Why collect prints or art photography?

The main reason for purchasing any work of art is because you like it.  Financially, antique prints and art photography are a wonderful investment. Over time, these artworks increase in value, often doubling or tripling their price over a very short period.  As such they are often the most affordable entry into investing in art.

Why are antique prints a good investment?

Antique prints were created in limited editions.  Most of these have been either destroyed by improper handling over the centuries which has severely limited their numbers.   The market in antique prints has become smaller and smaller over the years as the prints have been sold to collectors and museums world-wide, thus decreasing their availability.  This has raised the value of the existing prints, which only increase in value over time.    This also applies to collectibles such as photographs or memorabilia. 

Some printmaker’s works have sold in contemporary auctions for hundreds of thousands of dollars, and other such as Audubon, have sold for millions.  Many museums such as the British Museum, MOMA, and the Getty have extensive collections of antique prints – and Antinous Art also shares certain of these museum-quality prints found in many of the world’s institutions in our offerings. 

Antique prints offer a fantastic way for anyone with modest funds to invest in art.   

Are antique prints really rare?

Yes, they are!  This is because when the prints were first created they were issued in strictly limited editions.  These were either issued bound in books or as separate leaf sheets, usually sold to collectors.  Also, the hand-colored prints were colored by artists who specialized in the colorization of prints.  

Over time, many prints deteriorated or were destroyed, and every year the market sees less and less prints being sold as collectors buy up what is available.  So every year antique prints become more and more scarce, driving up the value price of each print.  Many museums also have specific antique print collections as these are prized cultural heirlooms.  In fact, some of our prints on sale here can also be found in the collections of museums such as the Metropolitan Museum in New York and The British Museum in London. And auction houses such as Christies or Sotheby's regularly have specialist auctions of prints, selling these at exorbitant prices.  

 Are antique prints really unique or just copies?

Each print is unique in that the metallic printing plate changes with each pressing.  As each hand-colored print is created by an artist, each has different expressions, colors, or design to them, making each unique.  These are not mechanically reproduced prints such as many modern prints are.   However, many contemporary artists still create prints as artworks today, using the traditional methods to create unique works of art. 

How do you authenticate the works for sale on your site?

Each print, photograph or item sold through our site is meticulously researched by a certified art historian specializing in antique prints and art photography.  For sources we use museums and academic literature to verify the edition, paper, and other info on the prints and their creators.  If we can't verify the edition, artist or author, we will write "unknown" for those works in question. 

Can I trust your descriptions and photos?

We take great pains to assure that the photographs of the items for sale on this site are as true to the original as possible, showing the condition, coloring, ageing, and condition as we can via digital photography.  Also, our descriptions are conducted by a certified art historian and our photographs are taken by a fully qualified, certified and trained photographer (both with academic degrees in their field). We have attempted to clearly and succintly describe the conditions and histories of the works on offer here on our site.

All antique prints and photographs are subject to ageing, but with taking the proper steps to care for your artwork, you can prevent further discoloration or damage by following our guidelines for the care of artworks

Kindly note that all computers vary in their depiction of color on your screen (giving too much yellow or green shade, for example).  Our editing screens have been color-calibrated to assure the most realistic portrayal of the item on sale and we painstakingly adjust the digital photos to match the actual item.  However, your screen may show slight discrepancies in color if it has not been calibrated.  In any case, computer screens are not perfect and the buyer should keep this in mind.  If you have any questions please feel free to contact us at info@antinousart.com.


Can you research and obtain a work that I'm looking for?  

We can use our international suppliers to search out specific prints or photographs you may wish to purchase for your collection.  Our art historian will carefully search all available channels to see if we can find the exactly work you wish to acquire.   We will deliver this to you with a full description of the work, a provenance certificate, and a receipt of purchase.  Kindly note that a pre-payment for such commissioned acquisitions is required.   Please feel free to contact us with any specific questions. 

Commissioned Works of Art by Living Artists for Collectors

All our living aritsts on this site are available to create specific works of art for you if you are interested.  This may include your concept being realized by them or fulfill a personalized request.  The final price depends on the materials involved, the size, if you wish the work to be in an edition of 1 or more, and shipping/handling charges.  Please contact us with any questions.

What are “editions” in art photography?

“Editions” are the number of photographic prints created by the artist for the series they release to be sold.  For example, an artist may have one image and then prints this in 6 copies: 4 to be sold (Edition 1 of 4, 2 of 4, 3 of 4, and 4 of 4), with the two remaining copies divided as one to the artist (“Artist’s Copy”) and one to the printer (“Printer’s Proof”).  So, only 4 copies of the image in this size and format will ever be sold, greatly increasing the print’s value for collectors.  Eventually the Artist’s Copy or the Printer’s Proof may find its way to the market, as these are sometimes highly desirable by collectors. 

Hand-colored Prints

Many antique prints were only offered as black and white etchings, woodcuts, or similar.  However, some artists and authors wanted the extra luxury of color added to their books or editions and engaged other artists to do this by hand.  This was a very costly way to attract more buyers of the editions offered on sale.  Sometimes the artists would create the initial drawings and other artists would add the color after the print had been struck (printed).  Each hand-coloured prints is different and unique. 

On many of our color prints you can see the brushstrokes of color if you tilt the print towards the light.  Some fish prints also added silver or gold to create iridescence in the color to imitate the skin of fishes.  This creates an extra dimension of artistry in the print. 

In many cases the artists were established artists specializing in adding color to prints.  In others, such as our Audubon prints, the color was added by family members in a kind of workshop setting.  Almost always, the color in antique prints were added at the time of issue and is the original coloring created by the artists.

Sometimes the color was added later.  In the latter half of the 18thcentury and throughout the 19thcentury it became fashionable to add color to antique black and white prints.  Where this has been done to one of our prints for sale, we designate it as “later coloring” in our description of the work.  This does not decrease the value of the print at all but only adds to it. 

How do you determine a price on the prints?

For antique prints, we price these on their current market value, as well as consider their rarity and history, quality, and if their authenticity can be confirmed. 

For contemporary art photography, the prices are based on the artist’s stature, the item quality and quantity, and the market demand. 

If I buy an art photography print, does that mean I can sell the image?

When you purchase an artwork by a living artist, or an artist who is deceased sometime within the past 70 years, the copyright in the artwork resides with the artist or the artist's estate.  This means that you own the work of art, but you cannot sell the image of the artwork (such as on merchandise, or license the art image or photographic image).  You own the material work of art, but not its copyright.  This is international copyright law.  

If the artist had been deceased over 70 years, then the copyright has entered the public domain, freeing you to use the image as you wish.    However, you still don't own that image or can copyright it -- you only own the work of art.  

Can you frame my print or photograph?

We do business with a qualified, professional framer and can have your print framed if you prefer, but keep in mind this is not advisable due to handling the postal services can lead to the glass being cracked.  If you are in the vicinity of the municipalities of Hedmark, Akershus, Oppland or Østfold in Norway, we can most likely deliver the work to you framed if you wish.  Please contact us for information and costs for framing. 

We do not recommend shipping frames with glass in the postal services.  It is better that you receive the print and arrange your own framing so that you can chose your frame and matting by a professional framer.  If you do wish to have a work framed and sent to you in the mail, we cannot take responsibility for it arriving safely.  We will nonetheless package the artwork as good as possible to insure this does not happen.

Why won't you ship to my country?

Due to the increasing amount of credit card scams, we have decided to limit our countries of shipping.  However, if you live in one of these countries and would like to order our items, we will be happy to ship to you after you have paid for registered mail and postage, and the total price of the items, via a bank transfer payment.  Please contact us at info@antinousart.com for further assistance and information. 

If you have any other questions please feel free to contact us at info@antinousart.com.