Discovering Prints


Those who thought that they could never afford a Henry Moore, Bridget Riley, John Piper or even David Hockney, might be surprised to discover that it is not such a far-fetched ambition, even on a relatively modest disposable income, thanks to the world of the Modern British print.

Aquatints, woodcuts, etchings, mezzotints, engravings, lithographs, silkscreens… there is an almost endless variety of prints on which to focus, and it can all be very confusing. A simple guide can be found in the back of some specialist auction catalogues, which often list a glossary of print terms, and there are a number of guides. Immersing oneself in a specific sector of the print market can increase one's enjoyment and fascination and could well pay dividends when setting out to buy.

Original prints - where the artist has had a direct involvement in the creation of the print - in their limited editions, are often seen as the entry point into the market for new collectors of fine art, where they can dip a toe in the water without taking the huge plunge of investing large sums in masterworks like oil paintings.

David Hockney, for example, whose paintings and photomontages have soared in price in recent years, can still be found in limited edition print form for a few hundred pounds. His print prices spiked in the 1980s and have been largely soft ever since, but the quality of his draughtsmanship, his mastery of so many media forms and the sheer celebrity of his name mean there is likely to be long-term interest in him even as a print maker.

Typical works by leading artists, where there is a large gap between prices for their prints and their masterworks, tend to offer some of the best potential.

Upload a photo
Upload a photo of your item
Item is appraised
Experts appraise your item
Receive appraisal
We send you your appraisal