What to Know When Buying Limited Editions

What to Know When Buying Limited Editions

Amanda King
4 minute read

 

I often get emails from clients each week asking me when I am going to bring back Luther, Caesar, Maximus, plus many more.  These prints were limited editions and limited to 40 copies, so this means I am unable to bring these prints back to sell again. I cannot change the edition number  (sadly) just to create more sales. (Although the amount of people who have asked to purchase these prints since selling out, I wish I could!) It is also important to know, that the price of a limited edition print may increase as it gets closer to the end of the edition number. 

Once they are sold out, they are sold out!
When you discover a print or photograph that you want to buy, the next step is to look at the artwork’s edition information. Some prints are marked as "Unlimited" or "Open" editions prints and some are marked as Limited editions. If it is an "Unlimited" edition, this means that it will never run or sell out, unless the artist such as myself decides to stop selling this particular print.  
Unlimited Edition print - Deer On The Horizon
If the print is a limited edition print, this is a different story as there are only a limited amount of copies that can be sold. Here is some more information to help you understand the meaning and value of a limited edition print.
On each product page of my limited edition prints, you will see the information relating to that limited edition print. Here you will find how many editions of this will be sold. For example, the "Luther" print, there were only 40 editions sold. My "Maverick" print I also set the number to forty. Some artists set theirs at 100 or even 120 copies. I am participating in an exhibition coming up in Auckland in December where I will be selling a one-off 1 out of 1 edition.
To distinguish between individual artworks in an edition, artists will label each piece with a distinct number—and you will often find this number published alongside the total edition size (e.g. 1/40 or 40/40). I will usually write the edition number on the bottom left-hand corner of the photograph. 
Once an edition number is set by the artist, they cannot (or should not) go back on their word, which is bad enough for the artists' reputation on its own – it lowers the value of the pieces they have already sold. 
Limited Edition - Zeus
Pro tip: When I sell limited edition artworks for the first time, I often sell them in number order. If there is a lot of demand for the edition, or it is selling quickly, I may choose to raise the price of the remaining unsold works. In these cases, the print numbered 40/40 will be more expensive than the print numbered 1/40—simply because it was the last to be sold and in high demand. 
Smaller Editions Are More Valuable
When edition sizes are small, the individual artworks in the edition become rarer—and this scarcity makes these pieces more desirable in the market. For example, a print from an edition of 40 will be more valuable than a similar work from an edition of 100.
Proofs Add to the Edition Size
Most limited editions will also include a small number of artist’s proofs, which are often listed as “AP” or “A/P” in the edition information. I have some artist proofs available on limited edition prints that have sold out. (Please get in contact for more information)
Traditionally, artists kept these proofs for their personal collections—and artworks that belonged to the artists themselves will be more valuable in today’s market. I have not sold any of my artist proof's yet.  Proofs are also highly desirable if they are in some way unique, such as those that feature notes from the artist.
Recent Work
"The Distinguished Gentleman" limited to forty editions only. 
So remember, if there is a limited edition print that you are interested in, don't leave it too long to purchase it as it may sell out. Once it sells out, it will not be available again, or if it is selling out, the price may increase. Afterpay is Available on all orders. Free Shipping Worldwide on orders over $700NZ!
 
 

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