As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. I may also earn a commission when you buy through other links on my site. Learn more.
Signed Lithographs: Quick Links
Are Signed Lithographs Valuable?
If you’re a fan of a certain artist, it’s exciting to own a signed lithographs.
Signed lithographs are typically worth more than an unsigned print. This is because it helps with the authenticity of the print. And 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.
A lithograph signed in pencil is usually more desirable than a plate signed lithograph, but both add to the authenticity of the print.
Usually, the value of a signed print is 2 or more times than the value of an unsigned print. But since artists from the 1300s to the 1900s did not sign their art in pencil, the lack of a pencil signature has no influence on the value.
Are Lithographs a Good Investment?
Lithographs usually keep or increase their value over time.
Here’s a list of some qualities that make lithographs 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.
Just like any other kind of investment, there are no guarantees when it comes to investing in art.
When you’re buying art, you really need to love what you’re buying. Don’t just think about the artwork as an investment. It’s a bonus if you can have an emotional connection to the artwork.
How Do You Know if a Certain Lithograph Is Valuable?
If you’re really serious about knowing if a certain lithograph 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 lithographs. They work with other art experts to compare lithographs and to find similarities and differences that make the lithograph unique.
They’ll also look at the condition of the lithograph for any physical flaws.
If the lithograph 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 lithograph is worth.
So now that you know if lithographs are valuable, go ahead and buy lithographs (my two favorite spots for finding affordable lithographs are Etsy and Saatchi Art), support independent artists, and HAVE FUN shopping!