Numeric Authenticity (Print Edition Terms and Definitions)

  1. Edition:
  2. The body of prints that matches the Bon À Tirer and, when signed and numbered by the artist, are intended for resale. Each impression bears two numbers separated by a slash: the first number refers to the number of that particular print within the edition. The second indicates the edition size. However, the first number usually has no bearing on the order in which the individual piece was printed. Consumers often mistakenly believe that lower-numbered prints are more valuable.

  3. Bon À Tirer (B.A.T.):
  4. French term for “Good to Print.” Technically, this print is the first impression that meets the aesthetic and technical demands of the artist and printer during the proofing process. All prints in the edition will match this final impression. Customarily, this print is kept by the printmaking studio for their archival records.

  5. Hors De Commerce (H/C):
  6. Pulled, by tradition, for sales agents and presentation to collectors.

  7. Artist’s Proof (A/P):
  8. Traditionally pulled for the artist producing the work for the print edition.

  9. Printer’s Proof (P/P):
  10. Traditionally pulled for the printers of the edition for vested time/skill in the production. The printmaking studio also retains their proofs for archival purposes.

  11. Publisher’s Prof (Pub/P):
  12. Pulled, by tradition, for the investor/financier of the edition for their archives.

  13. State Proofs:
  14. Pulled to record the evolution of a print from one finished edition to another. They may vary from the first print in color, various printing elements or printing sequence. State Proofs differ greatly from edition impressions. In screen-printing specifically, they are pulled to before major revisions of stencil separations.

  15. Workshop Impressions:
  16. Pulled for exhibition purposes and usually named after the studio that prints the work.

  17. Roman Numbered Impressions:
  18. Retained in the workshop archives for historical, educational and record-keeping purposes. The number of copies retained depends upon the size of the edition. The studio generally retains fewer prints from smaller editions, but the studio retains the right to eventually sell these prints.

  19. Second Strikes:
  20. A second edition pulled for marketing in other continents. Second strikes are also numbered with roman numerals.

  21. Hand Painted Multiples (H.P.M.s):
  22. A printed edition that has been painted/manipulated by the artist, making each print a unique work of art. The edition usually varies in size from 5 to 20 impressions.