Limited Edition Art Prints - How to Value Them

How To Price Art Prints - What is My Art Worth?

     Art prints have got to be the most affordable piece of artwork you can purchase from an established or world renowned blue chip artist. This is exactly why they've become much more attractive over the years. We live in a fast paced world and many want investment exposure to the art world. But they're not looking to put down thousands of dollars for an oil canvas. Some art experts claim art prints hold minimum value because of there's multiples. I think they're just upset the attention from oil canvas's has decreased over the years. Limited art prints have given many novice buyers and investors a chance to dip into the art market. 

Limited-Edition-Art-Prints Grannies - by Banksy 


    One of the most essential aspects in valuing the artwork is identifying and confirming the artist of this work. A print created by Banksy may have a higher demand, and much greater worth, than a print made by other various established artist today. It all depends on who the artist is when it comes to evaluating any art prints.

    Where is the artist in his career, are they established and/or represented by a well known gallery? Is the artist a blue-chip artist (doesn't have to be). Has this artist had solo shows and if so where? Does their work sell at various auction houses online, doesn't have to be just Christies and Sotheby's (the most famous auction houses in NYC) or Hertiage Auctions. These are all questions and answers you must find out about, in order to assist you with the valuing the artist, resulting in also valuing the print by said artist. 

    For many well-known musicians, a catalogue raisonne provides the details about every print ever produced by the artist. Catalog raisonnes are excellent sources for contrasting and authenticating prints. Some of the details include paper measurements, paper type, signatures and stamps used, special editions created, and color-corrected images of this individual works to compare to your own.


    Some limited edition prints are more precious when they are hand-signed by the artist, but not all precious prints are all signed.

    When you're researching the print, you will want to listen to details, such as if other prints in the edition are in fact signed and in which the touch is located. Always consult the catalog raisonne when researching signatures.

    For instance, many artists will scratch their name or initials on the plate so that it is part of the printed picture. These are called'plate ' prints. On occasion you will need a magnifying glass to identify if the signatures are hand-signed or printed. Most artists signal the prints in the margin in pen or pencil.

    Here's a print by Roy Lichtenstein with his signature. A print by Lichtenstein can fitch approximately $300/1000. If his signature is on the print it adds a lot of value to the artwork, you're looking at a 2X price for the same print.

The Age of the Print 

    The printing date might also be crucial to determining the worth of the job. The age of a print can add value to it because it may the artwork may represent a certain time in history or the artist perhaps may not be alive, so more prints of this artist will never be made. Perhaps the resale value of this art print has only increased overtime and has gotten harder to acquire. 

    Do not presume that your print is worth more merely because it looks old. Do not be duped by mass-produced reproductions of older functions. Nice art printmaking is a deliberate creative process performed by the artist or under the artist's schooling, whereas a reproduction is a current copy of an older work printed with or without the artist's permission. 


Chicken Noodle Soup - Andy Warhol (1968) 

    Solid example here of a print that has gained quite a bit in value, not only because of who the artist was but the age of the print. Also, do consider some prints represent things more than just age. Perhaps a shift in the innovation of art or a certain era in the world. 

Size of the Print 

    Another big factor when evaluating the potential price for your limited art print, is the size of the print. A lot of various artwork is valued by the size after the artist and condition has been taken into place. Artists usually also tend to charge more for larger prints for obvious reasons, they're more expensive to create. Small sizes may vary, medium sizes are usually 18 x 24 inches and large prints are usually seen as anything above the standard medium size of 18 x 24 inches. 


World On Fire - by Cleon Peterson (size 18 x 24 inch) 

Release Price: $250 USD 

Current Value: $1000 USD 


World On Fire - by Cleon Peterson (size 36 x 48 inch) 

Release Price: $450 USD 
Current Value: $2000 USD 

     As you can see the larger print released for a higher price because of its higher cost to produce. Because of that, the larger print also fetches a higher resale price.


    This one is obvious, when it comes to any sort of collectable or artwork .. condition plays a huge role when valuing artwork or an item. Whether its basketball jersey signed by Michael Jordan, a vintage car, pokemon card or a Monet, Picasso or Warhol. The condition of your art print holds a critical role evaluating the value of them.

    Are the corners creased or damaged? Is the colour faded on the print? How clear is the artists signature (if there is one)? These are all questions you'll need to determine or an auction house will take into account when valuing your limited art print/s.

    Condition may be among the most crucial factors when establishing artwork print worth and frequently the tiniest details can make all of the difference concerning cost. A collector may expect a classic print to include some discolouration, but the smallest crease or miniature indentation can diminish the value of a current work.

Some condition problems are rather common and can be readily fixed, while others are more permanent. Frequent condition issues to Search for include the following:

  • Foxing: red brownish stains that arise when the newspaper is aging or subjected to moisture
  • Creasing: grooves from the surface, normally from bad handling or improper storage.
  • Buckling or warping: irregular paper coating, usually brought on by humidity.
  • Tears, rips & pockets: newspaper losses from improper maintenance or holes brought on by bugs.

This is why I cannot stress Artwork Storage enough, protect your investment! 

Edition - Types of Art Prints 

Open Edition 
    As soon as an artist sells open edition prints, there is no predetermined limit on the number of prints will be provided. This doesn't follow an artwork print will be accessible forever, so once you find art you enjoy, it is almost always a fantastic idea to focus on it. When an artist ends the sale of their open edition print run, this open edition becomes rare. Not limited, but rare because said artwork is no longer for sale from the artist. 

Limited Edition 

    Every print in a limited edition is numbered, usually in pencil at the bottom of the print. This number (that looks like a fraction) is called a print run number and it shows the print’s position in the edition. The print run number is vital for determining the value of a print. So you will see a number on the print like 95/150. This means that this is a limited edition print, number 95 of 150. The difference in value between a limited run print and an open edition print is drastic. At times 2/4x time the price, depending on how limited the print is of course. 

AP - Artist Proof 

    Artist's proof is a feeling of a print, taken during the printmaking process to reassess the state of a plate. Previously, artist's proofs have been the first prints pulled off a fresh plate but an artist's proof can be pulled out at any time throughout the print run. Artist's proofs are identical to normal edition prints, but unlike routine prints with fractions, these prints are often marked with A/P (or E.A). Artists usually keep artist's evidence for themselves so that they can borrow them to various institutions for display purposes when the rest of the edition is sold out. The amount of artist's proofs can fluctuate, but they shouldn't exceed 10% of the limited edition run.



Various sources we use for our research on Art: 


This is NOT Investing or Financial advice, we're sharing our opinions respectfully from a speculative point of view. 

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