Collecting and displaying artwork is a timeless trade, remaining popular for centuries. While art-collecting is unlikely to fade into obscurity any time in the near future, collecting valuable pieces has become more of a challenge in the modern age. This is partly due to the fact that much of the limited edition art on the market has been claimed by vigilant collectors, and because there are more artists in the industry than there has ever been. There are, after all, over 100,000 art organizations employing over 2 million artists across the globe today.
Are Limited Edition Prints Worth Buying?
With so much traffic in the art community, it might be difficult as a collector to determine which purchases are a wise decision. Because most original works by renowned artists have been purchased by museums or private collectors, many of today’s art-enthusiasts rely on purchasing prints. Despite not being the original piece, limited edition art pieces still hold a lot of value if you’re purchasing wisely. A limited edition print is most definitely worth buying if several conditions are met.
If you’re planning to purchase limited edition art and your goal is to have the piece’s value increase or hold its value, examine the piece before you buy it. For example, if you’re in the market for abstract art prints and you find a print you’re considering, check the print for these key pieces of information.
- Artist’s signature – Many artists sign their prints, so look for a signature on the piece.
- Printer’s signature – Many printers also sign the prints they create, so if you happen to notice two signatures on the piece, one is likely that of the printer.
- Date of the print – The date the print was created can have an impact on the print’s value in some cases.
- Print run number – The print run number is written as a fraction with the denominator being the number of prints included in the run and the numerator being where your particular print falls in the run.
If you’d like to purchase prints of value, low run numbers in both the numerator and denominator are indicators that your print may be of value. Look for the first print in the run, especially if the run is limited to a small number of prints. Getting your hands on the artist’s proof or printer’s proof is also a good indicator of print value.
A collector should examine the print for signs of deviation in the piece, indicating that the artist might have hand-finished it. If you’re looking at several prints of still life paintings, be aware of one that is in a different colorway than the others.
It’s wise to consider different art themes when determining value. Pieces that are bold and controversial, pieces displaying an iconic figure, or those done by an artist that already has a reputation are pieces that will likely keep or increase their value.
Print Preservation and Certification
If you locate a print that has a certificate verifying the piece’s authenticity, you’ve got another indicator of value. Pieces that verify their source tend to be easier to value than those that do not. If the print you purchase comes with a certificate, preserve it so that you’ll be able to include it with the artwork should you decide to resell it.
If the print you plan to purchase is already framed, determine whether the print has been framed with acid-free matting. Newer prints especially should be mounted with acid-free matting to properly preserve them and protect them from damage. If you encounter a piece with browning, decomposing matting, and the print itself is valuable, it might be worth getting the print remounted so long as doing so doesn’t lower the value of the piece.
Collecting and Displaying
Collecting artwork is now and likely will continue to be an active industry. People all over the globe appreciate art and because there is only ever one original of a piece, collecting valuable prints has become a trade of its own merit. Limited edition art that is well-kept and certified can be quite valuable to a mindful collector and displaying it can create just as much admiration and conversation as an original piece. A good piece of limited edition art is worth purchasing and displaying in your private collection, home, or business.