A Limited Edition Print is an artwork that has been produced a number of times but to a limited number of say, 25 or 100. The works will be given a number – generally speaking as the works sell the price goes up, so the first print in an Edition – 1/100 – will be lower in price than 100/ 100.
Limited Edition Prints are NOT reproductions. A reproduction is a copy of an existing work, whereas an Edition Print has been produced specifically as an artwork. Each Print will be signed and numbered by the artist and usually with a Certificate of Authenticity.
The lower the number of works in an Edition– say 10 or 20, the more valuable the work. If an artist has produced an Edition of 500, it means there are more works in existence and that should be reflected in the price.
When creating the Edition Print an artist will produce a number of test Proofs – these can also be available for sale and are often higher in value as they’re seen as the artist’s own copies and sold last. They’re often marked as A/P to indicate they are an Artist’s Proof.
Due to the Limited nature of an Edition the original production plate is destroyed so no further prints can be made.
An Open Edition is an unlimited print that can be produced infinite times.
Edition Prints can be made in multiple forms – Giclee, Etching, Screen print, Lithograph, Wood cut, Linocut – and more. It’s down to the artist to decide what type of print they want to produce. Some require more technical skill than others and this is reflected in the pricing. There are Publishers and Studios who work with artists to help them produce specialist prints, whilst some artists will own their own equipment to produce prints in their studio.
In short Limited Edition Prints are a great way to start collecting art. They’re often lower in value than buying a painting. Artists quite often produce a Limited Edition print to accompany a new museum exhibition – check out this post for more information on buying museum prints.