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By: David Tatham
Are you aware of the difference between an original print and a limited-edition print? A few might say that they are one and the same as far as originality goes, however you can certainly buy a limited-edition print which is not an original work of art. An original print, therefore, is essentially created by hand from a stencil or plate that has been hand produced by the artist to be able to generate the finished result. You will notice that the artist signed the original in pencil as a fraction number, to indicate it is a part of the total edition. In other words, it may be 24/100, which means that the print itself is twenty fourth within the edition of a hundred. In these situations the artist is quite definitely hands on in terms of this whole process and he or she will frequently experiment before being pleased with the plates used to create the final product. The final printer's proof is also referred to as a BAT.

Remember that the limited-edition print may not be the effort of, directly, the artisan as defined above. It could be a straightforward reproduction of a painting or drawing and even though it might be signed once again by the artist, it might not be the direct work, per se, of the person.

Nowadays, with our advanced levels of technological innovation it is quite possible to produce digital files of the image kept on a computer in the method referred to as Giclee's. Other transfer techniques are tending to blur the line between what could be classified as an original print and a reproduction. Purists argue on both sides of the equation and it's really correct to claim that when you buy signed limited edition prints as a fine art investment you should have a relatively clear idea of how that product has been manufactured in the beginning. This may give you a very clear sign of its value and just how it might help you to boost the ultimate importance of your collection as time goes by.

Anytime thinking of diversification of your biggest investments it is really worth your while looking at fine art as part of this. Numerous studies show that art collections can help you to obtain a 10% compounded return over a prolonged period of time, that is as good or superior to lots of the major stock exchange indices. In reality, with the stock exchange being as unstable as it is at this time a lot of experts consider that you should shift a few of your investment funds into other areas that could be somewhat less susceptible to current, political and economical machinations.

Whilst no one can foresee the future of course and there's always a certain element of risk no matter what you plan for your economic future, people who diversify into art in this manner often claim that they feel they may have a far more involved and hands-on approach and consequently feel like they're in some way contributing more to their likely gains. Somehow or other the events of recent years ought to make us all consider that we need to be more "in control!"


David Tatham, fine art dealer for more than quarter of a century, has a detailed knowledge of Sir William Russell Flint's life and work. Signed, prints and paintings can be viewed and bought from the website.
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