One of the biggest draws to collecting art is the thrill of the hunt. Many of the collectors we work with go to great lengths to track down works by artists they love. Finding and purchasing a work for the right price can be addicting, but of course due diligence is required. A western art collector came to us with a great little sketch by Maynard Dixon. He had found this gem while poking around in a New Mexico gallery, but his brow was furrowed. “It’s not right,” he said. “The date is off.” He had done his due diligence and knew that the date and place on the drawing did not align with Dixon’s timeline. The word on the sketch, “Ganado” referred to the town in northern Arizona where the famous Hubbell Trading Post stood. Dixon had befriended the Post’s owner, Lorenzo Hubbell, and took inspiration from the native American subjects he encountered there. The problem was that this sketch was dated ’09, years after Dixon was known to visit Ganado.
The framing was looking a little dated on the prize drawing and it had a silver vinyl wrapped fillet that was suspect. With great care we opened the framing package to inspect. almost instantly, our collectors expression changed from worry to elation. The drawing was mercifully not mounted and upon further inspection, the erroneous ’09 turned out to be be an ’02 with the bottom of the two cropped off by the mat. The real date authenticated this little drawing as an early Maynard Dixon sketch!
We updated the framing to reflect the stature of the work by using a gold leaf beveled mat, accompanying 22k gold leaf frame, museum glass, and acid free barrier and backing. The end result looks like the gem that this little diamond in the rough was. With help from the fine art experts at Cherry Creek Custom Framing, our collector proved that you should follow your hunches and never doubt the power of a sixteenth of an inch!