Do you know the difference between an original print and a limited-edition print? Some would contend that they are one and the same as far as originality goes, but you can certainly purchase a limited-edition print which is not an original work of art. An original print, therefore, is basically created by hand from a stencil or plate that has been hand created by the artist in order to produce the finished result. You will see that the artist signed the original in pencil as a fraction number, to indicate it's part of the total edition. In other words, it could be 24/100, which means that the print itself is 24th in an edition of 100. In these situations the artist is very much hands on when it comes to this entire process and he or she will often experiment before being happy with the plates used to generate the finished product. The final printer's proof is also called a BAT.
Note that the limited-edition print may not be the work of, directly, the artisan as outlined above. It could be a simple reproduction of a painting or drawing and even though it may be signed once more by the artist, it might not be the direct work, per se, of the person.
Today, with our advanced levels of technology it's perfectly possible to produce digital files of an image stored on a computer in a process known as Giclee's. Other transfer methods are tending to blur the line between what can be classified as an original print and a reproduction. Purists argument on both sides of the equation and it's true to say that when you buy signed limited edition prints as a fine art investment you should have a fairly clear idea of how that product has been produced in the first place. This will give you a clear indication of its value and how it may help you to boost the ultimate value of your portfolio as time goes by.
Whenever considering the diversity of your largest investments it's well worth your while looking at fine art as a part of this. Many studies have shown that art collections can help you to get a 10% compound return over a length period of time, which is as good or better than many of the major stock market indices. In fact, with the stock market being as volatile as it is right now many experts consider that you should shift some of your investments into other areas that may be somewhat less susceptible to current, political and economic machinations.
Whilst no one can predict the future of course and there is always a certain element of risk whatever you plan for your economic future, people who diversify into art in this way often say that they have more hidden and hands-on approach and therefore feel as if they are in some way contributing more to their potential gains. Somehow or other the events of recent years should make us all feel that we bought to be more “in control!”