World Trade Center


Appraised on 9/5/2005

Monoprint of the World Trade Center under construction as it appeared in 1969.

Artist:  “L. Whitsitt” (XX-XXI)

Signature:  “L. Whitsitt 52” lower right-hand corner

Date:  May 1969 - noted at lower left-hand corner as “5 69”

I received this information from the owner of the print regarding its content. “This picture is a little eerie.  It looks like the clouds are planes and there is an explosion and a plane’s tail.”

The drawing/print was completed by the artist who was a student at an art school in New York City from 1969 through 1971 and for a few years after that “L. Whitsitt” was active as a printmaker in the city.  There is no other information available regarding this artist.

The artist’s view of the towers under construction appears to be from a rooftop and looking north.  The two buildings in the artist’s drawing are in the exact same state of completion as photos show for the two buildings in 1969.  (I have included a photo from 1969 of the construction. Fig. 2)  If you will look closely at the left side of the building in the foreground you will see what looks like a large airplane and a dark cloud which could be interpreted as an explosion from the aircraft (Fig. 1).  If you will look to the right side of the same building, you will notice the tail of a large airplane behind the building.  The artist has drawn a third large aircraft approaching the building on the right side. (Fig. 3)  If you would compare the artist’s drawing with photos of the World Trade Center as it was attacked by the two aircraft piloted by the terrorists, it is possible to interpret the drawing as a foreseeing by the artist back in 1969 to the terrible events that happened in New York on 9/11.

What are your thoughts about this artwork?

World Trade Center circa 1969

This intriguing view of the Twin Towers, NYC,  was drawn by a student in 1969.   Look closely at the clouds in the drawing.

Caravan Stopping by a Waterhole 
This beautiful Orientalist painting of a caravan stopping by a waterhole was completed by Charles-Théodore Frère, born in Paris on June 24, 1814. 

​The painting was sold to a Chicago gallery for several thousand dollars.

Frère is most known as one of the important Orientalist painters.  Orientalism is a style which depicts cultures from the near and far East, highlighting their customs, daily life, architecture.  Fre're completed his beautiful atmospheric works after his journey to Algeria, which lasted roughly from 1836 or 1837 to 1839,

For my customers and friends who previously contacted me through “Ask a Worthologist”, “What’s It Worth To You” and “Accu-Experts”.  I will be happy to continue providing my services on a more personal basis through this website:

I am available for on site appraisals and I can accept photographs of artworks sent to me through the U.S. Postal Service.

Contact me by email at

About Art Appraisals

I have always been interested in art and connected with the arts beginning in school and right up to this day.   I am a working professional artist who, along with portraits and design, does art restoration, art consultation and art appraisals.  My professional degrees are in art history and studio art and graphic arts.  I am an art educator retired from the New York State School system.  

I appraise artworks for individuals and businesses and it really is a thrill for me to be able to bring to light for my customers the history and process involved in the creation of an artwork as well as that artwork's monetary values.

I am also available to provide expert advice on buying and selling artworks.


Salvador Dali

“The Punishment of Vanna Fucci”

Canto #24


The appraisals prepared by me are USPAP compliant appraisals:

The appraisals that you receive are written in accordance with The Appraisal Foundation’s Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice or USPAP.

A complete appraisal requires a physical or online inspection of your artwork to verify many points such as artist’s identity, media, provenance and ownership and condition of the object. An appraisal following The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices is a proper and true appraisal that can be submitted to your insurance company for scheduling your collection in your fine arts policy, tax deduction of a non-cash charitable gift or for other purposes.

I am certified to complete USPAP  (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices) compliant appraisals.  Appropriate for insurance purposes and charitable donation tax deductions.Certified to complete USPAP appraisals.

Fig. 1 Airplane and cloud

Fig. 3    Close up of the airplanes.

Art Appraisal Answers

Here are a few comments from customers whose artwork were appraised by me.

“Barnum and Bailey Circus poster of Jumbo the Elephant”  - Thank 
you so much for the efficient and timely manner you appraised the Circus Poster for me!! I had reached a stalemate trying to find a value myself so you made my day.... and I WILL be back with other hard--to-find pieces.. 

 "The Chef" by M. Howard.  Sara Kinch, You found more information on this artist than I was able to find out and for that I applaud you. Thank you for your honesty and the evaluation. Thank you for appraising "The Chef" .

“LUCIEN GAUTIER ETCHING” I spent hours on the Internet and could not confirm the information about the etching you provided. Much appreciated.

“Print of Old Vienna”  I was very impressed with Ms. Kinch's credentials. The narrative she wrote stating her rationale for arriving at a value revealed a historical knowledge of this type of art. I am very pleased with her appraisal and believe it to be accurate.  

“Le Retour du Bal - Le Bon Genre No 9”  Hi Sara, A note to say thank you for providing the right level of detail and the thoroughness of your comments. You provide a great customer experience.

The following is one of my favorite notes from a customer.

“Semisi Maya”   Thanks, Sara! If I had to Someone -Is -Holding- A Gun -To My -Head-So-I-Gotta-Say-Something-Or-Die find a criticism of the information you gave, I would tell them, "Umm, well she didn't give the exact date of the artist's death." You are too cool for the room, woman. Thanks again. 

Fig. 2  1969 photograph


It seems to be a general acceptance that the internet has made it easy for auction houses and estate buyers to know the value of the paintings, sculptures and print artworks that most often are part of estates that are consigned by the auctioneers and antique dealers.

It is fairly simple for most people to do a search on the internet in an effort to identify an artist or a painting by a certain artist.  Of course, it is also quite easy for the searcher to get mis-information regarding an artist or signature.  In some cases, the employee or owner has too many items in an estate purchase to spend more than a few minutes researching the paintings that may be included in the estate.  I have attended several auctions where an artwork was mis-identified as completed by a known artist and on close inspection, I have ascertained that the the style, media, time period for completion or the signature are not the same as recognized, catalogued works by the named artist.   

For example, there are no less than one hundred listed artists with the surname of “Delacroix”.  It could take a while to make sure just which Delacroix is the artist who created a work acquired by an auction house or dealer.   It is also a little time-consuming and artful to decide if the artwork is an original or a type of printed multiple by the artist.  Woodblocks, etchings, engravings and lithographs have different looks to them and it takes a person with a little knowledge regarding printing to know the differences.

I will save the more detailed information about identification for another column and write this column about the fun part of trying to out-fox the auctioneer or other bidders at an auction.


I recently went to an estate auction with a friend who wanted to purchase a nice painting for her home.  We went to the preview, which is usually allowed early on the day of the auction.  At a preview, you can walk around and look at each item.  You can ask one of the employees to hand an item to you so that you can look closely at that item.  You should bring a magnifying glass and a note pad and pen.  If you see an item that interests you, make notes, look for a signature, date, foundry mark, manufacturer’s logo, etc. on the item.  Do your own search on your phone or tablet or an old-fashioned reference book.  
As we walked past all of the furniture and paintings offered at the auction, I noticed a small print framed in a simple, sort of cheap frame.  It wasn’t a beautiful artwork, a black and white print of a man with a large snake wrapped around his arms.  Not something you would hang above your sofa unless you collected artworks by the famous Surrealist painter, Salvador Dali (born 1904 - died 1989) Spain.  The great master’s signature was written on the lower edge of the print, but Dali’s signatures vary greatly and many of the signatures are scribbly and difficult to decipher.


Try not to outwardly show your excitement when you find something that interests you.  Other auction attendees may be watching you and feel that they should also investigate the item that has caught your interest.   One auction house that I visit has its auction items available at preview early on the same day that the auction is held. Two gentlemen art buyers who also attend this auction venue usually try to track me as I walk past the artworks that are featured at the day’s sale.   Almost always, the two men bid on whatever I bid on at the auctions.  I have learned to sit at the back of the room when I bid on an item.  If you are able to do this, other bidders can’t see who you are or know if you are the “other” eager bidder on a certain item.

Back to the print:   I know this image by Dali.   The print is a woodblock engraving created after the original watercolor painting by Salvador Dali. The print was created as a woodblock engraving and it is a print that is one from Dali's "Divine Comedy Suite" (1963). Dalí’s series regarding Dante's Divine Comedy was originally published in six volumes – two each for Hell, Purgatory and Paradise or Heaven – with a total of 100 (or 101) of Dalí's wood engravings. The original artworks, created by Dali in watercolors, were then reproduced as woodblock plates by the designers Raymond Jacquet and Jean Taricco. Dali's images were to correspond with the 100 cantos in the "Inferno" which was a poem written by Dante Alighieri (1265-1321). This particular woodblock print is titled “The Thieves”  or “The Punishment of Vanna Fucci” and is Canto #24 from the Hell section of the suite. The first publications were produced in German, Italian and French editions and there are quite a number of the sets, perhaps around 9,000 of the original editions.  The print that is offered at auction has a current retail market value of approximately $500.00 and an auction value that ranges between $200.00 to $300.00.  Dali’s signature on the woodblock is written in red and enclosed in a red square at the bottom center of the print.  This signature is a part of the print and not a hand-written signature of the artist.  I have a few prints from Dali’s Inferno suite and I decide to bid on the print.  I find a seat in the back of the room and hope the two gentlemen do not notice me or the print being offered for bids.  Lucky for me, the auction house employee who catalogued the works did not do much with the print.  It was offered as a pencil drawing and the auctioneer did not mention the artist’s name or signature.  Two bidders beside myself got the print to a high bid of $80.00.  The two bidders drop out at $80.00 and I get the print for $80.00 plus a 10 percent premium.
I will remove the Dali print from the mat and frame that it is presently in and place it in an archival-grade mat and add it to my print collection.
So keep going to the flea markets, auctions and antique shops, you may be surprised at what you may find there.