Limited Edition PrintsLimited Edition Prints

Limited Edition Prints

Fine art prints for sale. Discover signed limited editions.

What are limited edition prints?

Whether for starting to buy art or for diversifying a collection, limited edition prints (also called fine art prints) are a great way to acquire original and important art at an affordable price. A print is a work of art made in multiple identical impressions, created through a transfer process. There are many different printing techniques, but the four most widely known types of prints are woodcut, etching, lithography and screenprint. Whilst fine art prints are mostly artworks on paper, they can also be printed on fabric, metal, wood or other materials. If the number of prints from a single plate of printing surface is restriced to a specified number, they are considered limited edition prints. The edition size can either be dictated by the technique or be restricted and defined by the artist and printmaker. In either case the printing surface is typically destroyed after the printing process has been completed.

Although differing from unique artworks, limited edition prints are nonetheless regarded as an art form in its own right, clearly distinguishing themselves from reproductions. Artists make fine art prints for a variety of reasons. Some are interested in specific technical possibilities, or are drawn to a print’s potential to document each stage of a creative process. Others produce prints to make their art more accessible to a wider audience, or to provide financial support to cultural institutions.

“Among the many sectors of the art market, limited edition prints may be especially well suited to being presented, appreciated, and acquired online. The artworks, broadly speaking, are two-dimensional and translate well on-screen. Prices also tend to be more affordable—six-digit Dürers notwithstanding—and, for the housebound and data-obsessed collector, there’s plenty of research available for perusal.” – Benjamin Sutton, Artsy, Mai 22, 2020

Limited Edition Prints
Sol LeWitt, Isometric Figures

Guide to buying limited edition prints

When you’re drawn to a print and considering a purchase, delving into the artwork’s edition information is crucial. These details not only help gauge the long-term value of the limited edition print but also provide insights into the artist’s market presence. You can typically find this information in our artworks’ description, and for additional context, it is worthwhile viewing an artist’s catalogue raisonée (a comprehensive, annotated listing of all the known artworks by an artist).

The edition size is fixed

Limited edition prints enable artists to create multiple versions of their artwork. While these pieces are not unique, they are original artworks and hold significant importance to the artist, akin to singular creations. In limited editions, the artist caps the number of prints made, preserving each artwork’s value over time. To ensure no further copies can be added, the physical means of production, such as printing plates, are often destroyed. Helpful: Verify that the print is from the first edition, as this can affect value. Later editions or those made posthumously can be less valued due to their divergence from the artist’s original vision.

All prints are identical

Each print within a limited edition should be identical. If a work stands out as different, it may not belong to the standard edition. Artists number each piece in an edition, and while many assume this numbering reflects the order of printing, it is generally random, occurring as the artist signs and dates the prints. Hence, the numerical sequence, such as 1/50 or 50/50, typically does not impact the resale value. Interesting: Sometimes prints are priced differently within the same edition based on demand, with later numbers costing more due to their scarcity as the edition sells out.

Limited Edition Prints
David Shrigley, Talk to the Hand

Value depends on edition size

Smaller limited editions tend to enhance the rarity—and thereby the value—of each print within them. For instance, a print by Georg Baselitz in an edition of 12 is likely more valuable than one from an edition of 100. The edition size can vary greatly, influenced by the artist’s technique and the artwork’s demand. Techniques that wear out, like certain types of printmaking, usually result in smaller editions, while more durable methods may allow for larger editions.

Proofs affect edition sizes

Limited edition prints often include a small number of artist’s proofs, denoted as “AP” or “A/P” in the edition details. These are aside from standard proofs like RTP or BAT (used as guides during production) or printer’s proofs. Traditionally reserved for personal use by artists, these proofs can be more valuable, particularly if they include unique features or artist’s annotations. Typically, artist’s proofs do not exceed 10% of the total edition size.

Limited Edition Prints
Carmen Herrera, Untitled (NRW)

Buy Art Online

Buy limited edition prints online. Catering art collectors from around the globe, MLTPL focusses on the specific needs of online buyers: transparent pricing, accurate condition reports, professional packaging and quick shipping.

Worldwide Shipping

MLTPL ships worldwide. We focus on professional packaging and fully traceable shipping. Where possible, we ship our limited edition prints flat between fiberboards and two layers of solid cardboard. We aim to dispatch in under 5 days.

Art Insurance

All shipped limited edition prints are covered by our door-to-door transport insurance. In the unlikely event of physical damage or loss, the artwork will therefore be fully insured.

Accurate Description

When buying limited edition prints online, the artwork’s condition and its truthful description are key. We follow a rigorous standard when selecting new artworks for our collector base, whilst providing accurate condition reports and high-resolution images.

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