Fine Art/George Innings Home of the Heron lithogragh
Recently purchased this at a local antique store. After carefully removing it from what appears to be the original frame and waved glass found a set of numbers on the back of the image. First there is another thick paper that appears to be glued of attached to it from just the top edge but covers entire back of original
Image. On that sheet is the pencil marks 2698 in the lower left edge and towards the lower edge, centered is 5-89, also penciled. Question is, what are these marks and do they indicate Original Print and series #, or something different?
The thick paper that appears to be glued is called foam core which is usually placed between the artwork and backing paper of the frame to protect the piece from damage and help to keep it in place. Some framers will do what is called "backing the piece" where they actually attach the work of art to the board, which may have occurred in your case. However having extra layers is necessary when framing and is nothing to be concerned about. If the work is backed however it might affect the condition of the piece and you might want to look into getting it removed.
The numbers could be two things, with the first being framing references in regards to the frame type wanted for the work, i.e. a stock identification number for the framer. Or they could have been a reference number for the artist or gallery that sold his work. Usually in regards to lithographs the edition (series) number will be on the front of the work in the lower left or lower right hand corner and be marked edition number/whole edition number (ex: 245/500). Rarely are they put on the back of the works and never in framing pieces. In regards to original prints, there are no identifiers on the works themselves indicating they are original prints, it is simply research and a good eye. Andrew Evans