Fine Art/Rembrandt


QUESTION: Purchased at auction Academie dun Homme Assis a Terre, certified by Nathan Daniel Isen. reverse side states "Limited Edition of 100 on Holland Paper.  Front of etch has No. 160 on it!  Does this make any sense to you?  Would you have a value to put on this?

Thank you!

ANSWER: Dear Cindy,

Thank you for writing to the Art Appraisal Firm about your Rembrandt etching.  Without inspecting the work personally it would be very difficult to place a value on your work, or to ascertain the originality.  

You should know that the market is flooded with Rembrandt etchings that are very late editions and have little value.  Many of these have certificates of authenticity that have been generated by the seller and contain misleading information.

I agree with you that the numbering you describe does not make any sense if the number on the front refers to the edition.  However, there are some Rembrandt etchings that contain dates in the image itself (as opposed to in the margins, where edition numbers generally appear) Is the "160" you refer to in the image itself, or outside the margin?  If it is in the image, it is possible you are seeing the first three numbers of the work date.  Many Rembrandt etchings are dated in the early 1600's.  Perhaps the last number in your example is too faint to read? This is a long shot but the only explanation that would make sense.

It is most common for limited editions to have numbers outside the image in the lower margin that are expressed in a fraction. The lower number references how many copies are in the edition and the top number refers to the order in which the prints are produced.  100/160 would mean that there are 160 copies in the edition, this copy produced 100th in line.  

I hope this information is helpful.

Cindy Charleston Rosenberg, ISA CAPP

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for responding.  The number is stated as "No 160"  The "o" is smaller in size than the "N".  It is written in an old fashioned manner, this way.  It is dark and clearly there was not an add'l 0 to make 1600.  Good thought!   It is below the artwork, bottom left directly under the print, outside the margins.  Authenticity is by Nathan Daniel Isen, Phili, Pa.  Is he known to you to be legitimate?

THank you again!

I'm sorry I don't know the dealer and cannot comment on his reputation.  I can tell you that late Rembrandt restrikes are flooding the market, and that I am very familiar with these works.  From the information you have provided, it is likely yours is not an early etching.  It's discouraging to see these works marketed as Rembrandt etchings.  Technically, the information provided may be correct but it is often misleading.  I hope you enjoy the work and that you didn't pay too much for it!


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Cindy Charleston-Rosenberg


Our firm provides professional written Art Appraisal Services for formal functions such as donation, estate tax estimation, or insurance. Within the parameters of this site we are happy to answer general questions about art. Examples of such questions would be: "What does the "e.a." on my print mean?", "What does a fraction on the bottom of the image stand for (example 10/200)", or "How do I know if a certificate of authenticy is reliable". However, we regret that we are not able to provide the value of specific works without engagement. Clients who would like to engage us to advise them about the value of specific works of art are invited to visit our website at The "fees" link provides specific directions for how to obtain an informal evaluation, or a formal written report, depending on your specific needs. We are an independent art appraisal company and therefore we also cannot help clients who are looking for a dealer or broker to sell their artwork.


President and Founder: Art Appraisal Firm, LLC Founding Partner and Fine Art Consultant: The Appraisal Firm of Pennsylvania Art Appraisal Consultant to: Museums, Attorneys, Financial Planners, Trust Companies, Historical Societies, Prominent Auction Houses, and Galleries. Contributing Feature Writer for Art Matters magazine, covering fine art, auctions, and antiques. Featured Guest Speaker: Building a Fine Art Collection, Ten Elements in the Appraisal of Fine Art. Proprietor: The Charleston Galleries located in Chestnut Hill, Malvern and Wayne, Pennsylvania; and Lambertville, New Jersey. Specializing in estate paintings and sculpture, 1991-2001

Certified Member in good standing: International Society of Appraisers (ISA). Business Partner Sponsor: Philadelphia Museum of Art; Woodmere Art Museum. General Memberships: The James A. Michener Art Museum, Doylestown and New Hope; The Philadelphia Sketch Club; The Chestnut Hill and Cheltenham Historical Societies; Glenside Chamber of Commerce. Volunteer Activities: Group Facilitator, Safe Harbor Children’s Bereavement Program, Interfaith Houses for Humanity Project.

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B.A., Human Services, Antioch College, 1979 Graduate Studio Courses: Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1989-1991 Graduate Studio Courses: University of the Arts, 1989-91 Continuing Education: Appraisal Theory Changes and IRS Standards Changes: ISA, 2007 New IRS Tax Laws: ISA, 2007 Connoisseurship Seminar: ISA, 2007 Art History in Context: The Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2006 Philadelphia Library Symposium, Art and Religion, 2005 Art History Courses: The Impressionists of New Hope: The James A. Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, PA. 2005 Masterpieces in Context: The Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2004 American Indian Painting, ISA, 2001 Art Conservation Panel, ISA, 2001 Appraisal of Prints, ISA, 2001

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Completion of the experience, continuing education, peer review, report writing, and qualifying examination requirements for the ISA Certification to Appraise Fine Art (CAPP) designation under the auspices of the University of Maryland. The CAPP (Certified Member) distinction is the highest level of recognition ISA can bestow. Certified ISA members must recertify every five years by demonstrating continued professional development in their specialty areas and must pass a recertification exam. Successful completion of coursework and required examination in the ISA Appraiser as Expert Witness Course.

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