In November of 1971, Mr. J--- wrote MC Escher a letter congratulating him on the publication of the first book to contain his complete graphic work. He then asked Escher if he had any prints available for sale, particularly a Circle Limit work.
The following month, Mr. J--- received the letter pictured to the right from Escher. It reads:
Dear Mr J---
Alas, my work has become very expensive.
There are only 2 left at 1000 guilders(Three Spheres and Swans) the rest is much more expensive and will be sold out. The Circle Limits are no longer in stock.
Kind regards and best wishes for 1972.
Mr J--- immediately sent 1000 guilders to Escher with a letter requesting him to hold the Swans for him. At that tiem 1000 guilders was worth 278$. But in December of 1971 that was about equal to two months salary for a teacher.
Mr J---- got caught up in holiday events and a trip just after the New Year. When he returned he read in the paper about Escher being in poor health. His wife insisted they go see Escher at the Rosa Spier house, a retirement home for artists where each room has its own studio space.
Escher informed them that he had sold out of other prints during the interim. The Swans was his last one. He was no longer printing more.
Thank you to Mr J--- for sharing his photographs and his memories.