Frequently Asked Questions
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A fine art print is a published (printed) reproduction of an original piece of artwork. What makes this printed reproduction a limited edition is that there is only finite number of copies in existence. After an image is reproduced, the artist will often inspect each print for color and image quality , rejecting and destroying those pieces that do not meet their standard of quality. The remaining pieces that pass the artist’s test of quality are counted, signed in pencil by the artist (a pencil is used to authenticate the printed edition . Pencil lead cannot be reproduced accurately by any known reproduction process.), then numbered consecutively to permanently “secure” the edition size and track it’s value. In addition, the original printing plates are often destroyed when the edition is “signed off” by the artist. The numbering system will often look something like this: 8/800 – signifying that this particular print is number 8 of 800 total prints in the edition. If the particular print is an artist’s proof it will have the letters AP in front of the number such as AP 5/50 – again signifying that this particular artist’s proof is number 5 in the artist’s proof edition of 50 total artist’s proofs.
Artist’s proof are traditionally an agreed amount of prints that are given to the artist by the publisher after the edition has been printed. It was originally seen as partial payment to the artist for the right to reproduce the artist’s image and a gesture of respect for the artist’s skill and labors in creating the original piece. The number of prints usually range between 5-15% of the edition size. Artist’s proofs are numbered separately from the standard issue prints and become a “sub edition” of the standard issued prints. This is usually why an artist’s proof is considered more valuable than the standard edition. Coming from the artist’s personal stock and being a smaller size edition (fewer in number), make these prints a prized commodity. The artist will often hold on to his or her proofs for later sale to the public or save them in trust for their children or chosen art endowment. John Fehringer usually holds on to his APs for partial release to the public when all standard issued prints are sold out at the publisher. If you are interested in finding how to acquire one of John’s artist’s proof of a particular sold out edition, please contact us. For more information on Artist’s Proofs click here.
Yes, they often do. When the edition is sold out at the publisher, which simply means that their stock of a particular print is no longer available, the print often goes up in value as the demand of the market for the print continues. The current value will always depend on current market demand. Many collectors will buy 2 or more prints of an edition as an investment to sell or trade on the secondary market later.
The secondary market is a term used to describe the buying and trading of limited edition prints, after the edition has sold out at the publisher, for a value often higher than the original issue price. Even after a limited edition print is sold out at the publisher it is “technically” still available – usually from a source other than the publisher. On the secondary market a print is said to have a “current market value” (CMV), a value that reflects the current market’s demand for this particular image. Contacting the gallery or dealer where the print was originally purchased is often one way to find out the current market value. Looking in the classified section of a major city newspaper, in the art section, is another. John Fehringer Studios publishes a list of all available and sold out edition prints by John Fehringer along with their current market value. Click here to view that list. If you are interested in finding how to acquire a particular sold out print contact the gallery, contact us here.