You are here:

Fine Art/Print or poster


I have a posted that is framed. How do I find out if it is a print?
I am afraid to open the frame, incase, the print gets damaged.


Plate mark on the print
Plate mark on the prin  
Raj, in the world of art and printmaking, the word "print" can mean so many different things. Please be more specific as to what type of piece you are looking at. Here are some things to look for:

Lithographs and etchings (and similar printmaking techniques) are often called prints. They usually leave a plate mark around the perimeter of the image. It is the outline of where the paper was pressed against the stone, which thereby leaves a mirror image of the stone on the paper.

A reproduced poster worth nothing more than a few bucks is also called a print by some. BUT if the artist decided to make a limited quantity, he/she will most likely signify those works with his/her signature, a stamp or some other insignia to show that it is from the limited edition.

DO NOT open the frame just yet! You were wise to keep it in the frame. If it is an older work in archival framing, then it is basically air tight. Opening the frame allows oxygen and other elements to interact with the paper that has been sealed up for so long. This can cause yellowing of the work within a couple hours to a couple weeks. If it is an older work, I advise you to take it to a professional framer who is familiar with fine art.

This page will teach you more about original prints . A more brief explanation here . Feel free to send me follow-up questions as well.

Fine Art

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Andrew Evans


Experienced in selling, appraising and judging authenticity of signed original prints and unique works of fine art. Concentration on Picasso lithographs; Rembrandt etchings; Edgar Degas drawings; Calder lithographs; Miro; Durer woodcuts; Marc Chagall lithographs; Renoir etchings; Toulouse Lautrec lithographs; Vasarely; Warhol silk screens; Henry Moore sculptures.


Judging authenticity and avoiding fraud. Appraisal. Fine art investments.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Sonoma State University

©2017 All rights reserved.