Are You Buying Fine Art Prints the Right Way?

Art is not only inspirational, but it also contributes to the economy. There are 2.2 million artists employed by 113,000 nonprofit art organizations making the arts an economic force. One area that contributes to revenue generation is the sale of art prints. Pablo Picasso’s Femme au Corsage à Fleurs 1958 print sold for £35,850. That sale and more depict the value of limited edition fine art prints.

Limited edition art prints cost less than the original work, but you still have to pay attention to detail when purchasing them. Here are a few tips to help you acquire these valuable art prints.

1. Artworks in the Edition Are Indistinguishable

Whenever you’re buying limited edition fine art prints, you ought to know that all the limited edition art workpieces should be identical. If one varies from the rest in the standard edition, then it ought to be eliminated.

Whenever artists want to tell each of the pieces in an edition, they will give it a specific number. For example, if there are 35 pieces of artwork in an edition, you will find each of them labeled sequentially, that is, 1/35, 2/35 onwards. A widespread misunderstanding is that these works are numbered according to the order in which they were printed.

The truth is that artists usually number their works when they are dating and signing them, which happens to be at random. Consequently, a print’s number shouldn’t affect its resale value.

2. Gravitate towards Smaller Editions

The first rule when buying any artwork is to obtain that which you love. By virtue of the name, limited edition fine art prints are more valuable than those in an open edition. When the number of limited edition art prints in a particular series are fewer, they become more valuable. For example, a print by Fernando de Szyszlo from an edition of 25 holds more value than a comparable work from an edition of 120. Thus, it is always advisable for you as a collector to go for artworks from smaller sized editions as they hold more value.

Edition sizes vary widely depending on the demand by collectors for a particular artist’s work. The type of technique an artist uses can also influence how big or small an edition is. For example, etchings made using aquatint or drypoint techniques are fewer in number because of the limiting nature of the process. In contrast, artworks produced through screen printing or lithography tend to be more in number as the techniques are more durable.

When the number of pieces in an edition hit 200 or more, they are known as ‘multiples’ or ‘reproductions’ and not fine art. That’s because, with such large limited editions, it’s challenging for the artist to be part of each piece’s production and approval. As a result, the value for such editions is usually significantly lower.

3. Proofs Can Add to the Edition’s Size

Many collections of limited edition prints contain a tiny number of artist’s proof. These proofs are usually labeled ‘AP’ or ‘A/P’ in the edition information. Typically, artists keep these proofs for themselves. Therefore, any artist proofs in a limited edition art series will cause its value to skyrocket. If the proofs contain any unique feature, like persona notes from the artist, for example, then the value increases even more.

In any edition, an artist’s proof should not account for more than 10% of the entire series. For example, if you were to find an edition comprising 30 pieces, then you should expect not more than three proofs. An increase beyond the 10% threshold will lower the value of the edition and call its integrity into question.

Only Buy Valuable Limited Edition Fine Art Prints

Art both inspires and helps generate economic value. Limited edition fine art prints are one of art’s mainstays when it comes to generating income. These prints help collectors to access famous works by renowned artists at a friendlier price. As long as you know how to buy them, you can expect value for your money.