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Fine Art Terms and Care


Open Edition

An edition issued without limit, individual number, or artists signature (although many artists offer a "signed open edition" on which they affix their signature.) Very few have been signed by one or more pilots or crew who flew the type of aircraft depicted in the painting.

Limited Edition Print

An edition of identical prints, numbered sequentially and individually signed by the artist, having a stated limit to the quantity in the edition. Following publication the printing plates are destroyed. A large majority of limited editions available in the Aviation Art Hangar are authenticated with the original signatures of distinguished military personnel. Most if not all, are issued along with a certificate of authenticity (COA) which bears the print's number and artist's (or publisher's) signature.

Artists Proof

An old tradition of reserving a quantity of prints for the artist's use, usually equal to about 10% of the edition. In the early days of printing, these prints were the only remuneration the poor artist received. Proofs are signed by the artist and numbered showing the quantity of Artist's Proofs issued in the edition. Because of their highly restricted number, Artist's Proofs are sold at a higher value than the regular prints in the edition.

Publishers Proof

A quantity of prints, not always announced or issued at the time of publication, usually equal to no more than 10% of the edition. These are reserved for the publisher's use, mostly for donation to museums, service establishments, service associations, and the like. Quantities of Publishers Proofs, sometimes issued with a supplementary print, may be made available to collectors either at the time of publication, or at a later date, depending upon availability.

Remarqued Print

A print issued with an original pencil drawing by the artist in the margin, each numbered out of the quantity of individually remarqued prints in the edition. The quantity of remarqued prints in any one edition generally is limited to between 10 and 50. Each remarque drawing made by the artist is slightly different, thus making each print totally unique. Remarqued prints may be available at the time of publication, or announced at a later date, depending upon the artist's work load at the time. An artist remarqued print is the ultimate collector item in terms of reproduced work.


Giclées (pronounced "Jee-Klay") is a French word that approximately translates to "spray fluid." Giclées are produced one at a time using a very expensive sophisticated machine that operates similarly to an ink jet printer. An extensive proofing process is done to make sure each image is acceptable to the artist, and then the correct settings are stored digitally. This allows Giclées to be produced one at a time. This has advantages to the publisher (limited inventory) and to the customer (multiple number of size combinations or output medium.) Giclée canvases are stretched on wooden stretcher bars (identical to an original painting), and then are framed just like an original. No glass or matting is used. Giclées prepared on 200 pound watercolor paper are framed like lithographs to protect the surface. In either case, there is absolutely no grainy appearance such as what you encounter when enlarging a photograph. Unlike canvas transfers, Giclées can be produced in many sizes. They are fairly easily modifiable by the artist, and any changes cannot be detected. For example, we receive many requests to modify aircraft or aircraft carrier markings to ones that our customers flew or served aboard. This results in a truly personal piece of beautiful artwork that will last a lifetime. Although more expensive than prints on paper, Giclées sell for a small fraction of the cost of an original painting.

Canvas Transfer

A canvas transfer, which used to be the most widely used method of reproducing an artist’s painting on canvas is an old technology which has been around for many years. A print on paper is utilized in the transfer process, and the inks are “transferred” to the canvas. While reasonable in cost, disadvantages include a limited life due to fading, cracking, or peeling, and the fact that only one size is available (the same as the print used in the process.) Also, modifications of canvas transfers by the artist are more noticeable than those made to a Giclee.

Companion Print

An additional print, usually issued with smaller dimensions, published to compliment a limited edition, and usually issued at the same time.

Original Drawing

An original work individually drawn by the artist, completed in pencil, ink, or other medium, and personally signed by the artist. Being an original work each drawing is unique and different.

Certificate of Authenticity

A certificate issued by the publisher stating the total quantity of prints issued in the edition, confirming authenticity of the signatures, and in the case of a limited edition, inscribed with the matching unique number inscribed on the individual print. Collectors are advised to keep certificates safely as a future means of provenance.

Secondary Market

A market, largely operated by retail galleries, where limited edition prints are bought and sold by collectors after the edition is sold out at the publisher. Generally prints offered for sale on the secondary market are at values above the original published price. Prices are governed by supply and demand on the open market, and are not set by the publisher. Prints in strong demand can change hands at many times the original published price. Only a very small number of aviation artists command a secondary market for their prints.

Sold-Out Prints

Where a print is listed as "sold out", this means sold-out at the publisher. "Sold-out" prints are sometimes available from galleries at the original publisher's price, depending upon the length of time elapsed following publication. Prints in strong demand often appear on the secondary market at increased prices quite quickly after becoming sold out at the publisher.

Acid-Free Paper

Most or all paper used in publication of fine aviation art prints is specially treated to neutralize its natural acidity. This protects prints from discoloration and deterioration.


Limited edition prints by leading artists usually maintain their initial published value, and of course many increase in worth, so it is important to care for them appropriately.

The best quality art deserves the best quality materials when it comes to reproduction, which is why our artists' publishers use heavyweight fine art quality acid-free paper for their lithographs. Costing almost twice as much as most papers used for limited edition printing, this superb quality paper enables the finest possible standard of reproduction.

When handling prints collectors are advised to take care to avoid bending or kinking the paper. The less handling the better between leaving the publisher and having the print framed. (That's one reason why the Aviation Art Hangar chooses to ship most of its artwork directly from the artist's studio or publisher.) Care should also be taken to use acid-free or conservation materials when framing, and collectors are advised always to use qualified professional picture framers to ensure their prints are mounted properly. Be sure to hang fine art where it will not be exposed to bright lights or direct sunlight.


Many collectors have more prints than they can display at any one time, keeping part of their collection in storage. When storing prints we recommend laying them flat inside stiff cardboard outer packaging so as to avoid any bending. Separate individual prints using acid free card or tissue paper, or other acid-free materials all usually available from good art materials shops. Ideally prints should be stored at comfortable room temperature, avoiding high humidity, or large changes in temperature.


It's not unusual for a collection of fine art prints to grow in value to many thousands of dollars. Collectors are advised to obtain valuations from time to time, and to make sure their collections are adequately insured. Most insurance companies will insure art, but may ask for a written valuation. The Aviation Art Hangar does not hold itself out as a qualified valuation source. We will however be happy to provide limited estimates based upon publicly available and art industry resources.
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