Pricing of Fine Art Prints

With unique pieces of art (drawings, paintings, mono-types & monoprints), pricing is always a delicate & subjective matter.  Size matters, but so does the response of the viewer regarding the perceived artistic merit and personal appeal of the work.  Moreover, price is often naturally affected by the old standard of whatever the market will bear, so that economic conditions and public response to a particular artist have great weight.

However, in the world of multiples (fine art print editions), there are several additional factors that combine to determine the value of a print:

Size

Larger prints tend to be priced higher than smaller prints by the same artist.  The plate (often made of costly copper or zinc) is much larger, more ink & paper are needed to print the edition, inking & wiping a large plate takes much longer, and the matted & framed artwork itself occupies a grander space when displayed.

Technical Complexity

In a body of work by the same artist, a more technically complex print, or one of exceptional sophistication, will tend to be priced higher than the others.

Edition Size

In a body of work by the same artist, a print from a small edition (say, 5 to 30) will usually have a higher value than a similarly sized print from a larger edition (50-100).

Rarity

When an edition has achieved good commercial success, the value of the remaining unsold prints from that edition naturally increases, until the very last print sold is usually the most expensive of all from the edition.  Thus, print prices do gradually change, and it often happens that a small, rarer print from a very popular edition can be priced much higher than a larger print from a less popular edition by the same artist.

Presentation

The prints from these editions are sold “loose”: unmatted in a protective sleeve, so that collectors can keep them unframed or can take them to their framer for individual attention.  However, for an additional price, these prints can be purchased with an archival matting and backing, so that the client can have them framed later.  I use only the finest museum quality materials in sleeving, matting, and shipping these works.

A special word about the notation of print size:  The print plate determines the size of the image, but the print sheet itself is obviously much larger, especially because I allow for a generous border on the etching paper that I use for each print.  Appreciation of the paper itself is a great part of the aesthetic of printmaking, and I would suggest that my clients find a framer who will preserve this generous border space so that the print can be enjoyed in all of its richness.

If you have questions about buying any of these works, you can contact Julia at:

 julia@quailrunstudio.net