The edition size year can be determined on several ways::
– on the piece itself (written in pencil);
– on original paper/labels with piece (gallery labels / printmakers authentication paper);
– by literature (official exhibit of book publications or original promotion material);
– by statements of the printmaker.
Limited edition publications are always numbered. The first number is the number of the piece itself. The second number is the edition size.
Before the making of the limited edition publication, mostly there are Artist Proof’s made. These are marked as ‘A/P’, ‘A.P.’, ‘AP’ or even ‘Artist Proof’. Sometimes they have a limited edition numbering of there own.
The numbering mostly can be found on the bottom of the print.
Written in pencil
Example: ‘50/220’ means that this is piece number 50 out of a limited
edition of 220 pieces.
Gallery label / Printmakers authentication paper
If the original gallery label is still with your piece, it can also be found on the label.
Example: ‘71/99’ means that this is piece number 71 out of a limited
edition of 99 pieces.
An artist’s proof (A/P) is a print taken in the printmaking process to see the current printing state, before the production of the limited edition.
Example: AP II / IV means that this is the 2nd artist proofs made out
of 4 AP’s.
Example: II / III ARTIST PROOF means that this is the 2nd artist proof
made out of 3 AP’s.
Hand colored Artist Proof’s
As ‘artist proofs’ are made as a sort of test before the actually production of the limited edition, the color can be wrong (to light or to dark etc). The artist can correct these by hand with acrylic. These artist proofs sometimes marked as H.C. (hand colored).
Example: 1/10 H.C. means that this AP (number 1 out of 10 pieces) is also
partly hand colored.