Monday, April 14, 2014

Prints of Thieves, HRH Prince Charles' Non-disclosed Reproductions are -not- Lithographs, even when one is sold for $11,000

NOTE: Footnotes are enclosed as: [FN ]

UPDATED: May 9, 2014 with the recently disclosed $11,000 auction price for this non-disclosed reproduction/poster, falsely attributed to Prince Charles as an original work of visual art ie., lithograph, with additional background information on the how Prince Charles got involved in this fraud in 1990, some 24 years ago.

Under U.S. Copyright Law "Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair. [one of which is:] The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes."

A Royal Masterpiece Auction Event
April 16, 2014 6:00 pm, The Savannah Philharmonic, requests the pleasure of your company, at the extraordinary live, auction event of HRH Charles Prince of Wales’s limited edition signed lithograph (12/20) of His beloved Highgrove House proceeds to benefit your Savannah Philharmonic and The Prince of Wales Foundation on Wednesday, the sixteenth of April 6:00pm – 8:00pm Live Auction 7 o’clock in the evening Whitman House, 611 Whitaker Street, $30 per person $5 bidding pre-registration fee Wine and Hors d’oeuvres served To purchase tickets and register to bid, please call 912.232.6002 Tickets, registration, and online bidding also available Online bidding will open Monday, March 10, 2014. ATTIRE: Business

The so-called "HRH Charles Prince of Wales’s limited edition signed lithograph (12/20) of His beloved Highgrove House" is actually a non-disclosed reproduction/poster reproduced from one of his watercolours. 

The Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra. HRH Prince Charles, and his Prince of Wales' Charitable Foundation auctioned this non-disclosed reproduction/poster as an original work of visual art  ie., "lithograph" to an unsuspecting victim for -$11,000-[FN 1] on April 16, 2014 in the A Royal Masterpiece Auction Event at the Whitman House on 611 Whitaker Street in Savannah, Georgia.

Without full and honest disclosure for this reproduction/poster reproduced from Prince Charles' watercolour, how could anyone give informed consent on whether to express interest, much less purchase it for $11,000?

On page 1488 of the Seventh Edition of Black's Law Dictionary, -thieve- is defined as: "To steal; to commit theft or larceny."[FN 2] Additionally, on page 885, -larceny- is defined, in part, as: "Common-law larceny has been broadened by some statutes to include embezzlement and false pretenses, all three of which are often, subsumed under the statutory crime of 'theft.'"[FN 3]

The misrepresentation and sale, by the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra, HRH Prince Charles and his Prince of Wales' Charitable Foundation, of reproduction/posters as original works of visual art ie., lithographs is documented in this monograph using independent references, statutory law and their own published words.

Hence, the Prints of Thieves.

"Lithograph Information"
The Prince of Wales' Charitable Foundation, A company registered in England (No. 6777589), Registered Charity No. 1127255, Office Clarence House, St. James', London SW1A 1BA

The Prince of Wales' Charitable Foundation would have the public believe and act on the belief that Prince Charles' so-called "lithographs" are "reproduced from an original watercolour."

Lithographs are original works of visual art created by an artist and would -never- be trivialized as reproduction/poster of a watercolour even if reproduced from Prince Charles' "watercolours."

This  factual perspective is confirmed by U.S. Custom`s May 2006 An Informed Compliance Publication titled Works of Art, Collector`s Pieces Antiques, and Other Cultural Property, which -in part- states: "The expression original engravings, prints and lithographs means impressions produced directly, in black and white or in color, of one or of several plates wholly executed by hand by the artist, irrespective of the process or of the material employed by him, but excluding any mechanical or photomechanical process."[FN 4]

In other words, lithographs versus reproductions are not interchangeable, much less the same.

This factual perspective is confirmed in the 1991 The Fifth Edition of the Artist’s Handbook of Materials and Techniques by Ralph Mayer, the author wrote: “The major traditional graphic-arts processes of long standing and continued popularity are lithograph, etching, drypoint, woodcutting or wood engraving, aquatint, and soft-ground etching. ...The term “graphic arts” excludes all forms of mechanically reproduced works photographed or redrawn on plates; all processes in which the artist did not participate to his or her fullest capacity are reproductions.”[FN 5]

"Cover Letter to Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra"
The Prince of Wales' Charitable Foundation, A company registered in England (No. 6777589), Registered Charity No. 1127255, Office Clarence House, St. James', London SW1A 1BA

Additionally, The Prince of Wales' Charitable Foundation is fostering the illusion to the public that reproductions have "Artist Proofs" and that they have some additional value as such when they demand three conditions for its' auction: 1) "the Artist's Proof should be sold for no less than 4,000 [pounds]," 2) "the Artist Proof must not remain unsold," and 3) "an image of the Artist's Proof must not be featured on the internet."

On page 22 of Ralph Mayer’s 1991 The Harper Collins Art Terms and Techniques Dictionary, -artist proof- is defined as: “one of the PROOFS in a LIMITED EDITIONS of ORIGINAL PRINTS. An artist’s proof must bear the artist’s signature or mark and, since the early 20th century, is usually numbered.”[FN 6]

So, it would seem HRH Prince Charles and his Prince of Wales Charitable Foundation are using "artist proof" as an euphemism to not only further mask the reproductions they are misrepresenting for sale as original works of visual art ie., lithographs but to garner a much more substantial price.

This deception is further perpetuated on HRH Prince Charles' official government website where it misrepresents, for sale, reproductions from "mechanically reproduced works photographed or redrawn on plates" as lithographs:  
  • "The Prince's interest began during the 1970s and 1980s when he was inspired by Robert Waddell, who had been his art master at Gordonstoun in Scotland. In time, The Prince met leading artists such as Edward Seago, with whom he discussed watercolour technique, and received further tuition from John Ward, Bryan Organ and Derek Hill. The copyright of The Prince’s watercolours belongs to A. G. Carrick Ltd, a trading arm of The Prince’s Charities Foundation. The name uses two of The Prince's four Christian names - Arthur and George - and one of his titles, The Earl of Carrick. Over the years The Prince has agreed to exhibitions of his watercolours and of lithographs made from them, on the understanding that any income they generate goes to The Prince of Wales's Charitable Foundation. Money from the sale of the lithographs also goes to the Foundation but the paintings themselves are never for sale."[FN 7]

Then to go from the ridiculous to the sublime, HRH Prince Charles uses the proceeds from the sale of these non-disclosed reproductions to fund a school to attract students to learn many things, one of which is -printmaking-:
  • "The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall met artists at a reception for The Prince's Drawing School. The Prince's Drawing School is an educational charity set up by His Royal Highness in 2000 to be a centre of excellence for observational drawing. - Since The Prince began selling lithographs of his watercolours to raise money for charity, an estimated £4 million has been raised for The Prince of Wales's Charitable Foundation. The Prince's Drawing School provides life-drawing classes and workshops as well as courses in painting, sculpture, printmaking and calligraphy. Each week, The Prince‘s Drawing School attracts more than 400 students including local school children, architects, designers and art students."[FN 8]

The Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra mailing address is 30 West Broughton Street, Suite 205 in Savannah, Georgia.

So, if the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra sells, on April 16, 2014 in their A Royal Masterpiece Auction Event at the Whitman House on 611 Whitaker Street in Savannah, Georgia, this non-disclosed reproduction, of HRH Prince Charles' watercolour, as an original work of visual art ie., lithograph and fails to disclose it as the reproduction/poster, what if any penalty would there be in the State of Georgia?

Georgia Annotated Code 10-1-430 to 10-1-437 requires disclosure of reproductions as “reproductions” if sold for $100 or more. Specifically, Georgia Annotated Code 10-1-437 states: "Georgia law provides for disclosure in writing of information concerning certain fine prints and photographs prior to effecting a sale of them. This law requires disclosure of such matters as the identity of the artist, the artist's signature, the medium, whether the multiple is a reproduction..”[FN 9] The statutory penalties for failing to disclose a reproduction as a “reproduction” may include but not limited to: refund, interest, treble damages and potential fines per occurrence.

On page 137 of the Seventh Edition of Black's Law Dictionary, -bait and switch- is defined as: "Most states prohibit the bait and switch when the original product is not actually available as advertised."[FN 10]

So, when the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra. HRH Prince Charles, and his Prince of Wales' Charitable Foundation misrepresents a reproduction/poster as an original work of visual art ie., lithograph, how does that potentially affect other artists, much less the consumer?

The United States Federal Trade Commission's" Policy Statement of Unfairness" states: “A seller’s failure to present complex and technical data on his product may lessen a consumer’s ability to choose, for example, but may also reduce the initial price he must pay for the article.---Finally, the injury must be one which consumers could not reasonably have avoided.”[FN 11]

Rhetorically, would Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra. HRH Prince Charles, and his Prince of Wales' Charitable Foundation's misrepresentation, with or without intent, of a reproduction/poster as an original work of visual art ie., lithograph and offered for sale in an auction benefit be an attempt "to forge, copy, or imitate (something) without a right to do so and with the purpose of deceiving or defrauding"[FN 12] which is legal definition of -counterfeit-?

The United States Postal Inspection Service, under Section 1341, Fraud and Swindles, states: “Whoever, having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representation or promises, or to sell, dispose of, loan, exchange, alter, give away, distribute, supply, or furnish or procure for unlawful use any counterfeit or spurious coin, obligation, security, or other article, or anything represented to be or intimated or held out to be such counterfeit or spurious article, for the purpose of executing such scheme or artifice or attempting so to do, places in any post office or authorized depository for mail matter, any matter or thing whatever to be sent or delivered by the Postal Service, or deposits or causes to be deposited any matter or thing whatever to sent or delivered by any private or commercial interstate carrier, or takes or receives therefrom, any such matter or thing, or knowingly causes to be delivered by mail or such carrier according to the direction thereon, or at the place at which it is directed to be delivered by the person to whom it is addressed, any such matter or thing, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. If the violation affects a financial institution, such person shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.”[FN 13]

In the March 17, 2004 News-10-Now’s “US Attorney’s Office investigates art fraud” story by Carmen Grant, State of New York Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa Fletcher is quoted as stating: “What we found is that Anthony Marone and William Yager conspired with one another, since at least as far back as 1999, to post on ebay for auction works of art that they represented to be original by original famous artists, and what they actually sold was counterfeit works of art. By doing that they committed several federal offenses including conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud.”[FN 14]

Finally, this Vintage Magazine published August 16, 2012 "History of HRH The Prince of Wales’ Signed Lithographs" article chronicles the ignorance -at best- of the heir to the British Monarchy: Prince Charles, and the hubris of Belgravia Gallery's owner Anna Hunter:
  • "Almost twenty years ago, I posted a letter which marked a change of course in my career. The handwritten letter, in my trademark brown ink, was to The Prince of Wales, asking him if he would consider making signed lithographs from his beautiful watercolours which could be sold in aid of his charities. I had seen them in a Sunday colour supplement and suggested that they might be made into lithographs under the guidance of Stanley Jones, the celebrated printmaker who had previously worked with Henry Moore for thirty years, and with Elizabeth Frink, Hockney, Kitaj, Ruskin Spear and Carel Weight among others. The two latter artists were very supportive of the idea – we had been working together for a few years.
    "I heard nothing for some months – a good sign, I thought, not a “no”. Then just before Christmas in 1989, came a call from St James’ Palace from Richard Aylard, then Private Secretary to the Prince of Wales. They were very keen to progress the idea of signed lithographs, and would I like to come in to discuss this?
    "A week later I met Richard and an assistant and showed them the portfolio of artists’ prints the company had produced. I was greatly surprised and honoured to be offered the opportunity to publish some of the Prince’s watercolours as limited editions just as I had set out in my letter. Richard asked me if I would like to meet the artist and a date was fixed for the following week. He informed me that there was to be an exhibition of the Prince’s work in Urbino, Italy, at the home where Raphael was born, planned for May 1990 and a catalogue was needed, hardback, in Italian and English – could we produce this? It was clear an affirmative answer was required which I nervously gave them.

    "My first meeting with the Prince took place in a beautiful drawing room at St James’ Palace. I was delighted that some sixty watercolours had been sent from a number of different places and laid out on a table for me to choose which were to be his first lithographs. The Prince entered the room and we chatted at length about the proposed images, Stanley Jones and his work, the charity, the provenance, the paper we would use (Somerset, with a special watermark of the feathers badge insignia). The meeting was memorable, the Prince loved the idea, a book of his watercolours was about to be published, and he seemed genuinely surprised at the interest in his watercolours which he had then been painting for some twenty years.

    "The first two images were chosen, of Wensleydale in Yorkshire which he called in his book ‘God’s own country’. His staff kindly sent around twenty original watercolours to my home which I then drove to Cambridge to give to Stanley Jones. After a few weeks, the first proof was ready, Stanley having done the delicate tracings, and then making the twelve plates from which the images were printed on Curwen Studio’s 1940′s printing press. Once this was ready Stanley and I went to meet the Prince again, this time at Highgrove, the Prince’s beautiful Gloucestershire Home.

    "I was surprised at its homeliness and comfort. The Prince fetched his watercolour palate and mixed the exact colours he uses regularly; Stanley Jones was then able to revise the image. A few weeks later we brought an amended proof to Highgrove on which the Prince wrote – in the time honoured tradition of printing – “good to pull”.

    "We started working with an excellent public relations specialist to publicise the work. The Times ran an article about this being something of a coup for a small publisher as did other publications, TV and radio. Sales ensued; the works, signed by the Prince were deemed to be good investments.

    "An edition of Windsor Castle followed the Yorkshire scenes. This had been painted just before a thunder storm when a great shaft of yellow light flooded the castle through the black skies. The Prince was unable to complete the painting because the heavens opened – other works in his collection are scarred with raindrops. This edition sold very quickly, then came another of Sandringham, and while attending a proofing session at Sandringham, we chose the next in the series, Balmoral.

    "My contract was for six editions of 295, and as we reached the fifth, it occurred to me that it would be fun to do three editions of 100 each rather than 295 of one. The three chosen were classics – again but this time bathed in a luminous pink sky, and the enigmatic Hong Kong from HMY Britannia which was launched in 1997 to coincide with the handover of Hong Kong to China and the final voyage of the much loved Royal Yacht. Again, all three were very sought after, with prices of some of them rising from around £2,500 to £12,000-£15,000 a few years later.

    "During the time these were produced, the Royal Family went through some very turbulent years. However more lithographs were produced: scenes of Highgrove, Greece and some of Scottish landscapes which I chose with the head of the print department from Sotheby’s. The Prince of Wales’s lithographshave developed a following among collectors and admirers of the Prince’s work. Beautifully presented in a lavish presentation box, the works are very covetable. The certificates of authenticity are signed by the Prince’s Private Secretary, currently Sir Michael Peat. Regularly appearing at charity auctions and from sales at the gallery, we estimate that over £4,000,000 has been raised to date. Sales have benefitted over a hundred charities which represent the Prince’s diverse interests; from international disaster appeals to supporting farmers affected by foot and mouth, architectural projects and many others. It was through our connection with this work that we were asked to launch and market lithographs by Nelson Mandela and had the privilege of meeting him too, both at his home in Johannesburg (where he called the Prince of Wales “a very fine fellow”) and on Robben Island at a dinner when he described his joy at drawing.

    "The Prince of Wales sent a generous letter of support for Mr Mandela’s artistic endeavours, praising Belgravia Gallery’s work.

    "It has been an interesting result from one letter which, when posting it, I remember thinking 50:50 odds that I might receive a reply."[FN 15]

In other words, in 1990, Curwen Studio's Stanley Jones was the chromist [someone who copies another artist's work], who reproduced the "delicate tracings" by his hand and fingers, from Prince Charles' watercolours, for the "making [of] the twelve plates from which the images" were reproduced resulting in reproductions. Those resulting reproductions in 1990 and thousands upon thousands of resulting reproductions from Prince Charles' watercolours over the last 24 years that followed, have been misrepresented as original works of visual art ie., lithographs, resulting in a massive multi-decade multi-million dollar fraud.

Prince Charles and all involved have no shame.

Without full and honest disclosure of reproductions as -reproductions- by the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra. HRH Prince Charles, and his Prince of Wales' Charitable Foundation, how could the consumer have ever given informed consent on whether to express interest in a  reproduction/poster of Prince Charles' watercolour, and/or whether to purchase a reproduction/poster of Prince Charles' watercolour for $11,000, not to mention the unfair trade against those artists who actually create and print their editions of original works of visual art ie., lithographs, much less those who sell fully disclosed reproductions?

1. Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra's House Manager Bob (912) 659-2813
2. © 1999 By West Group, ISBN 0314022864
3. Ibid
5. Copyright © 1991 Bena Mayer, Executrix of the Estate of Ralph Mayer ISBN 0-670-83701-6
6.Copyright © 1991 by Bena Mayer, ISBN 0-06-461012-8 (pbk.)
9. WAISdocID=35364124403+2+0+0&WAISaction=retrieve
10. © 1999 By West Group, ISBN 0314022864
12. © 1999 By West Group, ISBN 0314022864
14. 12317&SecID=83
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