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What Are My Limited Edition Prints Worth?

by Christopher Lancette
Published: Last Updated on

Limited Edition Prints Equal Limited Dollars

Potential clients get upset with me all the time when I have to tell them that the signed, limited edition prints they paid serious money for long ago are essentially worthless today.

Don’t shoot the messenger, I respond.

For the purposes of downsizing and liquidating estates, there are really only two categories of art – the kind that’s worth something, and the kind that ain’t. Signed prints lead the league on the “ain’t” side.

While there are always exceptions – and artists — to this rule, the harsh reality now is that such prints are long out of fashion. You may love that image of dogs playing poker, a Civil War scene, or some abstract incoherence – but you’re in a tiny minority. And that Salvador Dali signed print that you bought thinking it was a genuine article? Probably not real: Dali signed more than 60,000 sheets of blank paper to make quick cash.

Buyers today want original pieces – paintings, generally – by current, established artists or high-end works by the old masters.

Many limited edition prints sell today, if at all, for $1-$10 at auction – and framed prints don’t sell well on eBay because it costs way more to ship the pieces than they’re worth. And because no one wants them. Even many beautiful Audubon prints command few sales because, as is true with so much of the stuff that’s on the market today, there is way more supply than demand.

If you think you have big bucks art, reach out to us for a quick check-in. If you’re right, we’ll give you some suggestions for how we can help. Then we’ll both make money — but it’s not likely to happen with prints.

But if you are hiring Orion’s Attic to clear a home, let us just dump the limited edition prints at a charity or at auction – letting them fetch whatever few dollars may come so that they at least get a second life.

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