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Fine Art/Artist proof lithograph

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I have an artist proof lithograph called "winters Rush" by Dan Siculan. Its a great piece I got at a local auction and was in its original frame.  The back of the frame had a note from Dan as he was giving the piece to a friend to take to Korea with him/her.  Although I had the piece re-framed, old mats etc not acid free, I did save the back board with the letter attached. I contacted the artist also to let him know where it currently resided and how much we enjoy it.  My questions is what is the difference in an artist proof and others.  This has an original "artist proof and signature" written on the bottom.  Is there any variance in value as opposed to signed numbered reproductions. I did see another artist proof of the same piece offered on line but don't have any details on authenticity.

Answer
Hello Cheryl,

Though I am not familiar with this artist, perhaps I can shed some light on artist proofs.

Proofs are impressions of a print taken during the printmaking process. They are used to evaluate the current state of a plate, stone, etc. while it is still being worked on by the artist.  The artist will pull proofs to evaluate issues such as color and line and then alter the plate, stone, etc. accordingly until the print is perfected to the artistís standards.

After perfecting the print, the artist will often set aside a number of ďartistís proofs.Ē  Though technically considered proofs, the quality of these prints is the same as those from the regular edition.  Artistís proofs are not included in the regular edition but are still of the same high quality; they are exactly the same as works from the regular edition, but are not numbered or noted as works from the regular edition.

Instead, artists will often designate artistís proofs with the initials ĎA.P.í for ĎArtistís Proofí or ĎH.C.í for ĎHors díCommerce.í The amount of artistís proofs pulled varies, but the number is usually relatively small in comparison with the regular edition.  Oftentimes, artists will pull more prints than the edition calls for to allow room for error. For example, if the edition is supposed to be 75, the artist may pull 100 prints with the knowledge that he or she will have to discard a few prints due to flaws that can occur during the printmaking process.  He or she may pull 100 prints but throw away 10 that turned out flawed.  Once he or she has taken the 75 for the edition, 15 prints would remain that are exactly the same as the others.  These 15 would then become the artistís proofs.

The value and collectability of an artistís proof and a work from the regular edition are generally the same.  In todayís market, artistís proofs sell for the same price as prints from the regular edition.  Some collectors prefer artistís proofs while others prefer works from a regular edition, but this is essentially based on personal preference.  Those who prefer artistís proofs often argue that these proofs are special because they were likely in the artistís possession at some point and may have been used as examples of the print presented to friends or associates of the artist (as is the case with your work).

It is important to note that exceptions to the general nature of artistís proofs do exist.  For instance, Andy Warhol created many proofs for his original screenprints, often annotating them as AP (Artistís proofs), EP (Exhibition proofs), HC (Hors Commerce), PP (printerís proofs), or TP (Trial Proofs).  In the case of trial proofs, he pulled prints during the printmaking process of an edition that reflected unique color or compositional changes, essentially making each TP a unique print.  As unique works, these prints are extremely valuable and in no way identical to the prints from the regular edition.

Hope this helps!

Andrew Evans

Fine Art

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Andrew Evans

Expertise

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.

Experience

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

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Sonoma State University

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