When is a print valuable?

This I find to be an interesting question. Original art has always demanded a higher price than printed art. I believe the main reason is this is true is due to quantity. By the meaning of the word ORIGINAL. An original is a “one of a kind” the only one to be made. Printing was invented to reproduce work more accurately and to make multiple copy’s of the work faster and there for cheaper.

This is not to say that prints are not valuable though.

As an example recently Christies sold a HENRI MATISSE, lithograph (Repos sur la Banquette1929, on Arches paper, signed in pencil, numbered 9/50) for $25,000


This is a lovely example of Matisse work and shows he is an excellent print maker.
Several things that need to noted about this work.
It has his original signature, It is numbered, He only made a small quantity. (This one is the 9th out of 50 total)

On the other had Christies also sold an original of his work last year.
The work was in crayon and on paper it was not signed by his had but stamped with his monogram. It also should be noted it had an impeccable provenance. I personally don’t think its his finest work but as you can see from the price, A one of a kind is worth more than a one of fifty.

Untitled 1

Tête, cheveux boucles
Stamped with initials ‘HM.’ (lower right) black Conté crayon on paper

When I am out hunting for Antiques I am always very skeptical of printed works. I know that there are lots of fakes out there and it is so hard to tell, even for an expert.  I try to always remember this simple rule.

“If it is to good to be true, then it probably is.”
Also I take into consideration the cost. Like buying a lottery ticket. If the print is $5 at a thrift store, I may take that gamble.

At Sarasota Antiques we offer free appraising service. So if you have items you are selling or looking at buying, give me a call. I am always happy to help.

Happy hunting.

Sarasota Antiques

Robert  (941) 809-2388

If you have something interesting to add to this post or one of my others please send me an Email.