We are often asked what is the difference between a Limited Edition Print and an Artist's Proof. If you are considering buying a Limited Edition Print then it is worth knowing the difference between them.
Let's look at a signed Limited Edition Prints first.
A signed limited edition print is a copy of an original piece of art that is printed in a limited number. The value of the original painting will exceed that of a limited edition print.
The prints are limited as the artist only releases a specific number of the prints. The artists will sign each copy of the print and number them. The number of copies will always be shown on the print itself.
So you will see a number on the print like 17/150. This means that this is a limited edition print, number 17 of 150. In the case of Jack Vettriano's limited editions the numbers in an edition size vary. There were only 100 limited edition prints of Vettriano's For My Lover released and there were 275 limited editions of the much sought after Dancer for Money.
What about Artist's Proofs?
When an artist is checking the colour and quality of the limited edition he will receive proofs.
Traditionally, Artist's Proofs, remained the property of the artist. In modern times they are sold at the same time as the Limited Edition Prints.
Artist's Proofs are exactly the same in terms of how they are printed, the colours, quality of printing, paper etc. Artists number them, often with Roman numerals and with the mark A/P. Artists sign them too, exactly the same as with the limited editions.
There are not as many artists proofs released however. Normally only 10-15% of the limited edition run is released as Artist's Proofs. The limited edition of Vettriano's The Drifter had a run of 275 and the Artist's Proofs released were only 30.
The Drifter Artist's Proof
When looking for Limited Edition Prints and Artist's Proofs you may also see Studio Proofs (marked S/P on a print) and occasionally Hors d Commerce proofs (marked H/C). Modern printing methods mean that Studio Proof and Hors d Commerce Proofs are printed to the exact same quality and specification as the Limited Edition Prints and Artist's Proofs.
The difference between a limited edition print and the artist proof? The price.
As there are fewer artists proofs released they are more sought after and they come at a premium. You can expect to pay around 25% to 50% more for an artist proof, with very few appearing for sale on the secondary market.