Accuracy in reporting, important as it is, is not the sole criterion of usefulness. We spend untold hours consolidating titles and references and correcting and translating titles, as well as looking up catalogue references and filling in concordances. Proofing the entries involves scanning more than a half million lines on our computer monitors.
Despite our best efforts (and those of the auction houses), a certain number of mistakes creep in every year. Some are undoubtedly of our own making. But others are beyond our control, rely as we must on the accuracy of the auction houses' information and the limited time we have to check it. So regarding errors we ask: 1- your forgiveness; 2- your reporting them to us so that we may correct them and 3- your realization that the auction house may share or own the blame for that particular incorrect entry or mistake.
The individual entries for each item or group of items contain information extracted from the auction sale catalogue in which the item appeared. Some minor auction houses' sales have been omitted because of their poor cataloguing of lots. The old computer adage of "garbage in...garbage out" has led us to this decision. Useful information is what we have endeavored to include in this database. When possible or necessary, as noted above, information has been amended or corrected; references and titles have especially received this attention.
Complete sets, pair portfolios, and cohesive groups of items also are recorded. BROKEN SETS, INCOMPLETE PORTFOLIOS, AND LOTS WITH UNRELATED ITEMS GENERALLY ARE OMITTED EVEN IF THEY ARE BY THE SAME ARTIST, as this kind of price information tends to be misleading at best. Also, for the same reason, we have resisted listing items offered with the drawing for the item or the item with the original woodblock and so forth.
We salute the auction houses featured in this database. Their cooperation facilitates the production of this volume, especially their constant and immediate response to our last-minute requests for price lists or catalogues we may have inadvertently overlooked.