Vintage Vladimir Tretchikoff Prints - History, Values

Vintage prints are often deemed worthless by many.  How can something so mass produced ever be worth a penny?  Ah, how wrong they are.
Artists such as Vladimir Tretchikoff and JH Lynch have produced some of the most iconic and highly collectable prints around the world, and money they certainly are fetching! With the average Tretchikoff fetching over $300 AUD.
Who would have thought?

Vintage Tretchikoff Balinese Lady print

Tretchikoff produced a wide range of prints, mostly portraits and flowers including The Balinese Girl, Miss Wong, Zulu Girl, Chinese Girl (Yellow & Blue Jackets), Fruits of Bali, Lady from Orient, Lenka, Lost Orchid, Weeping rose, Dying Swan, Melon Time, Melon Boy, Swazi Girl, Resurrection, Magnolias, Spring, Mother and Child, and more.

Vintage Tretchikoff Balinese Girl print

The original oil painting of The ‘Green Lady’ (aka Chinese Girl) one of Tretchikoffs most iconic, most reproduced, and most coveted prints, was auctioned off at Bonham’s Auction in 2013, and reached an amazing £982,050.   Nearly twice the estimated price.  Now wouldn’t that be a nice surprise.

Amazingly it was kept in the original purchasers family, and was being sold by the original buyer’s granddaughter.

Vintage retro tretchikoff balinese girl print

The piece was based on a ‘real life’ model, later found to be Monika Sing-Lee who was spotted at a laundromat and asked to sit for the artist.  It’s amazing that she was found, and got to visit the original painting.

Vintage tretchikoff silent models dressmakers print

Tretchikoff passed away in 2006, however will live on for years to come in the form of his beautiful pieces of art that now once again adorns walls of many vintage enthusiasts from around the world.
Sadly there is not a lot of information around about an artist that is such a household name now.

So how much is your print worth? Condition plays a huge roll in valuing your print.
If you see some selling for $400, it’s possibly partly because of the desirability, rareness, and condition combined.  If one of those three are lacking, it may not be worth the same amount at the one that sold well.

Vintage Tretchikoff Zulu maiden 1950's

Beware that Tretchikoff prints are being reproduced again, and you can tell the difference by doing the following checks..

Is the frame old?
Is the colour so bright and fresh that it’s ‘too good to be true?’
Check the back of the frame, is it printed on old board? Does it have the original paper label?
Who is selling it? Is there an uncanny amount of them in-store or in their selling history?
Are old scratches real? or are they printed onto the print? If they are printed on, it is obviously a copy.
Use your gut instinct, and if it’s a bit suss, wait until you’re confident.

Vintage Tretchikoff print weeping rose

Trish Hunter
Trish Hunter - Founder of The Vintage Post, mid-century design collector, passionate about history, dog lover, excessive !!! user and smiler.
Trish Hunter


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Comments (3)

  1. In 1985 or thereabouts, I purchased a framed Vladimir Tretchikoff “The first wife of the Zulu chief” from an antique shop in St Kilda in Melbourne. It still has the original paper and label on the back but these are a bit shoddy. The colour on the print is still very good as I have had the framed print in storage out of sunlight for the past 15 years or so. I am wondering how much I should seel this item for. Any advice you could give would be appreciated. thanks

  2. I recently bought a tretchikoff catalogue / book of prints for a few pence .. 12 native colour prints mounted on cardboard and with each print signed underneath by tretchikoff.. The prints and pages are all in good condition… I have no idea what this is worth.. Can anyone help

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