Collectors Guide

Care of art prints
Print storage


Collecting has been described as an addiction for which there is no known cure. So far as we know, it isn't terminal, but if we are wrong, we can't think of many better ways to go! Collecting can certainly become a passion, and why not! It is fascinating, absorbing, lots of fun and, depending on what you collect, often quite profitable too.

Collecting usually starts with a hobby interest, and develops from there. The collector of aviation art isn't necessarily a pilot, in fact few ever are, but what we all have in common is huge enthusiasm for those magnificent flying machines, a thirst for knowledge about them, and an admiration for those who flown them to their limits. We simply love to look at airplanes.

Unlike many things people collect, aviation art can easily be displayed at home and in our places of work, for our own personal enjoyment, and for others to admire and appreciate. Art makes a subtle, modest statement about ourselves and our interests; a common interest in art breaks down social barriers, stimulates conversation, and more often than not helps us widen our circle of friends.

Much of the fun of collecting art is the searching and researching, gathering knowledge about art and artists, hunting down that special piece, getting together a meaningful collection, perhaps a complete collection, specialising, owning, displaying, building, refining, while all the time enjoying. Collectors have fun! Few collect for profit or investment, yet collections often become valuable. It is said that collectors collect, and wait for the rest of the world to catch up with them.

The more you know and understand about collecting aviation art, the more pleasure your personal collection will give you. The aim of these notes is to help you in that direction. We at the Military Gallery have been dedicated to the aviation art movement over 25 years thats a decade or more than almost anyone else. If, through passing on information about our fascinating world of collecting aviation art, we help you gain more pleasure from your hobby, then we're happy too.


Open edition:

An edition issued without limit, individual number, or artists signature. Most, however, have been signed by one or more pilot or crew who flew the type of aircraft depicted in the painting.

Artist Signed Print:

Originally issued as an Open edition, a publicly stated quantity of which were later inscribed with artist's signature, and the printing plates destroyed. Again, most carry pilots signatures.

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. Almost all Military Gallery editions are authenticated with the original signatures of distinguished military personnel.

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 between 25 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.

Companion print:

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

Matted (or mounted) print:

A print fitted into an acid-free or conservation matt (or mount), ready for framing.

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. Robert Taylor and Nicolas Trudgian are at the forefront of the aviation art secondary market.

Sold-Out Prints:

Where a print is shown as "sold out" in the Military Gallery Archive, or price list, 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:

All paper used in publication of Military Gallery prints is specially treated to neutralise 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 the Military Gallery uses a heavy-weight fine art quality acid-free paper, specially imported from France. Costing almost twice as much as most papers used for limited edition printing, this superb quality paper enables the finest possible standard of reproduction. In addition, the Military Gallery specifies only the best quality fade-resistant inks available for the printing process, and advises collectors to avoid hanging prints in direct, or strongly reflected sunlight.

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. 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.


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.


Recently a collector called us from Canada. He has been a Robert Taylor collector over 10 years, and was pleasantly shocked to discover his print portfolio was valued at over ,000. He carried no insurance at the time, but he does now! Collectors are advised to obtain valuations from time to time, and to make sure their collections are adequately insured. The best people to value your collection is the retailer who supplied the prints in the first place. Most insurance companies will insure art, but may ask for a written valuation.


For all enquiries concerning Licensing of images for Book Jackets, Calendars, collector plates, posters, jigsaw puzzles, etc, please click Contact Us on the Menu bar at the top of the home page.


The copyrights to all images on the Military Gallery website are jointly owned by the artists and the Military Gallery. Reproduction of any image, via any media, for any purpose, without written permission of the copyright holders will constitute an infringement of copyright which will be vigorously pursued by the copyright holders. It should be noted that the purchaser of an original painting or drawing does not acquire the copyright to that piece of art. Copyright always remains the property of the copyright holder unless transferred via a formal bill of sale.


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