What You Need to Know About Buying Limited Edition Art Prints
If you’re looking into buying a limited-edition print, whether you’re starting out your collector’s journey or are just really interested in purchasing a specific piece, edition info may not be the first thing you think about. Of course, if you have your heart set on a particular piece which you know you love, these details might not change your mind. However, knowing a piece’s edition info not only gives you a greater appreciation for the piece; it also gives you a clearer understanding of the piece’s value, the artist, and of the art market in general. Not sure how to go about buying limited edition art prints? Here are the important factors you will want to consider.
Edition ValueMany pieces of art—whether prints, photography, or sometimes even sculptures—are created in runs. These are multiple original artworks (not a reproduction of an original artwork) using printmaking techniques such as etchings, lithographs, etc. Even though many prints of the piece are made, they are counted by collectors and historians as ‘first edition’ artworks if they are part of a particular set. So, while a piece may not be completely one-of-a-kind, it is still considered unique or rare as part of an original run of prints. These limited-edition groups of works often retain their value very well, as artists usually destroy the materials needed to create extra copies that are exactly alike, such as photo negatives. That said, popular art can be re-printed for second or third edition runs, or even more if demand is high. These limited editions can also be worth more than a standard replication of a piece.
|Print Number Example (8/75)|
Artist ProofsLimited edition pieces usually also come with artist proofs; look for ‘AP’ or ‘A/P’ in the edition info.
|Mickey to Tiki (Reversed) by Dick Frizzell, featuring artist proofs|