Fine Art/degas "print"
I bought a "print" from an antique store that did not quite look like a print--two actually. I took it apart to reframe it, and noticed that the picture was actually a pastel mixed with watercolor. The glass had residue on it, confirming the medium used. Upon research, I found a very similar picture online for sale on ebay, with the description as follows: "Dancer In Repose - LE Hand Colored Lithograph Plates by Braun & CIE after Edgar Degas - 1948 "Dancer in Repose is a LE Hand Colored Lithograph published in 1948 of a edition of 1200". I would love to know what "hand colored" means--does that include pastels and watercolors?
The only thing is that the ones I have seen done by Braun & CIE have a crossed strap on the dancers feet and mine has a single strap. Why would one have been done differently than the others? Is it worth confirming with a professional appraisal that these were done by them? Is it okay to reframe them or does that diminish their value?
The other is a picture of "two dancers on stage", but I have not taken it apart and have not seen any evidence that Braun & CIE ever did it, but the pictures were done at the same time, and framed identically. Is there any way to find out if they ever made that one into a lithograph using a similar process? I only paid 18$ for each, so I can enjoy them no matter their market value, but I am really curious.
Hand-colored lithograph means that the image was printed in ink from the lithographic stone onto the sheet of paper and then was hand colored by the printer or their staff. Hand-colored lithographs do not give away residue. Pastels and watercolors are not done in editions so they are original works by the artist and are therefore always by hand.
Your work could have been done by a student who copied Degas' version, intentionally or unintentionally leaving out the strap. If you think you have an original you should contact the Degas expert I listed below.
In regards to re-framing the work, all artwork should be protected and you can get yours re-framed so there is a thicker mat which will raise up above the artwork leaving enough room so it will not touch the plexi-glass. Hopefully that helps. Andrew Evans