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How to Find Out If a Print Is Worth Anything?

Find out if your art print can yield you a monetary gain.
twenty image by Kimberly Reinick from Fotolia.com

If you're curious how much that lovely art print on the wall or in the attic is worth, the best way to put a price on it is to take it to a professional appraiser. But there are a few things you can do at home before you seek the assistance of a professional.

Determine who the artist is. If the signature is hard to read, you might need to have it looked at by a professional specializing in art prints. Once you know the artist, research their career. This will help you best identify when in her career the artist might have painted the print you own, and what prints from this period are worth.

Check for a number in a series. Often, near the signature, there will be a number depicting how many were made in this series. It might read something like “1/100”--the first number indicated which print it is, and the second number indicates how many prints were made. The lower either number is, the more valuable your print may be.

Assess the condition of the print. A piece that is in near perfect condition will be a lot more valuable than a piece that has damaged. Don't do any repairs yourself—visit a professional appraisal before even considering restoration. Making adjustments on your own may completely destroy the integrity of an art print.

Get an appraisal from a professional. Although you can do some research on your own, the best way to know if your print is worth something is to take it to a professional appraiser. Be sure your print is a member of a non-profit recognized firm, such as the International Society of Appraisers. They will be able to give you an unbiased appraisal, whereas antique shop owners, art dealers and pawn shops may be motivated to give you a number that would encourage you to sell it to them.

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