First impressions count: five prints offered at auctions on thesaleroom.com17 February 2020 Prints represent an opportunity to buy a work of art by a major name at a much lower price-point than an original painting.
Key factors that determine the value of prints include how sought-after the artist is, how closely they were involved in the creation of the print, how desirable the image is itself as a work of art, the condition of the print and, crucially, its rarity.
Plenty of prints are available to view and buy at auctions on thesalroom.com. Here is selection of five upcoming lots across a range of periods and values.
1. Wenceslaus Hollar etchings
Bohemian artist Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677) was among the most important and prolific printmakers of his generation. His earliest etchings date from his period in Cologne in the 1630s and he continued to perfect his art while in England from 1637-42.
By the end of his life, he had produced a remarkable 2700 separate etchings.
Examples appear on the market with some regularity and two small Hollar etchings will be offered as a single lot at Lyon & Turnbull on February 18.
One is a study of a young woman measuring 3.75 x 2.5in (10 x 6.5cm). The image is based on a portrait by the Italian Renaissance painter Lorenzo di Credi (c.1459-1537). The other depicts a native American, measures the same size and is titled Unus Americanus ex Virginia.
The lot is estimated at £300-500.
View the catalogue entry for these Wenceslaus Hollar etchings on thesaleroom.com
2. Albrecht Dürer's Rhinoceros
Among the great early printmakers, German artist Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) remains a highly sought after name, especially when it comes to Old Master woodcuts. His depiction of a Rhinoceros is one of his most famous but also rarest prints.
The print originated thanks to an Indian rhinoceros being brought to Emanuel I, King of Portugal in 1513. Dürer never saw the animal but knew about it from a sketch by the painter Valentin Ferdinand.
His original woodcut dates from 1515 but it was reproduced in multiple editions both within and after the artist’s lifetime.
An example of the sixth state, printed by Hendrick Hondius of The Hague in c.1620, is offered at Freeman's of Philadelphia on February 18. It is estimated at $12,000-18,000.
At the time it was printed, Dürer’s depiction of a rhinoceros was widely regarded as being accurate – it was only in the 18th century that more reliable images became available.
View the catalogue entry for this Albrecht Dürer rhinoceros etching on thesaleroom.com
3. David Hockney lithograph
In the 1970s, David Hockney (b.1937) made a series of lithographs depicting his friends. One was this portrait of Henry Geldzahler (1935-1994), a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Henry reading the newspaper was produced in edition of 71 and was published by Gemini G.E.L. in 1976. However, on offer at Catherine Southon on February 26 is a trial proof which bears presentation inscription 'for John + Alwyn from David #1'.
It is estimated at £1500-2500.
View the catalogue entry for this David Hockney lithograph on thesaleroom.com
4. LS Lowry limited edition print
Numerous prints of Laurence Stephen Lowry’s (1887-1976) trademark pictures were produced during his lifetime. They were often made in editions of 500 and Lowry would fastidiously sign them all.
At Adam Partridge on February 20-21 is a signed limited edition of Crime Lake, published 1971. It is estimated at £2000-3000.
View the catalogue entry for this LS Lowry print on thesaleroom.com
5. John Piper church views
Architectural views of British landmarks were the stock-in-trade of artist John Piper (1903-92). Provincial churches were one of his favoured subjects and an example of one of his lithographs is offered at McTears on March 1.
Hautbois Church, Norfolk is signed in pencil and comes from an edition of 70. It is estimated at £200-400.
View the catalogue entry for this John Piper lithograph on thesaleroom.com