About the Issue of Counterfeit Nagels
We estimate that 90% of the Nagels that are in circulation are either of very little value, or they are fakes.
What does that even mean?
By very little value, we mean that many are posthumous lithographs printed by either Mirage Editions or by Pat's widow, Jennifer Dumas. These lithographs are legitimate releases, but they are open edition posters that were never meant to have ongoing value. This does not mean they are worthless, but rather that they have no investment potential and sell for very modest prices.
There were also two companies who got ahold of Nagel lithos and who reproduced them with questionable legitimacy. There was also a company who 'acquired' thousands of small lithos printed by a large company for promotional purposes, just before Pat died, thereby giving them a 'lifetime' status.
And then there are the fakes
This is contrasted with the posters that are passed off as real Nagels that are counterfeit copies of Nagels. For example, in the late 1980's and early '90's thousands of CN2's were printed in a garage in New Mexico and sold into the legitimate Nagel gallery network.
In addition to that, there are new fakes of Nagel-esque images that pop up which are not even copies of Nagels, but rather studies of women who have that Nagel 'look'. These can be both unqiue, one-of-a-kind paintigs, or reproductions.
Frankly, most of these are so amateurish as to be laughable, and still they are passed off every day on Craig's list, eBay and at 'flea markets' as real, historic Nagels.
Let us just repeat what we have said many times on this site: In terms of graphic art, Nagel did 34 posters and 20 limited editions during his life. As far as the academic community is concerned, these are the works of art that will have ongoing value and will be sought after enough to maintain a market for generations to come.
All of this is in addition to the goaches, small paintings, large acrylic paintings and drawings Nagel completed, none of which has been catalogued. We still have no idea how many of these exist.
As we have mentioned before, one day an academician will take on the very difficult task of compiling a 'catalogue raissone' of Nagel's work. This task would take years to compelete, but until that is accomplished, no one has any idea of what the body of work is on his unique, one-of-a-kind works. However, the graphics are a finite number and we know what that is. That's why they will be forever historically valuable.