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Silkscreen Print Collecting 101

Silkscreen Print Collecting 101

Buying prints and multiples by exceptional artists and building your collection.

Silkscreen Print Collecting 101

Peter’s Gallery is a leading expert in the field of contemporary prints and an eminent print publisher since 1993. We are excited to bring works from contemporary artists to a broader audience through the Peter’s Gallery Buy-Now platform.

Learn about the basics on technique, condition, and other common questions about prints and multiples by Peter’s Gallery’s Silkscreen and Multiples department.

Common types of prints

A print is a multiple original, meaning there is more than one, unlike a unique painting or work on paper. Prints may be lithographs, silkscreen prints, woodcuts, linoleum cuts, or intaglios (etchings, engravings, aquatints, and drypoints).

Edition sizes, artist proofs, and printer proofs

The word “edition” refers to the number of examples printed of an image or fabricated of an object, and this might range from a very few impressions to several hundred. A print is often numbered like a fraction (e.g. 1/50), however you may instead see an inscription indicating that it is a type of proof, as defined below.

Artist signature and publisher stamp

An artist signature is the sign of creative ownership, authenticity and completion of a work of art. In the case of contemporary prints and multiples, most artists sign their work by hand or opt for a stamp or incised signature. Aside from the artist’s signature, many publishers add their workshop seal (stamped or embossed) to indicate where the work was made. Peter’s Gallery also issues an accompanying Certificate of Authenticity with every print sold.

Mytaras Dimitris, Figures, Silkscreen print, 112 x 76 cm

Mytaras Dimitris, Figures, Silkscreen print, 112 x 76 cm

About the abbreviations that prints carry

Examples outside the numbered edition are customarily annotated with abbreviations, such as the following:

  • A.P.: Artist’s Proof. Examples set aside for the artist, identical to the numbered edition.
  • P.P.: Printer’s Proof. Examples set aside for the collaborating printer or publisher, identical to the numbered edition.
  • T.P.: Trial Proof. An example pulled while the artist is actively working on the composition, thus differing from the regular edition. Artists and printers use trial proofs to see how a work is progressing.
  • E.P.: Experimental Proof. As with trial proofs, artists use experimental proofs as part of their process in achieving the final image to be made into an edition.
  • C.T.P.: Colour Trial Proof. A trial proof that employs colours differing from those inks used for the final edition. Some artists frequently executed colour trial proofs when deciding the final colour combinations for their editioned work.
  • H.C.: Hors Commerce. Translating to “not for sale,” an hors commerce proof is similar to an artist’s proof in that it is identical to the final edition. Historically hors commerce proofs were intended for the artist and their collaborators, hence the implication that they are not to be sold. However, in practice, these proofs were often part of the artist’s compensation and were frequently sold with the rest of the edition.
  • B.A.T.: Bon à tirer. Meaning “good to pull,” a B.A.T. proof is the final proof pulled after the artist has finished working on the printing matrix, but before the printing of the edition has begun. There is typically only one B.A.T. proof and it is used by the printer to ensure the final edition appears as the artist intended.


Edition size and value

The smaller the edition, the more rare the work, oftentimes increasing the value. Other factors that influence a selling price include the artist’s market, how the print fits into their overall body of work, and of course, the condition of the example being considered.

Printers and publishers involvement with the printmaking process

The printer collaborates closely with the artist to execute the work of art, their technical expertise often influencing the end result. The publisher funds the project and oversees the sale of the edition; they are responsible for how a print is initially introduced to collectors, galleries, and institutions.

What to look out for that might affect the value of a print or multiple

When a work is not unique, the condition can be compared to other impressions from the edition and a collector may decide to wait and acquire an example in better shape. For this reason, the condition report is a vital consideration and the most commonly noted imperfections are as follows:

  • Fading: This is the most serious issue as once colours have diminished, they cannot be restored.
  • Trimming: The paper (referred to as the “sheet”) has been cut down or reduced from its original size. Like fading, this is a condition issue that cannot be rectified.
  • Discolouration: A darkening of the paper tone caused by prolonged exposure to light, contact with non-archival mat board or the presence of another acidic element such as certain adhesives or framing materials.
  • Fox mark: A type of mould that grows in paper fibres, caused by age or environment. Note: Foxing resembles freckles.
  • Crease: A wrinkle, fold or dimple in the sheet, often caused by handling.
  • Tear: A split or break in the sheet. Tears can be serious issues, particularly if they affect the image.

There are many more variables that determine the value of a print publication, including the track record of the artist, scarcity, scale and scope of the project. However, there is no formula for pricing; it is nuanced and determined by the publisher and artist.



Mytaras Dimitris signing his prints (Circa 1996. Photograph: Peter's Gallery Archive)
Mytaras Dimitris signing his prints (Circa 1996. Photograph: Peter’s Gallery Archive)

Given the strength and accessibility of the print market, reproductions of original prints are an unfortunate reality.

Happily, many artists’ complete bodies of printed and editioned work are documented in catalogue raisonnés. While the level of detail in these texts varies, many include the correct medium, dimensions, complete edition size, paper type, and the location of signatures and inscriptions. These are all elements that can be compared to assist in determining authenticity, however it is not possible to confirm anything simply from a photograph, and close firsthand inspection by an expert is incredibly important.

When collecting works of art, especially on the secondary market, ensuring authenticity and condition become an important consideration. By accessing works directly from Peter’s Gallery, a print publisher, authenticity and condition are no longer an issue because you are acquiring the work directly from the primary source. More importantly, you can learn about how the work was made with the artist, as well as the collaboration process at the workshop.

Advice on framing a silkscreen print

Stathopoulos Giorgos signing his prints in the company of Harry Klynn, Michaelides Petros and friends (Sep. 1994. Photograph; Peter's Gallery Archive)
Stathopoulos Giorgos signing his prints in the company of Harry Klynn, Michaelides Petros and friends (Sep. 1994. Photograph: Peter’s Gallery Archive)

If you collect art, you need to be a good steward. Works on paper in general require extra love and care, as paper is vulnerable to the elements. The rule of thumb is to frame your work with archival materials and UV protection. It is important to keep works on paper out of direct sunlight, away from humidity and in a climate-controlled environment. Preserving and framing your works with Peter’s Art & Frames (est.1973) is the best peace-of-mind option for collectors. With 50 years of experience and a sister company to Peter’s Gallery, it is your one-stop shop for your collecting needs.

The benefit of starting an art collection with silkscreen prints and multiples

Compared to other collecting fields, the print market is still an untapped opportunity for collectors to acquire great works by renowned artists at obtainable prices. Savvy collectors are now crossing over categories to purchase work regardless of media, as museums rethink how they showcase works across disciplines. Ironically, artists tend to work on multiple bodies of work and media at once, and do not think about hierarchy within their oeuvre.

Where to begin looking

Our advice to collectors is to look at everything that interests you, ask many questions and research what you love. Peter’s Gallery’s Buy-Now platform is a way to look, ask questions and research all in one place.

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Certificate of Authenticity

A Certificate of Authenticity is essential to identify and attest to an artwork's genuineness and provenance. Peter's Gallery issues a Certificate of Authenticity to accompany every piece from our collection.

Symbols Definition

†  The single dagger symbol indicates these items will be sold under the 19% VAT standard rate on the hammer price.

‡ The double dagger symbol indicates these items will be sold under the 5% VAT reduced rate on the hammer price. For more information on the reduction, please see our announcement.

Ω The Omega symbol indicates these items are VAT exempt on hammer price; 19% VAT applies to premium.

#  The hash symbol indicates 19% VAT applies only to buyer’s premium.

The diamond symbol indicates 19% VAT applies to hammer price and buyer’s premium.

△  The triangle symbol indicates there is no reserve price in place.

☐ The square symbol indicates there is a reserve price.

The VAT and Buyer’s Premium will be applied on the checkout page.

This guide explains how the total purchase price is calculated.

• View the glossary of terms to familiarise yourself with the language of auctions.

• Read the auction Terms & Conditions in English and Greek for more.

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– Please include prices if you have established prices for your artwork. If you do not have established prices and are not certain of how to price your work, the gallery team will assist represented artists with pricing; this assistance is offered as part of Peter’s Gallery representation.

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Effective May 2024, Peter’s Gallery has lowered its VAT rates from 19% to 5% for all categories excluding Silkscreen prints & Poster prints. Please refer to our announcement and our Terms and Conditions for more information.

Lot Prices

Please note that Lot prices listed on this page are exclusive of the Buyer’s Premium, of any applicable taxes and costs, unless otherwise noted.

Auction closing times

Lots will close at their scheduled time unless a bid is placed within five minutes of a Lot’s scheduled closing time, in which case we will extend the sale of that Lot by five minutes.

The extension of any Lot’s closing time does not affect any other Lot’s closing time; therefore, it is possible that Lots will close out of the announced auction ending time. Lots may extend for up to two hours to accommodate competitive bidding.



Unsold artworks from the latest auction are now available for purchase at their starting price for a limited time. The Aftersale offers a second chance for unclaimed items to find their new collector. They can be viewed on this page under the ‘Aftersale‘ label or by visiting the gallery.

For a direct view of the Aftersale items only, you can browse them here.

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The secondary art market

The term “secondary market” refers to art that has been sold at least once before. In simpler terms, the secondary market deals with resale, typically with artworks by artists who have a substantial reputation. For example, most artworks sold through auction houses form part of the secondary market.

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Buyer's Premium & VAT

The total purchase price is calculated, in short, as such:

Hammer Price + Buyer’s Premium (12%) + *VAT (5% or 19%)

The Buyer’s Premium is added to the Hammer Price (winning bid) and is included as part of the total Purchase Price payable by the successful Bidder. In an Online Auction conducted by Peter’s Gallery, the Buyer’s Premium rate is as follows: 12% of the Hammer Price of any amount. 

*Value Added Tax (VAT) applies as follows: artworks are taxed at a reduced rate of five percent (5%) (‡ symbol) or nineteen percent (19%) († symbol) on the hammer price, depending on the item. For items marked with the Omega symbol (Ω), the hammer price is exempt from VAT. A nineteen percent (19%) VAT applies to the Buyer’s Premium for all items, regardless of the symbol.

The VAT and Buyer’s Premium will be applied on the checkout page.

Familiarise yourself with the auction terms by reading the Auction Glossary.

Read the auction Terms & Conditions in English and Greek here.

Visit the FAQ page for more.

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How offers work

After entering your offer price, you will receive a reply within two (2) business days, letting you know if your offer was accepted or countered.

The email will include payment instructions. Be advised items are not put on hold and will remain available for purchase until your transaction is completed.

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