What are Limited Editions? Understanding Your Print and the Value of its Edition

What are Limited Editions? Understanding Your Print and the Value of its Edition

  • By chaudhari.harsha
  • |

Limited edition means that a fixed number of prints or impressions are produced, thus making the print more scarce, valuable, and collectible. A limited-edition refers to the number of prints that are available for that particular artwork. The number of prints in an edition is determined by the artist, printer, and when applicable, the publisher. A hand-printed print is an original work of art and is an image that does not exist in any other form. 

The print number of a limited edition is usually written in pencil in the bottom left-hand corner of the print. It is written with the number that that print is in the edition followed by a slash and then the number of the full edition. For example, 17/25 would be the seventeenth printout of an edition of twenty-five. It does not mean that the print has got 17 out of a total of 25 marks!

In a limited edition print you will get the numbered prints (1/25 to 25/25 for e.g)

Editions and Value

The value of a print is shaped by factors like quality, notoriety, and rarity. The collectability of a print, for example, will increase if the image is desirable, the artist is acclaimed, or the edition length is limited.

If a print run is small, then a print’s value is enhanced by its relative rarity. An artist may also raise the price of the edition impression incrementally as the edition sells and prints become scarcer. Hence, you may pay more for a later impression in an edition that comes directly from the artist.

How many editions?

Generally speaking, for contemporary art to steadily increase in value the size of the edition is best kept low, perhaps between 10 and 50 editions. 

Future Value

Limited edition prints retain and can often increase in value. Whether this is the case, however, depends on the artist. Our advice is and has always been, to collect art you love – and when or if it appreciates in value consider this an added bonus.

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