Salvador Dali became almost as famous for the scandal that his prints caused in the art world as he did for his actual art. There are authentic etchings, wood engravings and lithographs by him. The problem is that there are many more that are not by him.
“The Official Catalog of the Graphic Works of Salvador Dali” by Albert Field is the accepted bible for this artist’s prints. This reference book lists not only the authentic art but most of the problem pieces as well.
If possible, examine the art out of the frame. Hold the paper up to the light & look for a watermark on the paper. If you find the infinity symbol as a watermark, then the art is a forgery or fake. This is the quickest test for authenticity concerning Dali. Sometimes, this watermark has been trimmed off in order to accommodate a frame or to remove the evidence. Notice if the margins appear to be full around the entire image.
Check to see if there are any other watermarks on the paper to identify it such as BFK Rives or Arches. You will be able to verify if this is the same type of paper used for this image by checking Field. Examine the art under a 10X magnifying glass to see if it is an offset lithograph or other medium. Not only have I seen forgeries, but I have also seen offset reproductions of the forgeries!
Carefully measure the art. You take the measurement of all prints from the image or plate mark, not the paper or mat opening. It is this measurement that you will be comparing with the information in the reference book. Don’t just open the book, see the print illustrated and think that everything is ok. Read the description, check the guide section in the book that lists the problems, check and double check. One of the best ways you can protect yourself is to buy from a respected dealer who offers to stand behind their guarantee.