn’t mean being unscrupulous, it just means convincing a client that they would be better off buying than not.

It's time to start packing up and go home

OK. Here’s some of the scuttlebutt. One silver dealer did very poorly — not sure if they even opened their books. Another silver dealer did fairly — they made their expenses and a little bit more. A major diversified dealer told me he covered his expenses (very high because of a huge booth) and earned a little because of a big jewelry sale. Another diversified dealer did very well — they have great items and know how to sell. A dealer in Russian items only did OK. A dealer in furniture and bronzes was contemplating not returning until he made a major sale on Monday. I’m happy to say he’s returning. I did hear of a few dealers who did poorly and will not be returning. A first time diverse dealer at the show who sells a lot of jewelry was one of the people who told me his results were “great”. You know he’s coming back.

Our next show won’t be until July, but we’ll still be very much in business (except for a two week well-deserved vacation). Don’t hesitate to call or write, and let me know what you’d like to buy, sell, or trade.

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A wonderful Martin Brothers stoneware face jug

Look around my website. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. I regularly add Tiffany vases, lamps and desk accessories, as well as French cameo glass by Galle and Daum Nancy and Louis Icart etchings. Here’s the link. chasenantiques.com

The Arlington Park Racetrack Antiques Show starts this Friday, April 13, 2012

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.

The Arlington Park Racetrack Antiques Show starts this Friday, April 13, 2012, at 11 AM, and continues until Sunday, April 15, 2012, at 5 PM. It’s a small, but very nice show, with a diverse selection of quality dealers. We have many friends in the greater Chicago area so it’s a pleasure to return after not having exhibited there since last November. We’ve been doing Chicago shows for so many years that it feels like home.

A very fine Tiffany Studios 10-light lily table lamp (one of two)

I’ve been buying up a storm, so I’ll be bringing my new purchases, which include Tiffany lamps, glass and metalware, outstanding Daum Nancy and Gallé glass, a Le Verre Francais lizard vase, a nice selection of Martin Bros. stoneware, a wonderful Pairpoint puffy lamp, delightful American illustrator paintings, and a great selection of Icart etchings.

A rare and wonderful Daum Nancy egg with swan decoration

The French cameo glass market has been good, with rare items selling strongly at auction. Click on this link to read my blog about the 10″ Daum Nancy blackbird vase that was sold last month at Christie’s for $40,000. Christie’s results blog.

Wonderful Joe Hennesy oil on canvas cover illustration

I just bought a group of nine American illustrator paintings, one better than another. I’ll have them all at the show.

Have I given you enough reasons yet to visit the show? Make sure to stop by my booth and introduce yourself. I want to know what you’d like to buy, sell or trade.

Our next show will be at the Merchandise Mart, in downtown Chicago, Friday-Sunday, April 27-30. It’s Chicago’s best show, and one of the best shows in the entire country. There will be great exhibitors, many of whom exhibit at very few shows a year. It’s worth a trip from anywhere.
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One of the rarest and most beautiful of all Louis Icart etchings, Mardi Gras

Look around my website. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. I regularly add Tiffany vases, lamps and desk accessories, as well as French cameo glass by Galle and Daum Nancy and Louis Icart etchings. Here’s the link. chasenantiques.com

The results of the Whitman Coin and Collectibles Expo, Baltimore, MD, March 22-24, 2012

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday. This Thursday’s blog will be about the booming market in Martin Brothers stoneware.

My booth

The Whitman Coin and Collectibles Expo was held at the Baltimore Convention Center, March 22-24, 2012, but many dealers left on the 24th, as we did. It’s was a coin show, but dealers were allowed to bring additional items, under the category of “collectibles”. We exhibited there because some of the coin dealers are our clients.

The view of the show floor from my booth.

It’s not the first time we’ve exhibited at a coin show. The others were modestly profitable, so we thought we would give this one a try. Unfortunately it was a complete bust. There was interest from some of the dealers and also the public, but almost no sales. Two of the main coin dealers I hoped would buy from us never even attended the show. We wound up making one tiny sale on the last day, but we would have been much better off never coming. I think we’ll stick to traditional antique shows from now on.

Speaking of which, our next show will be at the Arlington Park Racetrack, in Arlington Heights, IL, April 13th to April 15th. I’ll be bringing some of the best Tiffany Studios table lamps I’ve had in years. In addition, I’ll have a great selection of French cameo glass, a small collection of Martin Brothers ceramics, fabulous American Illustrator paintings, a number of Icart etchings that I just acquired, and assorted wonderful odds and ends. Don’t miss the show. There’ll be something for everyone.
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Rare Le Verre Francais Lézards vase, 11½ inches tall

Look around my website. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. I regularly add Tiffany vases, lamps and desk accessories, as well as French cameo glass by Galle and Daum Nancy and Louis Icart etchings. Here’s the link. chasenantiques.com