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Limited editions: How Do I Find Their Value?

 
 
kayla
 
Reply Mon 10 Feb, 2003 08:30 pm
Recently the non-profit organization I work for received over a hundred prints from a gallery that closed down. The trouble is we don't know how to price the prints. I have heard that there is a publication known as "Art Expeditor." Can anyone out there give me some advice as to how get a reasonable pricing for the prints?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 19,734 • Replies: 31
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JoanneDorel
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Feb, 2003 09:50 pm
Kayla what kind of prints of prints, artists, and where they produced by the artists or a company? Limited edition prints can be a very risky business. Is it possible to provide any artist names. I would assume the APA could help you but of course you would have to pay. I will do some on line research and call my ex, he is an appriaser that has delt a lot with prints but he will want to know all of the above plus size.
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JoanneDorel
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Feb, 2003 10:20 pm
Kayla you might want to PM Lightwizard he has had a lot of experience in the area of limited edition prints.
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kayla
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Feb, 2003 10:42 pm
Thank you so much for your help, Joanne. There are so many artists, Bateman, Shephard, all pretty much commercial staff. The money from the sales goes to special projects at the center, which buys my guys paint, etc. I don't mind doing the footwoek, but I have no idea where to start. Do big universities have resources? UC Davis is only an hour away.
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JoanneDorel
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Feb, 2003 11:01 pm
Finally I found some links that might be useful. The category of prints is so junked up with hype. If you are close to UC Davis I would make the trip and look through there library and auction catalogs.

http://store.yahoo.com/magazinecity/7676-10.html

http://www.masterworksfineart.com/faq.htm#priceright

http://www.artontheweb.com/secondarymrkt.htm
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JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Feb, 2003 11:02 pm
art
Kayla, before driving to Davis, I'd talk to some in the library, there are specialists who might help. I'd talk to the general reference librarian and ask for the name of the art dept's library specialist. Who knows what they can find for you on their computer while you're on the phone? That is, IF you use the libary. But I think Joanne's recommendation re: Lightwizard is a good place to start.
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Lightwizard
 
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Reply Tue 11 Feb, 2003 12:27 pm
I quickly tried a search for Shepard in Google and nothing came up -- Bateman came up as Henry Bateman, photographer. Not good that nothing came up as there is not much chance that they've developed any kind of secondary market and only about 5 to 10% of the artists who have opted for the manufactured limited edition print have developed a viable market. Joanne's links are okay but if you try to contact a broker on the web, they will not want to talk about prices if they have any idea you are trying to determine market value. An average price for an inventory of commercial serigraphs, giclees, et all, of an out-of-business gallery is 10% of their retail value (!) That's likely not more than $50.00 to $150.00. You could offer them for sale to a large broker like

www.artman.net
elaineart@earthnet.net
info@art4sale.com


Those are the three major art brokers for this kind of art. If you have a few prints by some well marketed big name like Eyvind Earle, Hiro Yamagata or such, you might have some chance but I doubt that gallery would have anything left of any appreciable value -- they would have sold off the highly marketable prints before going under.
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Feb, 2003 12:28 pm
BTW, just offer them for sale, don't let on your trying to auction them elsewhere.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Feb, 2003 03:38 pm
KAYLA- I know bateman, Its Robert Bateman, a well respected wildlife artist.
His work is sought and premiums are payed for a number of his earlier grizzly and Polar Bear prints as well as his wolves in the moonlight. normal new retail for unframed Batemans are about 200$ so Id guess wholesale is about 50%. however, these earlier groupings are worth over 1to 2K on the auction market. His signed work , especially A/Ps are fairly pricey.
Other prints, are they wildlife also?
my suggestion is to go on ebay (only at the end of an auction0 and check on some Batemans and others 9Cohelach, Forrestahl,fischer, Brenders etc) .
I think paw Press handles the wildlife artists. Ill try to find some links
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Feb, 2003 03:44 pm
KaYLA. I found it on Jeeves, its Millpond Press. I have no idea where I got paw press http://www.ask.com/main/metaAnswer.asp?t=ai&s=a&MetaEngine=directhit&en=te&eo=2&o=0&frames=True&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Enatures%2Dscene%2Ecom%2F&ac=24&adcat=jeev&pt=Natures+Scene&dm=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Enatures%2Dscene%2Ecom%2F&io=1&qid=78CDA006000229429670B7A98D49FF3A&back=ask%3Drobert%2Bbateman%26o%3D0%26qsrc%3D1%26meta%3D1%26IMAGE1%2Ex%3D6%26IMAGE1%2Ey%3D12&ask=robert+bateman&dt=030211133806&amt=&pg=1&qsrc=1
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Feb, 2003 03:52 pm
KAyla-sorry, its me again. That long uRL , just go to the bottom left and click on ARTISTS. Itll list the wildlife artists that Millpond handles
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Feb, 2003 04:24 pm
You can avoid long URL addresses by using the URL function button at the top of the reply entry form.

Millpond prints have relatively no secondary market -- the market value is not going to be what the publisher's appraisals (which are now against the law) show. Obviously they weren't selling as the general public becomes more aware of the phony values of these prints. No respectible auction house are going to touch these prints. An obscure auction house would not even pay any attention to the published prices and they'd put them up on an estate auction at about $75.00 framed.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Feb, 2003 04:25 pm
BTW, the majortiy of Millpont prints are conventional offset lithography which means they have likely faded and changed color by now.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Feb, 2003 07:55 pm
wiz-Millpond only handles the lim editions of Bateman (Its been a long standing relationship as an exclusive) As I recall, you didnt even know who Robert Bateman was. Trust me, there is a huge market for his work. Originals , as well as Signed and numbered prints (no giclees) are big sellers at the duck and wildlife shows, where craftsmanship is repected by an appreciating public. These arent rubes buying Elvis on velvet.
bateman had a show at the Smithsonian in 1998 and his new works that were sold as prints were were SOLD OUT.Mostly bought by the jaded DCites.

Kayla, as a fairly complete gallery of his past works

May I reccomend "AN ARTIST IN NATURE-ROBERT BATEMAN" 1990
or "THE ART OF ROBERT BATEMAN' 1993 with an intro by Roger Tory Peterson (the godfather of American ornithology0
or "THE WORLD OF ROBERT BATEMAN' 1985
or "ROBERT BATEMAN THE NATURAL WORLD" 1996
BAteman or Guy cohelach are like Andrew and Jamie Wyeth or even Norman Rockwell, no matter how cool it is to put them down, their talent s cannot be denied.

All millpond does is market the prints with cover stock and remarques
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kayla
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Feb, 2003 08:54 am
I'm sorry. I wasn't clear. The prints are going to be sold at the center in our boutique. They are not being auctioned off or sold "ensemble." Robert Lynn Nelson's site was especially informative re: what you have to provide for authenticty and what you cannot say. What I was looking for was a publication or a general info center on estimated prices. Google was a big help and it has become evident that I'm just going to have to be on the computer a great deal of time. Not being a print person myself, this was very informative and fun. Thanks everyone.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Feb, 2003 09:42 am
I'm reticent to debate the credentials of artists that are compared to Wyeth, but an offset lithograph by Wyeth is only worth approximately $40.00. This gimmick of having them sign and number in limited edition has to do with how much one would pay for a signature. Wyeth I would guess is worth hundreds of dollars, Bateman I doubt is worth more than $15.00. If one doesn't understand the marketing concept of these companies who publish limited editions, that's something I'm complete familiar worth having worked for one of the major ones for over six years and being in the art business for over forty years. I have to admit I didn't understand the concept that is basically cheating people because of the lax art laws until I left the company. Millpond is no different -- these are offset lithographs (poster printing) that are "signed and numbered." Artists are notoriously poor at business and it's resulted in many lawsuits against these publishers when they find out they've been bilked. I was a witness at two of these lawsuits against publishers (hidden records, manipulated books, etc.) If your going to sell them in a botique, you have to have a slick art salesperson to talk people into paying a lot of money for something that has very low intrinisic value (try to get an art appraiser to even look at them). Sorry for the bad news but that's life and it's not always fair. Caveat emptor.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Feb, 2003 09:45 am
Kayla -- I'd still offer them to those three brokers with a faxed list. They may have a pleasant surprise for your that some poor fool is willing to pay big bucks for a few of the prints but I doubt it. Did it occur to anyone that the gallery tried to sell these prints and couldn't? That's a very good reason for going out of business and donating the prints. They will probably defend their knowledge and intergrity in the business until the moon turns blues -- it's up to you whether it's believable or not. I am not playing Devil's advocate here.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Feb, 2003 09:51 am
Millpond Press prints are offset lithographs, the same printing used to publish posters and art books and now done in many foreign countries where it's debatable what quality ink and paper they are using. Worse than giclees.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Feb, 2003 01:42 pm
WIZ-I guess I dont understand the concept . Ive been to the Wildlife Art shows including the Easton Md one in which these artists are selling their works as signed numbered prints. they have one original and perhaps 1000 prints and say 100 have remarques and maybe 10% proofs. Robert Bateman is an artist of major reputation. people buy his work because they like it and there is only one original. For the artist, the print market is a good one. Ive been doing lim editions and am beginning to do better each year. i see no difference between a serigraph, a litho, an etching , or a cast bronze, signed numbered and approved by theartist.
of course if theres a plan to deceive as in the last Dali prints , wherte he signed and numbered bland pieces of paper, thats different.
movie stand-ups from the 40s and 50s are bringing large amounts and there are thousands of them.
Of course its the artists signature and the implied approval that makes and creates the value. However, as any auctioneer who appraises a piece of art at 1 to 2000 and it sells for 10x the estimate, the estimates at auction houses for Bateman or Brenders or cohalech , are conservative but never 15$. Sorry, I dont 'buy" it.
I was at a Bunch auction in PA where they had some lim editions of Jamie Wyeths Karakul sheep drawings done as lithos. The set of three, signed and numbered . each brought at least 2Gs.
Are you aware of the prices for AUdubon "elephant" folio prints?

what do you consider a valid limited edition print medium?Im not tryin g to be a noodge, but you sound like youive been in this and Im only beginning to sell my work as prints mostly because its been a way for me to increase the income from a given work
Much of Picassos art pottery was decorated by using decals of his sketches and signature. I consider that more fraud than prints, where the artist is the customer to be satisfied, and the artist retains rights of the work. You seem to be saying that Millpond is a house to stay away from, Is that what Im getting? or areyou just pronouncing against the entire lim edition print market.
I do want to understand and i dont mean to hit a nerve ,
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Feb, 2003 08:17 pm
A valid limited edition print which is a true original print is one created by the artist himself. The artist makes the plates (as in stone lithograph plates) and prints the edition, not to say he can't use protogees as Rauschenburg does for example. There is no original work that is copied as a print. When it's merely reproduced (even serigraphs are done by photo-mechanical means) it a not an original print. The laws in the U.S. aren't helpful (in Europe, you can't sell a print such as this as anything more than a signed poster). Trust me, Millpond and other publishers pay about $5.00 to $10.00 per print for the artist to sign and number, maybe $25.00 to $50.00 if it is is a remarque (depending on how much hand painting there is on the print). The publishers make the money -- the artist can only do well if thousands of prints sell at tis happens less often that one thinks and publishers come and go. The markup is about eight times (they have claimed it is four times) the cost of printing and signing (the print often costs more to make than for the signature). There's nothing against that artist if he's able to make money, but I can guarantee they aren't making a living doing just that -- they have to sell originals. It's just that, for me, it's pandering to an audience who have to idea what they are buying. The proof of the pudding is in the eating -- if Kayla can tell me she got any offers or is able to market these at anything near half of their retail value, it would be the shock of the century. Doesn't happpen -- the secondary market on these prints is that about 1% of the prints have gained any value after five to twenty years. The artists often go out of fashion and then you can't give the work away. I'm not saying that the artists you are talking about don't create great originals and have a collector market for their original paintings. I'm saying that the limited edition prints do not hold their value. They depreciate about 60% to 70% the minute one walks out the door with them. Check E Bay and you'll find out. I can buy prints by Mark King, a very respected pallette knife painter in La Jolla, CA who sells original paintings for $18,000. to $30.000. for $75.00 to $150.00 per print out of the publisher's stock who took over his inventory from Martin Lawrence Galleries. They originally sold for $750.00 to $900.00 unframed. I was framing them and putting them into a very high end consignment outlet in Newport Beach, CA. and they were lucky to get $400.00 for them, framed! Needless to say, it wasn't something I would continue to do.
 

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