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Limited Edition Prints: Quick Links
Are Limited Edition Prints Valuable?
A high-resolution signed limited edition print that you find on sites such as Minted and Saatchi Art is worth a lot more than art prints that are printed without limitations, like at Society6 and Redbubble.
Also, the smaller the editions, the more value the prints will have. For example, a limited edition of 50 will be more valuable than a limited edition of 100.
Limited edition prints usually keep or increase their value over time.
Here’s a list of some qualities that make art worth more money:
- Artist: An artist’s popularity, backstory, and death will greatly influence the cost of a limited edition.
- Materials: Generally speaking, limited edition prints that use archival materials (inks, canvas, paper) have a higher value than those using lower-quality materials.
- Condition: A limited edition print’s physical condition is an important factor. Tears/rips, water damage, fading, dirt, discoloration, and frame damage can all decrease the value of a limited edition print.
- Authenticity: An original limited edition print that is created directly and personally by a particular artist, like a lithograph, serigraph, or etching, is worth more than a copy (print) made by a mechanical printer or an imitation.
- Provenance: A record of who the limited edition print belonged to can also be used as a guide to authenticity and quality. If a limited edition print was once owned by a famous collector or came from an esteemed art gallery, the value of the print will greatly increase.
- Historical Significance: First, the value of a limited edition print will increase if it had any importance to art history in its genre (category). But world history also affects the value of the artwork since it’s often a reflection of cultural, political, economical, social, and military history.
- Auctions: Just the sudden feeling of excitement bidders can have at an auction, especially if the auctioneer is skilled at making an auction exhilarating, can raise the price of a limited edition print.
If you’re really serious about knowing if a certain limited edition print is valuable, find an art appraiser at a gallery, museum, or auction house (or just google “art appraiser near me“).
A certified art appraiser is trained to determine the authenticity and value of art, including limited editions. They’ll work with other art experts to compare pieces and to find similarities and differences that make the print unique.
They’ll also look at the condition of the print for any physical flaws.
If the limited edition print is authentic and in good condition, they’ll do an evaluation of the market. They’ll look at former sales by the same artist, works in the same genre, the climate of the market in general, and the current demand for the artist.
All of this will allow the appraiser to give you a professional opinion of what the limited edition print is worth.
Are Signed Prints Worth Anything?
If you’re a fan of a certain artist, it’s just exciting to own a signed piece of art.
But hand-signed prints, especially if they’re limited edition or handmade, are typically worth more than an unsigned print. This is because it helps with the authenticity of the print.
Usually, the value of a signed print is 2 or more times than the value of an unsigned print.
It doesn’t matter where the signature is located. It can be in any corner, on the front or back, or on a Certificate of Authenticity.
What Is a Good Number for Limited Edition Prints?
The less prints are in a limited edition, the more value the prints will have.
There isn’t a set rule on how many prints there should be in a limited edition. However, most emerging artists tend to choose a number between 100 and 500 (like the ones you see on the popular limited edition site, Minted).
However, if I’m buying a limited edition print as an investment, I tend to stick to editions with less than 100 prints (like the ones you often see on the famous online art gallery, Saatchi Art).
Which Is More Valuable, Artist Proof or Limited Edition?
Generally, limited edition prints are signed and numbered. But you might also see the following abbreviations AP, A/P, A.P., E/P, E.P., or something similar.
AP stands for Artist’s Proof.
Today, many artists, printers, or publishers print 10-15% of the original edition with the intention of having the artist as the owner. This 10-15% is called the Artist’s Proofs edition. Traditionally, artists kept these proofs for their personal collections.
The number sequence of the Artist’s Proofs edition is also different from the limited edition, as the number is led by AP (or an equivalent abbreviation).
Considering that the AP edition prints are rare, they’re usually sold at a slightly higher price than the limited edition prints. Artist’s Proofs are also highly valuable if they are unique in some way, like a written note from the artist on the back of the print.
So now that you know that limited edition prints are valuable, go ahead and buy art (my two favorite spots for limited edition art are Minted and Saatchi Art), support independent artists, and HAVE FUN shopping!