Cornwater Fine Art Gallery - Specialist dealers to the trade and retail in original paintings and signed prints by L.S. Lowry, David Shepherd and Russell Flint.

Engaging Thoughts On Determining The Value Of A Limited Edition Print

On the face of it, the expression signed limited edition prints seems to be fairly straightforward and clear cut. Even if you are a newcomer to the world of art as an investment you should be fairly clear about what you're purchasing if you opt to go down this road. However, it may not be quite as apparent, as there are a large variety of different printing methods and processes and you need to be able to understand exactly how the product you are buying has been conceived and produced before you consider adding it to your portfolio.

There are a number of different processes such as collagraphs and wood cuttings used to actually reproduce limited-edition prints from an image that the artist originally created. Remember that this can be quite an automated process on the one hand, or can involve quite a lot of input from the original artist on the other. It's often viewed as being much more authentic if the artists themselves have been involved in the process of reproduction.

Remember that the value of your work as an investment in the longer term is very likely to be determined by the actual "run." In other words, how many editions are in your limited-edition and remember also that the original plates must be disassembled or destroyed, so that no more prints can be run off at a future date as this would definitely reduce the value of your print and cancel its claim as a limited edition, after all.

Another example of authenticity will of course be the signature. This is normally attached to the right and underneath the print by the artist in pencil, together with a number signifying its position in the limited-edition run. You should also have a separate certificate of authenticity, together with a mark which basically identifies the publisher of the work, if not directly the artist him or herself.

The limited-edition print market is quite extensive and can represent a minefield if you're not careful. It's always good to do your research before considering what particular piece of art you are going to purchase and be aware how the fine art market works as an investment machine itself. You'll probably be pleased to learn that this market has been shown to stand up very well when compared to other investment vehicles such as the stock market, but also understand that it's not for the short term.

Some people are choosing to invest in fine art by working through a separate investment broker who will in turn put money towards the accumulated value of a particular collection somewhere else. Of course, whilst this is all well and good, you don't have the advantage of admiring the particular work of art on the wall of your home in these situations and there's a lot to be said for a hands-on approach to your collection. The more you are involved as well, the more you will find that you start to develop a good knowledge of the business and an eye for what might be an especially good option.

David Tatham, fine picture dealer for more than quarter of a century, has an extensive knowledge of Lowry's biography. Signed, prints and drawings can be seen and purchased from the website.

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