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Limited edition prints are numbered according to how many prints are pulled in the edition, for e.g. 1/25 or 1/50. The edition number is at the discretion of the artist/publisher and what they think is a reasonable edition size for the print type and their target audience.
The numbering of limited edition prints is very important for two reasons, one for the collector and the second for collection documentation. Depending on what edition number is available for sale the collector is able to choose the edition number of their preference, it is common for the first number of prints to be the most sort after as the plate is fresh and in pristine condition, over time aquatints and other processes can break down and fade.
Once the edition is completed and the prints are dry the artist/publisher will then assign 1/10th of the edition as Artist Proofs (AP), these prints are additional to the print edition number.
The following examples indicate how AP's and the edition are numbered and signed for an edition of 50.
Artist Proof: (Below composition; lower left) AP 1/5 (Lower center) Title (Lower right) Name and Year
Edition of 50: (Below composition;Lower left) 1/50 (Lower center) Title (Lower right) Name and Year
You can have anything you want, if you want it badly enough. You can be anything you want to be, do anything you set out to accomplish if you hold to that desire with singleness of purpose.
Collecting Original Prints: A Complete Guide