Appraisals of Prints, Etchings, and Lithographs
No area of art collecting is as bewildering as prints. There seems to be dozens of types: Drypoint etchings, stone lithographs, linocuts, pochoirs, giclees, serigraphs, engravings and woodcuts to name a few.
The giclee is the most recent invention and the most difficult to authenticate. There are even techniques like photogravures that were previously of little value and now the hottest collectable.
Up until last year, an artist had to personally make the plate for the print to have value. If it was done by another person no one wanted it. Today, this has reversed itself. The prints done by others “after” an original work by the artist bring more money than artist created ones. Modern collectors are more interested in the look of a piece rather than it’s technicalities. Trash turns into treasure!
Prints by world-renowned artists were traditionally classified into “life” impressions (one pulled by them in their lifetime) and “posthumous” editions, where others used the original plate to make prints after the artist’s death. There can even be many posthumous editions like with Rembrandt, each bringing a different value.
As the “life” impressions has become almost non-existent on the market as museums purchase the few that remain, posthumous editions have jumped in value and turned out to be the better investment. Remember, it is easier for a $1,000 print to become worth $5,000, than a $50,000 print to sell for $250,000. There are just fewer collectors in this high range. Again, today’s collectors are not in to technicalities as previous generations.
The difference between a “life” impression and posthumous “restrike” print can often come down to the watermark on the paper. An authentic print and a forgery can be only a few millimeters difference in size. Our extensive library, accumulated over 40 years, has all these references on watermarks, sizes and detailed technical information even some of the best museums lack.
Any appraiser can tell you if a Renoir is real or not, but can they tell you if it is a life time impression and where to sell it? We can!
Many art experts can tell you if a print is pulled from the original plate, but can they tell you if you really have an original unsigned impression with a forged signature or a later complimentary authentic autograph? We can!
Consult the foremost experts when it comes to everything from an old Currier and Ives to a rare artist proof Picasso linocut poster.
We’re not the country’s best print appraisers because we’re the oldest. We’re the oldest print appraisers because we’re the best.
Minimum fee is $125.00 per print. Some research can be higher, group rates are available.